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This section offers some useful articles on how schools and colleges can improve their online presence.

Business, ICT and finance services for MATs and academies – is it time for a change?

business ict finance services mats academies

With so many additional pressures on academies and MATs, such as controlling their financial spending, managing their support services efficiently and keeping their community up-to-date, it’s no wonder why so many are not succeeding. Most recognise the need to maintain efficient internal support systems to keep costs contained and everything running smoothly, but the problem is too many are failing – and failing badly.

Too many academy trusts don’t have the time to manage their finances effectively

BBC News has just reported that 113 of England’s Academy Trusts have run up debts of £25 million. Whilst some feel this raises serious doubt about the accountability of the academy system as it stands, it also spotlights the need for schools to re-assess how they manage their internal affairs and which in-house support services could be strengthened.

Business-led solutions are the key

Managing curriculum change is one thing, but having to totally re-think how you deliver your internal support systems and financial processes is completely different. But that’s what academies have had to do in recent years. Since the academy model was unveiled, the staff, business, finance and management pressures on converter schools have increased, and most have had to run with less than perfect ways of doing things because they have had very little time to adjust.

Whilst many academies have employed additional staff to take on new duties, this is not always the best option. Re-training existing staff to use better systems supported by the right application software, and buying in third-party business support services, is another way. For many, this has proven to be an extremely cost effective solution.

Many still believe that the business sector holds the key and that academies should be taking the advice of experienced business, finance and ICT service providers, to help them improve and refine their internal support services, to ease the burden and give them greater control.

There are only so many hours in a day!

With only 24 hours in a day and teachers and support staff already putting in additional time, even the most experienced MATs are struggling to cope.

INCO is a digital agency that works in partnership with academies, MATs and new converter schools seeking to develop their internal services in the areas of financial management, MIS, ICT procurement and support, business planning, budget management, employing/training staff, brand creation and digital direction.

"We provide hands on consultancy, project management, remote support and offering intelligent budget planning software, to bring about positive change – it’s all about helping your academy to be more productive, your staff to be more efficient and your business and finance procedures to be more transparent," Head of Business Development, INCO. "We’ve teamed up with the UK’s most experienced business support services provider in the education sector to help academies face the challenges ahead. We’re really excited about this development and what we can achieve together."

Want to find out more about our business, IT, marketing and finance expertise? Give INCO a ring to arrange a meeting to discuss the possibilities on 03330 124 907 or email:

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