There’s nothing like going into Term 1 of a new school year feeling organised and ready to conquer the world. These are the top five things that I do at the start of the school year to help me stay on track…
Get induction packs ready
I prepare induction packs for all the September starters. I include all the relevant policies that new starters need to read (regardless of whether they are teaching staff or support staff), as well as the code of conduct and staff handbook. Other useful things to include are staff listings, map of the building and their photocopier code. Having this ready for day 1 not only saves me time but it means that new starters feel welcomed and we can dedicate time on an INSET day to going through things they need to know. I issue them to teachers when they attend a transition day in the summer term the support staff get them at the start of term.
Mid-year budget update
Although it’s the start of the school year, September is month 6 of the financial year. My monthly budget monitoring is tracked by the Headteacher, and the finance committee look at an update in each meeting. As this is just once a term, I circulate a mid-year review to Governors at the end of September. This keeps the Governors focused on the budget position and gives them the opportunity to review the spending again the initial budget plan exactly halfway through the year.
School Development Plan review
I always meet with my Admin and Premises teams at the start of the school year to review the School Development Plan (SDP). We have dedicated time on one of the September INSET days to look at how the different teams can contribute to the school meeting the objectives of the SDP. In my experience there is much more of a buy in from staff if they can see how the plan relates to them on a basic level and how they can help to make it a success.
In September, I ask my Premises team to do an inventory check to make sure everything is where it should be. This is really useful to be able to get a definitive record of exactly where everything is. This ensures that I know precisely what is meant to be in each classroom and that teachers can be held accountable for those things.
Review safeguarding training
The start of the year is a perfect time to ensure every member of staff, new or existing, has read the Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance and signed to confirm this. In addition to this I collate details of all training undertaken on INSET days and ensure that there is a note of who missed out so they can catch up at a later date.
Bonus: Break out the new planner
In reality, no self-respecting SBM will be getting their planner out for the first time in September. Most of us will have lovingly selected one as early as term 6 and started populating it bit by bit over the summer. September is just the time when I put the old one away and start using the new one full-time. There’s nothing better than having it populated with key dates right at the start of the year so that it can be used as an effective planning tool. I know lots of people will use electronic calendars but I’m an old-fashioned planner type! It helps me to get organised and more importantly stay organised.
Other articles by Cheryl Campbell you might be interested in:
- My SBM Life by Cheryl Campbell
- HR and the SBM by Cheryl Campbell
- My top 3 courses for the Smarter SBM by Cheryl Campbell
This article forms part of our Smarter SBM series, which supports the launch of our new Smart Ordering solutions. Informed by SBMs and created for school offices. Smart Ordering is range of great online tools that can transform a school’s office with a smarter way of purchasing. It has been developed by the team at GLS Educational Supplies to help save schools time and money, by making the process of buying school supplies faster, smoother and more affordable.