SMARTcurriculum® Update Issue 11

SMARTcurriculum® Application

Watch the video version

Dashboard Updates

We have planned a few simple dashboard updates and the first to be rolled out is the inclusion of a third unit cost line within the Financial Enhancement panel showing the comparative Admin cost per hour per week. Users will also note that the benchmarks have been slightly increased with £2000 for Teacher cost per hour per week and Support and Admin set at £750 per hour per week. Other dashboard updates are planned for the next release, including a comparative measure for planned Teacher/Support time investment and further clarity in the Teacher Enhancement data. More to follow on this point.  

Finance Updates

Cost per Pupil:

We are now calculating the Cost Per Pupil automatically so that you do not need to add the AWPU within the Global Parameter table. The Nursery and Sixth Form funding is described separately, so these will appear to change from the Key Stages 1 to 2 and 3 to 4 levels. The calculation is drawn from the Global Parameters Income Table General Annual Grant line [I01]. It should be understood that the Nursery income described in I20 and Sixth Form in I02 create separate levels of spend per pupil and will illustrate how they contribute to the full picture. SEND funding is included with the I01 general annual grant and thus the generic spend for these pupils.
To get the full impact of this update you will you will need to ensure that you have separated income lines from a Global Parameters table so that I01 GAG  does not include the funds for there specific stages Nursery and Sixth Form. You should find this detail on your funding statement.

Updated Cost per pupil chart.

Staff Expenditure:

Due to clarity around ICFP metrics, communication of proportional spending in relation to total expenditure, and the assumptions of building reserves, the staff expenditure chart has been updated to illustrate elements of staff expenditure relative to total expenditure rather than income. The two sets of figures still exist within the Analysis Comparison. We have added a bar to illustrate expenditure relative to income which will give you a view of in year balance or deficit. The income chart is being refreshed to illustrate grant income and self-generated income with the total staff expenditure thresholds indicated.

Staff Expenditure and Overall Expenditure charts.


Staffing Updates

Contact ratio

The impact of contact ratio on cost and efficiency is significant, so we are adding a chart tile to emphasise and illustrate the factors contributing to contact ratio, including management time, PPA, additional standard non-contact time and unassigned bought teaching time. We hope that this builds your understanding of the amount of teaching time that is purchased and how it is deployed.

Teacher contact ratio contributing elements

You will also see that the DfE recommended levels of contact ratio have been reflected on the chart and in the table data. The Original recommendation to achieve 78% has been altered in the online benchmarking site to a range between 75 and 80%. Our objective is to illustrate the contributing factors to this ratio and encourage discussion about the investment these require for the desired outcomes in terms of staff wellbeing, effective delivery and quality of provision. Our underlying principles stand here: provision should be efficient, effective and ethically motivated.

Data Entry Hub

Staff Data Input Table

Responding to the flexibility in the data, table users have been asking for additional features now that we can include the actual cost of employed staff. For clarity, positions that are agency, outsourced, seconded or sabbatical have been moved to the Contract Type field. Requests made to enable the salary to be included or not follow the following method and solution. 

Contract Type

  • Seconded – A member of your staff who is now operating within another educational organisation but employed by you. If you remain paying the salary then leave these as they are. If this is offset by payments in, then these will be reflected in budget lines. There is no difference for the set up of these staff in terms of their contribution to the structure of the organisation.
  • Outsourced – A member of staff who is employed by another organisation who is providing services to your organisational structure. Similarly to above, depending on how the payment for that person is arranged, you will add salary details or not. Leaving the salary details out is the most normal set-up in this situation.
  • Agency – Very similar to the outsourced provision. You may consider using one or other of these definitions.
  • Sabbatical – A member of staff who is employed by you but agrees a period of unpaid leave of absence. This contract status has been created so you can leave the pay structures in place but they will not be included in the total cost value while this person is on leave. This operates differently to a person who you have identified as ‘On Leave’ who will have a financial cost but no time contribution to the provisions.  

Don’t forget to book your free training session this week…

SMARTcurriculum for School Business and Finance Leaders Wednesday 24th March, 16:00–16:30
Synthesise financial predictions and management with the impact of decisions made about curriculum and staffing by education leaders. You will be used to using financial software for financial control. We will explore how SMARTcurriculum® provides a powerful link between decisions made by education staff – who are focused on running the curriculum – and maintaining the budget.
Kind regards

Chris and the SMARTcurriculum team

Do get involved

If you have any other ideas or priorities for development please comment below. We are keen to, and do, respond to requests and ideas where we can

We also have a Developers group who help us to drive forward functions and new ideas.

If you would like to join our SMARTcurriculum Developers Group to drive innovations that support you best, please tell us at

Planned Developments

Dashboard update – providing a proportional comparison between the number of teaching hours bought and support hours bought. 
Leadership ISR Calculator – Leadership is a significant cost and relates to the Standard Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document calculation. We are building a set of charts and data that will pre-calculate this for your organisation, based on pupil numbers, and plot leader positions against this projection. 
School Group Module – we continue to structure the SMARTcurriculum  Application to add a fully functional school group comparison module. Many of the developments above are on the road-map to that goal. We will keep you posted as to the progress and likely release date. Our plan is to have this development ready for initial release in September 2021.
MIS integration We have been working for some time to consider integration to a number of popular software solutions. This is becoming more of a reality and we are looking to draw key data from you existing MIS to reduce the setup time and also to monitor the practice as things change through the year. We will keep you informed of progress in this regard.
SMARTcurriculum App developments are included within your annual licence, module development will be included at additional costs.