The independent school dilemma - how safe are your people?

17 July 2017

Chief finance officers and governing boards are fully aware of risk management and the need to put assurance measures in place. But how often do you think people risks are included within risk management?

When we visit independent school's we often hear:

  • we are a people business;
  • our people are our greatest asset; or
  • we are customer focused.

Or their organisational objectives relate to:

  • developing people;
  • ensuring service quality;
  • building workforce capability; or
  • creating a fit for future culture.

These statements demonstrate the importance of 'our people' and how the right people will represent your school to drive growth and development. Whether that be teaching in the class room, processing transactions in the offices, maintaining the grounds and buildings or making key decisions in leading the school. 

Unfortunately, many recent high profile cases have highlighted where the people have got it wrong. This has been exacerbated by the explosion in social media meaning that these stories spread at an incredible and, often, unstoppable pace. The damage in some cases is irrecoverable to the school but in all instances schools incur unexpected rectification cost, fines and reputation damage at a personal and entity level.

People risks relate not only to your employees but to the actions those people take and the decisions they make once recruited. No school wants to lose the trust of its stakeholders or its parents – just watch as those pupil roll numbers and income fall.

Download the full report where we identify the key elements that help achieve 'safe people' and how to mitigate the associated risks.

To avoid your school becoming one of those that are not considered a 'safe pair of hands' we recommend you seek assurance that your people are safe by:

  • an assessment, by HR specialists, of the arrangements in your local authority that keep your people safe; 
  • a review of your policy and procedures to ensure that they are relevant and reliable; and 
  • the deployment of a local authority wide policy management and learning system to assist in the communication and understanding of policy and procedures by your people.

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