BASBM Newsletter - September 2021

Clare Skinner
Chair of BASBM

Dear BASBM Members,

Welcome to our second newsletter. We hope that you found the first one useful as we plan to maintain a similar approach with this one! Remember to let us know if you have any feedback on future content.

It was amazing to see so many of you at conference on the 14th October, being back in the room with such a brilliant group of people, inspiring speakers and useful suppliers really gave me a boost so I hope it did the same for everyone else that attended. Our next conference is planned for 10th March 2022 so please do come along, if you book it in your diary now you can plan all other work around it!

Although I know some of you will continue to have worked through the half term, I do hope that you all get some well-earned respite at some point, even if it is in an empty school with reduced interruptions. The autumn term is a long one with lots of challenges with ever decreasing levels of sunlight and vitamin D so I hope you get to take whatever opportunity you have in the short break to recharge somewhat.

Take care,


Hot Topics

BCC Bin Collections

This discussion started by one of our members has had over 100 views and 8 valuable contributions. It appears that most schools have some sort of issue be it non collection, levels of service or just basic communication. If we are getting no joy from the various emails sent, would there be any value in the BASBM putting together an action plan and take it to Senior Management of behalf of all BCC schools? Not a full-blown complaint but maybe start some meaningful discussions so we are all aware of what is happening?

Let the committee know and we take up the challenge on your behalf.

Support Staff Pay Award

Highly popular discussion this one!

To try and sum up, the Support Staff pay freeze for BCC staff has indeed melted so subject to successful Performance Management Reviews, support staff will receive an increment if entitled.

In terms of the other offer, we had GMB in school recently and they have confirmed that they are balloting members in terms of rejecting the offer that has been made. Unfortunately, as has been alluded to it has all gone very quiet since.

If we hear anything from the GMB in school I will update the discussion.


Always a tricky one this as it seems to have been pushed into the background. As stated in the thread there is information on the HR Portal if you subscribe to the service or direct from HMRC as Clare mentioned.

The advice I was given when the checking first arrived was that if you engage anyone that may fit the criteria, always do the check first. Be upfront about doing so and go through the questions with the individual if needed so they can see what is involved - better to be safe.

It maybe overkill but it may be worth asking any agencies to send confirmation that they conform to all the HRMC legislation in terms of tax, NI etc before you have any staff so you are covered in case of any disputes with individuals and the HMRC.

Again happy to discuss the process I use for IR35 if it helps.

Volunteers in School

One of our members took to the forums to ask:

We are looking to invite our volunteers back in to school for the first time since pre-COVID. Our volunteers are older members of our community and I wondered if anyone has come across any guidance for having them on site. Should we be confirming they are double jabbed and do we have a due of care to document the risks and ask them to accept that they are coming into a potentially higher risk environment?

Very keen to keep them safe and for them to understand the risks, but would really love to see them back in school.

One member very kindly stated that her setting, they ask volunteers to follow the guidance with tweaks specific to their setting.

Like employees, volunteers, contractors and governors should all follow national guidance and any site-specific items as per your school's risk assessment.

You can ask your volunteers if they are double jabbed but they do not have to disclose this to you.

It may also be worth asking if any of them were classed as CEV. If so, they might ask for an individual risk assessment which you can develop with them. Again, just like individual employees have the right to request.

IT Technician

A member from a special school asked if colleagues could share a JD/PS for an IT Technician along with ideas for tasks during the recruitment process. This was one of those posts that a lot of people viewed but no-one could support with.

This is a tricky one as these roles do tend to be quite site specific and the role will have to reflect whatever level of pay that the school is offering. What level of competency do you need your IT Technician to hold? This will depend on your size, age group, SEN requirements. But also whether or not you have an SLA with an IT company - this could be another option rather than direct employment.

The range of JD, PS and pay scale will vary hugely because of the things mentioned above. Write a list of what you need them to do and speak to your HR team about relevant pay and scale to get appropriate advice. IT can be a minefield!

In terms of the tasks for an interview; a prioritisation task is useful (they need to prioritise teaching and learning requirements rather than the HT's laptop that has been in a drawer for months!). Present them with some faulty tech and see if they identify the problem and at least explain how to fix it or what process they would go through to fix it. Interview questions should be around demonstrating technical experience and also customer service as well as working under pressure.

Meet the Committee

Each issue we shine the spotlight on one of our committee members so you can find out more about them

This time around you get two for the price of one as we invited both our Chair and Vice-Chair to share a little about themselves

Hi, I'm Clare Skinner, BASBM's chair. I joined BASBM when I moved to my current school in late 2017, got involved with the committee in summer 2019 and I am privileged to have been voted in as Chair in summer 2021. I am very proud to work with the committee to support all of our members in the vital role we all carry out as school business professionals in the region.

Outside of work, I am a mum of two fast growing boys (14 and 11) who keep me and my husband of 18 years very busy with swimming and Scouts among other things. As if I don't spend enough time in schools, I am a Member of a small Multi-Academy Trust in Worcestershire which keeps me out of trouble. However, I love drinking red wine and eating good food with people who are important to me, sometimes this can get me into a little bit of trouble! The fact that my parents live in France is a huge help with these passions, although my regular summer holiday to stay with them has been stalled somewhat recently for reasons we are all too familiar with.

I've been a Business Manager in schools since 2013. Before that I worked in business banking and retail management, selling everything from food to stationery to footwear to lingerie in various locations across London and the Midlands. Since moving into the education sector, I feel I have found the right career for me. I love the daily challenges that school business leadership presents me

Hi, I'm Brian Baughan, BASBM's vice chair. I joined BASBM when I moved from the dark side of HR into schools 4 years ago. I have been in my current school for 2 years now and what a 2 years they have been!

I have had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know a lot of you in my HR training and helpdesk days - remember those?

I was honoured to be asked to join the BASBM committee and even more so to be voted as Vice Chair this year. I am really looking forward to supporting the often forgotten workforce of Business Managers and utilising the incredible knowledge base we have between us in schools to maximise that support.

As Thomas Hardy once wrote - Away from the madding crowd - I am a very proud Husband of 20 years, Dad to a Son of 17, and a Daughter of 15. As you can see from the picture, I am a keen paddleboarder and can often be found peacefully gliding along the rivers of the Midlands and hopefully not falling in!

Before the role of HR, like a lot of you I would imagine, career paths beforehand were not always the job for life. Bringing experience into Schools from my previous roles as a Vehicle Repairer, Banker, Self-Storage Manager, UK Trainer and PRU Tutor, I believe gives you the knowledge and experience to adapt, evolve and develop in the mad, whirlwind but ultimately highly rewarding, world of education.

Although some days are frustrating beyond belief and on Friday I still haven't done Mondays tasks, it all fades away into obscurity when a child says " Morning Mr Baughan", wants to show you their latest piece of writing or asks for you to go in goal at lunchtime.

I firmly believe that we are a very important cog in the gearbox of a child's education and am passionate about doing whatever I can to make that journey as smooth and as rewarding as possible.

We are a unique breed, but we don't have to be soloists. As part of BASBM and the SBM community, if I can support anyone with a chat, discussion of issues or indeed be a venting board I am more than happy to do so.

Upcoming Dates

BASBM 2022 Summer Conference
Date: 22 June 2022 - Start Time: 08:00
Venue: Edgbaston Stadium, Edgbaston Road, Birmingham, B5 7QU
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