Insignis Academy Trust (IAT) Central Support Services (CSS) team
About the CSS team
The Central Support Services (CSS) team provides support to all IAT schools in the following areas:
- Facilities Management
- Human Resources & Payroll
The CSS team is led by John Huskinson, Chief Operating Officer.
CSS went live in April 2019 with all of the legacy staff from both schools transferring to the new structure. Since then we have made new appointments directly to the structure.
The new model has several benefits over school specific teams:
- This improves the resilience of the support provided across all schools.
- This shares knowledge and skills across the team and therefore benefits all schools.
- This will help deliver efficiencies, which can be redirected to teaching and learning.
- This supports the delivery of high standards in support areas.
As IAT grows further, it is expected that any staff in the areas above will be incorporated into the CSS team. The cost of these staff will also be transferred to the CSS team.
The cost of the CSS structure is met by recharging the schools in IAT on the basis of the share of overall pupil numbers. Pupil numbers is the main driver for most of the activity supported by CSS and is easy to understand and calculate.
An overview of the teams in CSS is given below. If you want to find out more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CSS Finance team is responsible for all accounting matters. The team use SAGE for Education as the accounting software and IAT banks with Metro Bank. Any new school joining IAT would be expected to move to SAGE and Metro.
The benefits of a central accounting system and banking provider is that anyone in the team can support schools with invoice payments, raising purchase orders, collecting payments from customers and other matters, regardless of where they are located. It also helps with consistency in reporting and cashflow management.
Strategic financial matters, such as setting of budgets for the schools is led by by John Huskinson with his CFO hat on.
The IAT external auditors are Landau Baker and Buckinghamshire County Council Assurance team provide the Internal Audit role. Any school joining IAT would be expected to also adopt the IAT auditors.
Facilities Management includes premise management, vehicles, health & safety, compliance checking and capital projects.
The benefit of the central team is that the facilities staff can be easily deployed to where they are needed most, especially as the schools are geographically close.
The team has a wide range of expertise resulting and this allows the team to undertake works that in other schools would not be possible.
Human Resources & Payroll
The Human Resources and Payroll services are internally provided at IAT.
The benefit of this is greater responsiveness to school needs and better control over processes. The expertise has grown inside IAT to handle future schools joining or changes in structures, pay & conditions with less reliance on external consultants.
The proof of the success of the team is when we moved one school’s payroll from an external provider and it went without any problems. The internal team processed pay increases a month before the external provider despite late changes.
The central ICT team allows staff to be deployed where needed and enables more effective joining up of ICT systems and processes across schools within IAT. This will improve IAT’s resilience. There is a good range of expertise in this team also and reliance on external consultants is minimised wherever possible.