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Why business operations matter for your academy

Written by: Joseph Fitzsimmons on Thursday 31/05/2018

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If your school is in the process of converting to an academy, or you are considering converting in the near future, Business Operations are a crucial part of the puzzle that is often misunderstood.   

In cooperation with partner firms Irwin Mitchell, Forester Boyd and Calls9, Eddisons will be delivering a FREE morning seminar to outline how you can utilise Business Operations to maximise the performance of your academy now and for the future.

In this interview, Associate Director at Eddisons, Joseph Fitzsimmons, explains what to expect from the morning and how you will benefit from attending the event.           

Why are you holding this event and who would benefit from attending?

Having worked in the education sector for a number of years now, we fully appreciate the challenges that schools looking to convert to academies face. This seminar is aimed at business managers and head teachers within schools looking who are looking to convert to single / Multi Academy Trusts. We also think it would appeal to existing MATs who are looking to gain further insights to the opportunities available to them.

When we have held similar seminars and attended various conferences across the country, the feedback has been that good, commercial and independent advice on property, financial and technology topics can be difficult to find. That’s why we wanted to stage this together with our partner firms, to make it easier for schools to find it all in one place.

What are some of the key areas a converter school needs to consider with regards their property?

From a property perspective there are a number of specific challenges schools face when converting/newly converted. For example, is the school and wider estate fit for purpose, what are the obligations and liabilities of an academy, how will the estate be managed and who will look after the buildings and estate?

Operating as a private company, academies are also in direct competition for pupils and staff with other schools so the need to be more attractive is a consideration. There’s also the question of how developments will be funded, what is available publicly and who will be responsible for completing any proposal. These can be difficult to achieve for someone without experience or part-time as part of a wider remit.

How can Eddisons help schools address these challenges?

We can help schools with the initial strategic advice to help them through the conversion, but also in creating better learning environments once they have converted. That may mean optimising their estate to be more efficient – through the introduction of smart energy, light and heating systems, but we can also support them throughout the funding process too so that they can access a number of available funds.

We have particular expertise in this area and have successfully secured approximately £15m of funding for schools this last year. We can also help schools consider their estates more commercially so that they can maximise the revenue created, for example through the introduction of better sports facilities and MUGA pitches which can provide an additional revenue stream. It’s important to get an understanding of what the school’s vision is and what they are aspiring towards, as we can usually help transform schools and help them achieve many of their goals.

What will delegates get from attending this event?

We know that with exams, targets and a backdrop of funding cuts that taking time out of a busy schedule can be difficult within the education sector. Finding the time to research who to contact and where to turn to for advice can also be a time-consuming exercise. This seminar presents the opportunity for business managers to meet many people and get some free advice, without having to block out a whole day. 

Our partner firms are all specialists in their own fields so we expect all attendees to leave having received expert advice which will help them through the conversion process and beyond.


Event details

  • When: 26th of June
  • Time: 9am - 12pm
  • Location: Leeds Village Hotel South, Capitol Blvd, Tingley, Morley, Leeds LS27 0TS

Please contact Joseph directly for further details. Alternatively, you can register for the FREE event on the Calls9 events page HERE (the registration form is at the bottom of the page there).


Educational presentations will be held by ;

Calls9: Digital Transformation for your School

Pete Mills from Calls9 will discuss how to:

  • Reduce the number of online platforms your school has saving time and money (like businesses do)
  • Build solution pathways to organising your school's business processes

Eddisons: Funding opportunities available to academies and strategic estate management

Joe Fitzsimmons of Eddisons will discuss ways in which academies can:

  • Maximise funding sources available to academies
  • Manage academy building and estates effectively and plan in a proactive manner

Forrester Boyd: Academy structure / delegated authority and associated best practice

Carrie Jensen of Forrester Boyd will discuss ways in which academies can:

  • Ensure best practice for their Academy structure, whilst
  • Streamlining your internal delegated authority and approval routine

Irwin Mitchell: Issues facing Academies in their governance and leadership – a legal perspective

Laurence Gavin & Jenny Arrowsmith of Irwin Mitchell will share their thoughts on issues that are impacting on governance and leadership of schools including:

  • Risks to Academies and re-brokering
  • Managing people to reduce inefficiencies and increase return on staffing costs


  • 8.45am – 9.30         Doors open and breakfast (Bacon rolls and tea/ coffee)            
  • 9.30 – 10am            Digital Transformation for your School (Calls 9)  
  • 10am – 10.30am    Funding opportunities available to academies and strategic estate management (Eddisons)
  • 10.30 – 11am          Academy structure / delegated authority and associated best practice (Forrester Boyd)   
  • 11am – 11.30am    Issues facing Academies in their governance and leadership (Irwin Mitchell)

 For more information on the range of services Eddisons deliver across the education sector, please download our Eddisons on Education leaflet here.

Written by: Joseph Fitzsimmons on Thursday 31/05/2018

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