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Ambition. in Action. Planning and Managing a Section’s Budget. Planning. Our objective is to plan to meet our section’s ASH target within the nominal budget we have been allocated.

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in Action


Our objective is to plan to meet our section’s ASH target within the nominal budget we have been allocated.

As well as recording your section’s planned activity for the Semester and calculating the ASH yield of your programme, your section’s Education Planning Sheet works out the delivery cost of your programme. (At a higher level the EPS works out the delivery cost for the whole College or cluster, based on the aggregated EPS for all the sections. So College and Cluster and ultimately Institute financial planning depends on the teaching sections working out and costing their programmes accurately.)


The EPS totals the figures you enter in the Teaching Hours Required column (R) of the Planned Sheet. It then takes the total teaching hours available for delivery by your full time staff from the Establishment Sheet. The difference is then the number of part-time/full time overtime hours you will need to deliver your programme.


The EPS system calculates the total cost of your full time staff and works out the remaining cost of part time teaching needed to deliver the programme. To do this it refers back to a master sheet which lists the different salary codes and rates, and the Establishment sheet in your EPS where you list your full time staff, the number of teaching hours each person will deliver, and the percentage of their salary paid by the section.


In the Budget (Planned) sheet the total cost of your programme is shown, including the cost of the part time hours needed to meet your delivery commitments. You also need to enter the other anticipated costs to be incurred by your section in delivering your Fund 1 programme such as consumables, class support, travel etc.


There are basically two steps with the EPS to make sure your programme is properly costed.

Look at Planned sheet. Make sure all commitments in terms of teaching hours are accounted for. Examples of things often forgotten include:

  • “Co-ordination” hours.

  • Underprogrammed teachers e.g. where courses finish some weeks before the end of semester and the teacher does other work in lieu of classes: the best way to do this is to “cost” any courses or units taught by this teacher as if they ran for 18 weeks.

  • Make sure you safely estimate the number of teaching hours required for each module, course or unit. Do any classes require additional staffing? Overestimate rather than underestimate…


Look at Establishment sheet. Make sure this is right. Make sure you accurately forecast the yield of full time teachers and the percentage of salary paid by section. Examples include:

  • Teachers on extended leave. This reduces the yield of your full time staff but your section does not pay for this time. If you employ part time staff to cover, you save money.

  • Teachers on sick leave. This reduces your yield and forces up your costs as you need to employ part time teachers to cover their load (your section is still covering the teacher’s salary, unlike the above.)

  • Hours taught by Full Time staff after 5:30 pm. This can be an issue in large sections.

  • Teachers on release where the cost of this is being borne by the section.

  • Teachers on reduced load for any other reason eg LWOP, SLWOP.


We’ll now have a look at an actual sheet and see how these calculations work:

Scenario 1.

Simone de Beauvoir is showing only 50% of her salary being paid for by the section. There may be a reason for this but if it is wrong and left uncorrected you won’t cost your programme accurately and may be left with a budget shortfall which will worsen as the semester unfolds.

Scenario 2.

Imanuel Kant takes Extended Leave for six weeks to finish writing the Critique of Pure Reason. This means his yield will drop by 114 hours, but you will not have to pay his salary for those weeks. The shortfall in his teaching programme will be covered by part time teaching and/or overtime hours. This will lower the cost of the programme to you – as it has the effect of shifting part of this teacher’s salary costs to Treasury, and the cost of replacing him is less than the cost of employing a full time teacher.

Scenario 3

Casey Jones announces that he will must go the the UK next Semester to care for his aged mother who is dying. He has a plentiful entitlement of sick leave which he is able to access as carers’ leave. His leave is approved. You don’t know how long he will be away – but you are at least in a position to reflect this on your Planning Sheet. You now need to cover his entire programme with part time or overtime hours, but his salary still comes out of your section’s budget. There is really nothing you can do about this and sick leave is “Risk Managed” by your ADEP or College Director. But this will mean that as you look at Buddy from month to month your section will show as running over budget. You notice however that there is a provision in the EPS Budget sheet for $30,000 for FT OT. This looks excessive – maybe the author of this sheet is using this cell to make allowances for possible replacement teaching costs.


Scenario 4

A new Training Package has been introduced which substantially lifts the number of AHC for one of your courses. You’ll need to increase the hours allocated in column R. This may affect your capacity to deliver in other areas, or you may need to look at more economical methods of delivery.

Scenario 5

Your section does servicing for another section – a total of 3 Modules costing you 72 hours each. This is why your Planned Budget sheet shows about $16,000 over. You incur these costs at the point of delivery from your Fund 1 Budget, but the other section gets the ASH and reimburses you for your costs. In this case the servicing has been entered already in the EPS – a good example of sound planning and management where everything is transparent.

As we look at these scenarios you will see that the figures in the Budget sheet change, and in the case of changes to the Full Time establishment, the number of part time hours needed to deliver your programme also changes.


As Amanda will be talking in greater detail about Buddy, I am just going to mention some of the other ways you can tell whether your section is “on track”.

As a Head Teacher I found that one of the most effective and simple ways of keeping track was through a management book, where you record all teacher absences and replacement hours paid. You could also use the management book to track your anticipated RTMS. Keep a copy of the costing sheets for Commercial work, so you know how much you should expect to receive, track the hours devoted to Core programs where you know you will be reimbursed: when you receive the paper copy of the RTMS from your CEO, cross these off the list and do a running tally of what is outstanding to offset against any shortfall in Buddy.

You can also use the EC system to track your hours usage week by week.


Sometimes you might be suspicious that the salary costs showing up in Buddy might not be a true reflection of the costs being incurred by your section. Has someone been working in another section, or acting on Higher Duties with another cost centre, but the necessary paperwork has not been done and you are still paying them for work done elsewhere? You can drill down to payroll details on Buddy and make sure you are paying the right people by comparing this info with your own local knowledge. I can’t really show this for you as it would involve real names of real people…

Another way of looking at this is through the Payroll reports on the Financial Cube. You can find out from Buddy and the Cube who worked in your section in any given accounting period, how many hours they worked and how much they were paid.


As a Head Teacher you will know how much Commercial and Servicing work your section is doing. This is work for which you will be re-imbursed by RTMS or Budget Transfer but there is often a delay which can cause an apparent budget overrun. It is always a good idea to itemise your servicing delivery in the EPS as is done here.

There is also a tool available on Sydnet for calculating the amount your section is owed for servicing.

( and select Inter Section Servicing Agreement: Procedure and follow the link to the spreadsheet)

This form is completed and forwarded to your CEO who will contact the Head Teacher of the serviced section for approval and agreement on the number of hours and other costs to be transferred. When Y is selected in the final box the Transfer Sheet is generated with the correct $ amounts, the form is forwarded to Finance who arrange the Budget transfer.