Drop the “Add-on” Mindset When Budgeting for the Upcoming School Year



For many schools, school financial plan has been revolving around fixed operation costs, some key annual events and then some “add-on” activities if there is extra on budget. This could help principals lower their time spend on building budgeting from scratch, however it could also close the door for innovation and new opportunities.As in other aspects of schools, we also urge leaders to re-think their strategy after each school year. Even for the seemingly fixed cost on operations or services, there are new suppliers of goods, in any given minute, are striving for better and cheaper solutions.


However, it is even more important that budgeting reflects educational goals of school’ missions. For each initiative, these questions must be answered:

  • Does it contribute to the vision that we promise the students?

  • How could we measure the impact?

  • Are there any similar on-going/prospecting activities that yield similar results?

  • How much of the resource should be invested (money, time or human resource)?

  • Where should it be in the priority list?

The matrix below could serve as a useful tool for quick assessment,

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