I love it when the new year starts. It is full of possibility… The week between Xmas and New Year is a good time for some quiet reflection but when January 1st comes around there is a feeling of new energy, hope and excitement.

In the year ahead for LNS we are going to embark on a campaign to spread the word about what we do, what makes us different and why everyone should be clamouring for a place in our school. Over the past few months we have looked in detail at our marketing strategy and sought advice from a variety of expert sources. We have commissioned an update to our website and a new prospectus, and will be launching these by the end of February. We will be calling on you all for practical help in spreading the word and ‘singing our praises’ – so be prepared!

In addition the school is very likely to be inspected soon. Our approach doesn’t fit neatly into the inspection boxes so we will have to work hard to show that what we do is effective and provides an outstanding education. Inspectors act on evidence and listen to parents so we will be calling on you again to support us.

The beginning of the year is a time when governors and trustees start to plan for the new academic year in September. As part of that process we’ll be holding our second Whole School Meeting of the year, which you may remember will be a chance to discuss our fee income and how we allocate those funds in the school. Here is some financial information that you might find of interest, as an appetiser to the meeting – which will be in the evening of Monday 20th February (save the date!).

In terms of meeting our core budget, more than 98% of our income comes from fees. We do also get occasional donations and we welcome funds raised from parent initiatives but this income is not consistent enough to cover things like staff salaries, so is spent on things outside of our core budget. Almost 80% of our expenditure each year is spent on staff salaries, with currently around 8.5% allocated to our bursary fund. Approximately 2.5% goes on curriculum (roughly £10,000) and 2.5% towards the small mortgage we have on our property. 1.5% goes on maintaining the buildings and we save around 1.5% each year towards our contingency fund. The remaining 3.5% is stretched between utility bills, insurances and other fees, consumables, lunches, office expenses, IT, marketing, training, recruitment and everything else that we need to keep the school ticking over! Managing a school budget is a complex business and we are very much looking forward to hearing your ideas and opinions at the meeting. Linda