Integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP)

It is a management process that helps schools plan the best curriculum for their pupils with the funding they have available. Whilst it can be used at any phase or type of school, it is more popular in secondary schools because of the greater flexibility over teaching time and pupil : teacher ratios.

Why use ICFP?

Ensuring that you look at curriculum and financial planning together as joint exercise can help to ensure trusts can:

  • achieve educational success and financial sustainability
  • deliver the best curriculum the trust or school can afford that meets the needs of your pupils

Getting started

It can be daunting knowing where to start, and this is often what puts some Business Managers off. However many are using ICFP to some degree without even realising it!

In essence, however it’s done, ICFP means analysing:

  • teacher deployment
  • use of support staff
  • non-staffing costs
  • balance of income and costs

The more time that you invest, and the more variables that you consider, the greater accuracy you should be able to predict the resources you can afford in the future.

To be effective ICFP needs to involve the senior leadership team and also the trustees, so it’s important that everyone embraces the concept.

The DfE have created a short 7-step guide to ICFP which explains a simple approach to ICFP, which serves as an excellent starting point.

The Basic Principles of ICFP is also a fantastic guide.

Key measures to review

ICFP looks at relationships such as those between:

  • the amount of teaching time required to run the timetable
  • the amount of support staff time required (outside of mainstream secondary settings)
  • the proportion of time teachers spend teaching
  • class sizes
  • the cost of employing teachers
  • available revenue
  • non-staffing costs of running the school
  • the budget available for teaching costs

More help

The DfE guidance page contains lots of useful information, including links to ICFP tools and webinars. 

The next step

If you have any further questions regarding this insight, please contact Allan Hickie.


Let's talk! Send an enquiry to your local UHY expert.