Required Preparation for

Finance in the International School

London: 13-19 July 2017

Download the FULL pdf version of the assignment



Access the following website and spend enough time to familiarize yourself with the various aspects of financial management so that you have an understanding sufficient to intelligently participate in discussions during the class.  This will probably entail several hours.

All About Financial Management in Non-Profits

You will need to be clear on your key objectives in attending the course. Please consult with your Director to ensure that you are both on the same page with regard to these objectives.

BRING (or be able to access on your laptop)

In addition to the preparation above, please bring the following items with you to the course:

  • A copy of your school mission
  • A copy of your current school budget (or summary)
  • A copy of the most recent audit of your school. (NOTE – budgets and audits contain confidential information.  Consult with your school director or business manager and conceal information which should not be disclosed.  Adjustments will be made if your school is unwilling to share any of these documents.)
  • Summary of salary and benefits package at your school


    • What are the top 2-3 questions or concerns at your school regarding finance? If you are a business manager or other leader and already knowledgeable about these matters, just come ready to share.  If you are not, interview the business manager or responsible leader at your school and again be ready to discuss.
    • Spreadsheets, such as Excel: A significant part of the course will be devoted to learning how to set-up a Long Term Financial Plan and will require basic knowledge of how to use a spreadsheet.  Expert knowledge is not required, but you must know how to perform the four basic arithmetic functions: use simple formulas to sum, average, countif (a function in Excel), etc. and learn how to copy formulae to do repetitive calculations. Click here for an Excel tutorial.
    • A laptop with wireless capacity and a UK plug or adapter and wireless internet capability. Your course materials are electronic. Hard copies will not be available on site. If you are bringing a school laptop or one you are not familiar with, be sure to have the settings checked and be familiar with any passwords required to access wireless internet and to download software. Click here for more information about iPads and tablets. Chromebook users can use the free Kami extension to annotate.
  • JOIN Schoology

    ...your required online portal for everything related to your PTC course, including all necessary course materials which will be available approximately 10 days before the start of your course. 

  • Use the access codes from the PDF to join your course page and group page in Schoology.

  • ISSUE OR PROBLEM:  In preparation for the small group sessions in the afternoon please bring a written (one page) case study or vignette, dealing with a financially-related problem or situation you have confronted during your professional practice. 


...a spreadsheet of your own to Schoology. Upload it to the folder named Pre-Course Assignment under Resources (located on the left of the screen on the Finance group page).  For example you could prepare a budget for your personal food and entertainment for the next six months and then record your actual expenditures for the three months preceding the course to see how accurate your predictions are.


    • The context of the entire course will be from the perspective of the principal and will address the following:
      • Basic accounting principles – Balance sheets, operating statements and cash flow
      • Financial controls
      • Strategic & financial plans
      • Cash and foreign exchange management
      • Staff compensation structures and comparisons
      • Scholarship programs and fund raising
      • Risk assessment
      • Finance expectations for accreditation
      • School governance and finance

Increasingly, schools are being run as 'for profit' enterprises, and you will all find yourselves in this type of school in the years ahead - if you are not already in one. While ensuring that you will have an understanding of finance, the course will also enable you to discuss the differing dynamics between 'not-for-profit' and 'for-profit' schools.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

John Sperandio and Richard Tangye