School Business Affairs January 2021

40 JANUARY 2021 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS FROM THE FIELD pay for meals using a biometric system, we have always offered the opportunity to top up online or using cash loader machines in school. Current circumstances led to the decision to stop the use of cash in school altogether. It took some getting used to, but overall, the change has been imple- mented smoothly and accepted by the school community. As with all changes, there were some teeth- ing problems, but I’m pleased with the outcome. Continual Concerns What keeps me up at night as I look to the coming months? The main thing I worry about in my job is what the budget will look like at the end of the financial year. The pandemic has brought about a huge amount of unplanned and unavoid- able spending, and although some has been reimbursed by the govern- ment, it’s far from what I planned for my budget to look like 3/4 of the way through the financial year. The other thing that preys on my mind is the ability to provide all staff with the equipment they need to effectively work from home in the event we are ordered to lock- down again. Feeling Optimistic As we head into 2021, I feel opti- mistic that there is an end in sight. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to getting back to normal because I don’t expect things will ever be back to the way they were pre-COVID. I’m optimistic that school business leaders as a profession will apply the lessons learned and improve on their already-efficient ways of working. I am also optimistic that my newly formed network ABBLed (Associa- tion of BAME Business Leaders in Education) will flourish and grow. ABBLed was formed to address the low representation of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people within our profession. I am optimistic that 2021 will see a greater outpouring of sup- port in the form of sponsorship that allows us to provide bursaries for our members that will allow them to access relevant qualifications to progress as SBLs. I’m optimistic that 2021 will see the message being spread and more peo- ple getting on board with ABBLed’s mission to raise the profile of exist- ing BAME SBLs to lead the way and become role models for those think- ing about entering the profession. I’m optimistic that SBLs of all eth- nicities will recognise the importance of a more diverse school business leadership and the positive impact that would have on the communities that we serve. Cheryl Campbell is school business director for the Thomas Tallis School in London. Email: ccampbell@thomastal- EAGLE INSTITUTE Charleston, South Carolina JULY 20–23, 2021 Join an immersive leadership discovery through creating moments that matter, equitable environments, leader culture, and more. PROUD SPONSOR REGISTER at