Since we spoke to them last year, Prince Regent Street Trust has added another school to their community. Formed in 2018, the trust has grown from three to four ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ primary schools in the Tees Valley.
We caught up with their Chief Finance and Operations Officer, Ryan Powner, to learn more about how IMP Planner has supported their growth.
Ryan needed his financial management system to be able to cope with the addition of a new school. This included allowing him to quickly and accurately understand the financial impact of this growth on the trust. He also needed a user-friendly and intuitive interface that could deal with the complexities of upcoming teacher and support staff pay scales. In addition, Ryan runs a ‘one-man-band’ in his department – this meant that comprehensive and consistent customer support was critical.
Having implemented IMP Planner in September 2021, Ryan was already confident in its capabilities as a financial management system. But he was still impressed by our support in adding a new school, describing it as “a really smooth transition”.
Ryan was also impressed by the expertise of our team, remarking that “the system works so well because it’s made by people formerly employed by MATs and schools. It’s a really strong team they’ve put together.” Our support team collaborated with Ryan to achieve his goals, working with him to ensure that he was using the system to its fullest capabilities.
IMP Planner was able to quickly deal with a large data dump from the new school, allowing Ryan to quickly understand the impact of this addition on Prince Regent Street Trust’s finances – as well as producing accurate and high-impact reports for different audiences. Ryan commented that “the reports that I can produce with IMP Planner help with inter-departmental discussions massively”.
Using Planner for the daunting task of adding a new school saved Ryan significant time. It also allowed him to keep on top of day-to-day tasks during this period of change. He told us that “only having to change one set of assumptions means that I can re-forecast the entire trust in minutes.” Ryan mused, “without Planner, I’m pretty sure I could employ at least six full-time apprentices. And none of them would have time to get bored!”
From the guides found in IMP Help, our extensive online knowledge base, to day-to-day queries and concerns answered by our responsive support team, Ryan emphasised that “the support on offer is truly essential to me being able to do what I do”. Impressed by the level of support, Ryan told us that “the knowledge base is really an excellent resource”.
Finally, Ryan’s confidence and trust in IMP Planner have also reduced the stress that comes along with being the sole financial officer of a multi-academy trust. He revealed: “Using the system definitely has a welfare benefit of sorts. I have full trust that the system is as good as it is. It certainly relieves that burden of worry. I never wake up in a cold sweat needing to check my figures. And if I did, because it’s all online, there’s nowhere I couldn’t check it.”
So, what’s next?
When we spoke about Ryan’s upcoming projects and concerns, the conversation turned to integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP).
Ryan told us: “I didn’t believe that ICFP in its form was fit for primary purpose. It’s something I’ve had in the back of my mind to look at in two or three years’ time. But IMP have brought it front of mind now,” he said. Ryan concluded that, “[IMP Software] are always one step ahead, providing exactly what’s needed at just the right time. They could probably take a year off and still be ahead of everyone else!”
Case study developed: April 2023.