A theoretical framework

Educational mangers in secondary schools need to provide an effective staffing profile that delivers the planned curriculum as well as being efficient and offer good value for money. The central concept of Costing the Curriculum is the calculation of the Operational Staffing Need - T', for a given curriculum framework, management structure and non-contact time policy.


T = (1/ts )(P + f)(1 + q / ts) - (nt . q / ts)

For an explanation of terms and derivation see 'Operation Staffing Need'

The Operational Staffing Need can be used to quickly calculate the Staffing Variation, that is the difference between the staffing needs of the curriculum and the staffing actually available.

Remember that the staffing variation includes the effects of non-contact time, tutoring and actual management structures!

Staffing Variation Calculator

The staffing variation is the difference between the operational staffing need and actual staffing. A positive value indicates that additional staffing will be required to deliver the curriculum. A negative value that surplus staffing exists in the subject specialism.

Click on the following image of a Staffing Variation Calculator to produce a printable copyright free template. Paper orientation should be switched to landscape before printing.
Staffing Variation Calculator
A fully functional spreadsheet version of the staffing variation calculator can be downloaded free of charge along with an instruction pamphlet. Spreadsheet downloads will require Microsoft Excel version 97 or higher.

Staffing Variation Profile

The staffing variation values for all subjects can be plotted on a chart to produce a staffing variation profile. staffing variation chart

The staffing variation profile provides us with an at a glance overview of the match between the operational staffing needs of a proposed curriculum model and the current or proposed staffing available.

It is these variation values that provide us with the information that we need for both short term and long term recruitment strategies.

The negative values in the chart indicate the number of F.T.E. specialist teachers that can be lost from each subject without compromising the curriculum.

The positive values in the chart indicate the number of F.T.E. specialist teachers that need to be recruited in order to meet the demands of the curriculum.

Because of the nature of the operational staffing need calculation, these variation values take into account the impact on specialist staffing needs of the actual management structures, differential non-contact time and the demands of pastoral tutoring! In other words, there are no further adjustments to make to the staffing figures.

Timetable Blocking

Timetable blocking provides a theoretical basis for extending the concept of the operational staffing need to the construction of an optimum block timetable. The concept of optimum in this context includes the need to allow subjects to GROUP students in what ever manner is most appropriate for each curriculum area. The optimum size, in periods, for a timetable block is given by bcontext.


bcontext = bideal / (1 + q/ts + tnct / (n . P))

For a full explanation and derivation of this equation see the Time Blocking section.

Training and Professional Development

Professional development and training opportunities are available through Cornwall College National Training.

Dynamic Modeling

The staffing variation calculator is an invaluable tool for calculating operational staffing needs for a known curriculum model, non-contact time policy and school management structure. However, a far more powerful tool is required for dynamic modeling that allows us to match proposed curriculum frameworks to a financial budget and at the same time assess the impact on staff deployment analysis and staffing variation analysis of changes to the planned curriculum, staffing structure and use of non-contact time. Cost2001 software has been developed to meet this need.

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