John Somerset - Financial Governance for Independent Schools

PL # 14161

  • Starting on 25 Mar 2024
  • Cancellation permitted until 19 Mar 2024
  • Registration Close : 19 Mar 2024

Delivery Format : Mixed Mode

Pricing Normal
For Members $165
For Catholic Members $330
Proceed with Registration
    Registrations open to :
  • AISWA Member Schools
  • Catholic Member Schools


This presentation will include two consecutive sessions as follows:

Session 1
John will present and explain how to use the Somerset Education reports to assist school leaders in making important, informed decisions around financial governance.

John will assist attendees to understand the Schools Financial Survey which has been operating for over twenty-five years, using consistent definitions based on Government annual Financial Questionnaires, Staff census, and audited accounts. 

Session 2:
John will take you through an interactive session on how to interpret your own Somerset Financial Survey results and/or look at other examples.  This workshop-style session will demonstrate:

  1. How to analyse past and future changes in school performance to highlight trends and prevent financial stress.
  2. Discuss some of the 60 financial ratios included in the key indicator reports and how to interpret and identify strengths and weaknesses.

Attendees are encouraged to bring the following to this presentation:

  • Somerset Education reports (if available for your school)
  • 2022 audited financial statements
  • 2023 latest financial statements 


John Somerset

John Somerset

I have 37 years’ experience in chartered accounting with 28 years specialising in the financial governance of non-government schools. My goal is to provide insight and reduce financial worries for school governors, principals, business managers and the broader sector - helping to govern with confidence. My experience in school governance and training includes financial viability/sustainability assessment and improvement, capital expenditure and borrowing analysis, budgeting, board reporting, and using key performance indicators (KPI's) to inform decisions and manage financial risk. 

For twenty-eight years, I have operated the Financial Survey for Schools (FSS) in Australia and New Zealand. About 700 schools participate each year with 10 out of 10 recommending it to others. Participation in the FSS helps owners, governors, principals, and business managers access simple, factual, trend and comparative financial information to identify changing circumstances plus areas that will have the greatest impact on improved financial performance.  

My 2017 masters research thesis identified a range of financial, non-financial, attributes of a financially sustainable non-government school. I am currently extending this research with a PhD to predict financial sustainability.  

Career highlights include serving as an industry expert in the financial governance of schools - helping establish a financial viability framework for the industry. Other highlights include director of Independent Schools Queensland for eighteen years  (seven years as chair), and director of Independent Schools Australia in which I sought to make a positive contribution to the broader community.

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John Somerset - Financial Governance Day

Date / Time

25 Mar 2024 Starts: 08:00 Finishes: 12:00

Delivery Format : Mixed Mode

AISWA Training Room Suite 1

PL Hours : 4.00

Learning Area

  • Administration
  • Governance
  • Leadership

School Area

  • Leadership
  • Business Manager

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