The education sector is changing at a rapid pace. Exciting advancements in technology and innovation are influencing models of delivery for all education providers.
Evolving funding models, cultural change and workforce planning are other significant shifts that are bringing about both challenge and opportunity for education providers.
Our clients at every level of the sector, from childcare right through to vocational and higher education, in both private and public sector, are responding to these current challenges and preparing for the future. Grant Thornton’s full breadth education sector team provides audit, tax and consulting expertise to enable our clients to realise the opportunities inherent in these advancements.
Keeping up the pace
The role of the educator is changing, as students are empowered to take control of their learning through customisation and anywhere, anytime learning. We work with education departments and education providers to anticipate these changes by evaluating and futureproofing their programs. For example, we recently worked with a State education department to develop, pilot and evaluate a new engagement model for school students who are considered a high risk of disengagement. We also work with clients on their organisation strategy alignment and operating model improvement processes to achieve their mission and goals. Our technology advisory team works with clients to improve the student experience using innovative digital solutions and helps to improve the efficiency of the organisation’s operations through the effective use of new technologies.
Changing funding models
Changing funding models have brought challenges to those in the sector, with pressure to do more with less. We have helped our clients gain stakeholder confidence and achieve operational effectiveness through strategic use of public and private funds. We assist clients in gaining access to grants, finding allowances through FBT tax, and gaining transparency and compliance through internal auditing. We work with universities to assist them in understanding their cost analytics, program delivery costs, and information needs to bring new life to their internal management reporting and decision making. We also have extensive experience in undertaking financial viability assessments of providers; both to assist government regulators in their assessment role and also to provide support and advice to registered training organisations (RTO’s), schools and other education providers seeking to enter the market.
Workforce planning including the attraction, retention and mobilisation of staff remains a key focus for the sector. We recently worked with a State education department on a project to introduce new teacher career classifications to remunerate and retain high performing teachers in the classroom. We also advise universities on introducing and updating salary packaging arrangements, tax effective management of payments to relocating staff – including to/from overseas, and remuneration structuring for senior appointments. One of our partners recently undertook a six month secondment working in a client’s HR department managing their internal Global Mobility team. We provide advice on remuneration tax, and living away from home allowance.
Our full-service education sector team provides comprehensive support with a suite of integrated services across audit, accounting, tax, financial advisory and consulting.
Global Public Sector Insights
For the UK Public Sector Insights, click here.
For the US report on the State of Higher Education in 2019, click here [ 7661 kb ].