Schools 2019-02-07T11:58:12+00:00

Schools – Drive down your costs

Most schools have never heard of Esphera because most schools do not go looking for mutual optimisation services, they go looking for cheaper and cheaper insurance. Most schools do however, want to get the best possible financial outcome to offset their staff absence costs and Esphera can help whoever runs the mutual scheme achieve that outcome for the majority of schools. So how do we do that? Basically by optimising mutual funds, making them work efficiently, and we do that by making them commercially sustainable, providing a high level of service benefits for the least possible costs.

If you are considering your options for renewal time, then why not have a read of our Schools’ Renewal Consideration Guide – just click the button below

Renewal Guide

Mitigating Staff Absence Costs – Your Choices

In other words you pay the costs and take the risk yourself, and when you have a bad year you have to take it on the chin. Can be very cost effective if you are lucky but if you are unlucky then you can suffer a massive hit to your school’s budget. One thing you can be sure of, you will definitely have absence, the question is “How Much?”. A risky strategy unless you are a very large school or academy!
This allows you to transfer the risk to others through the commercial insurance market. An excellent safeguard against excessive costs but can have restrictions and you will pay over and above the amount of perceived risk to enable the commercial insurers to return a profit, pay brokers and underwriters costs and premiums, and have insurance premium tax (IPT) added on top. Over the long term you can expect to pay out much more than you receive back, in fact you are likely to be paying at least 30% more than you need to for a given level of benefit. To see why
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Has the benefits of commercial insurance without the extra costs. Therefore this should be the most cost effective way to cover your costs. However, in reality local authorities have stretched resources and funding and it is not always possible for the schemes to be run or optimised as well as they could be. Therefore your contributions can be uncompetitive or unrealistic and in time the scheme can become underfunded, or end up carrying disproportionate risks with the well performing schools paying over the odds. Eventually this can result in the demise of the scheme as administrators find it too difficult to manage the scheme, and schools find it uncompetitive. To read more on mutuals
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What is the answer?

For Larger Schools

They can normally cover staff absence with other staff, so for short term absence they could self-finance, however it makes sense to cover long term absences with some form of contingency measure as these are the absences that really hit budgets for six. Therefore join a scheme where you can choose a high number of excess days, that way you’ll be covered when you need it most, but will keep your contributions to a minimum.

For Smaller Schools

For smaller schools who find it difficult to cover absences themselves, membership of a contingency facility of some description is the sensible and practical order of the day. Clearly the best option is to be in a mutual fund but it must be well managed and appropriately risk assessed like a commercial fund otherwise the scheme will eventually fail or offer poor value.

Understanding Why Mutuals Really Are Your Best Choice

If you cannot self-finance, we know with our years of experience that without a shadow of doubt  mutual staff absence schemes are the most efficient and cost effective option for most schools. But you may need some convincing

Compare Options…

Sometimes mutuals do not work well and there are reasons , but we will enable a mutual scheme to overcome these problems so that it is absolutely the first choice.

Find Out Why…

So now you know that a mutual will work for you, you’ll want the best possible mutual and that will be an Esphera controlled mutual.

Why Esphera…

Now you understand and want to join a mutual scheme – Your Options

  • Join it if it is competitive compared with commercial providers.
  • If it is not competitive encourage the scheme administrators at your authority to use our specialist Absence and Claims Management System to lower the costs, lower the risk, increase scheme stability and longevity.
  • Your authority will probably never go looking for a system such as this because they do not realise they need one, or are too busy to think they could run their existing scheme more effectively. Your current scheme may run well, i.e be in surplus, as this is the normal measure of success for local authorities .However, you should be aware that it can normally be managed for a lower overall cost with an improved level of service if that is important to you.
  • Get together with other schools and encourage your local authority to start a scheme. They may resist as there are costs involved and they may not have the necessary actuarial experience. If that is the case they can use our system to alleviate these problems and it will allow them to run a scheme for you as efficiently as possible. We are constantly assisting local authorities set up new schemes so that the rules, benefits and contributions are ideally formulated to make the scheme an obvious choice for all. Your savings will more than cover the costs of them running a scheme.
  • If your authority has absolutely no intention of running a scheme or they have barred you (some schemes exclude academies for example), then perhaps you have or could form a schools’ mutual organisation or utilise a purchasing consortium (if available) and we can then help that organisation operate a staff absence scheme. These “group mutuals” are the ideal means of setting up a scheme as their sole focus is in providing better service and value to schools whereas other bodies may have a conflict of interest and need to reward themselves as well.
  • Alternatively, we can offer a shared service centre option whereby we run your scheme for you with the help of other parties to safeguard your money. This normally costs slightly more than getting your authority to run a scheme but it is still an extremely cost effective means of saving you money overall and ensures you have back up for the time when you need it most. We do not act as an insurer but purely as an administrator of your scheme so your funds stay entirely within the control of a trusted third party. Please contact us for further details.
  • Lastly if, no one is prepared to set up a scheme for you then join our MiniMAX Mutual scheme. It’s hard to beat with 90% efficiency and “Equalised” contribution levels so no one loses out big time.  MiniMAX Mutual

How Esphera Can Help You

If you have no scheme at all, or want an alternative to a badly performing local authority scheme we can provide all the help and advice and resources necessary to start from scratch. As long as there are enough schools willing to participate, then we can find a way to create a suitable scheme giving you choice and flexibility at a minimal cost when compared like-for-like with other options. Contact Us to start the ball rolling.
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If you do not have access to a scheme in your area and you do not wish to start your own, then we can probably find an existing scheme that will accept new schools from your area. We have a number of scheme operators who are willing to consider other schools provided they can supply a reasonable history of their schools’ absence patterns.

Or you could join our MiniMAX Mutual scheme. It’s hard to beat with 90% efficiency and “Equalised” contribution levels so no one loses out.  MiniMAX Mutual

Make Enquiry
No matter how well the current fund runs, why not make it even better and allow Esphera to optimise it. We can review all the existing parameters for the scheme, suggest improvements and provide our unique software platform to handle all the key management processes to keep the costs as low as possible for the maximum school benefit. We will also make it fairer for all schools and create a scheme that is virtually impossible for commercial insurers to beat without resorting to loss-leading tactics that will cost you more in the long term. Just ask your scheme operator to contact us and we will gladly help.