School Finance Specialists

About me


I believe that a strategic financial plan can only lead to both educational and financial success if it starts with a deep understanding of pupils and vision.


I believe that a detailed annual budget only really works when it is part of a strategic plan, because all important changes take time to realise.

I believe that unless education and financial decisions are taking together, as a team, the risks will over-ride the opportunities.


I believe that there is a time for accuracy and detail and a time for big picture, horizon scanning and brave judgements and I know that education leaders have to do both.

I have a suite of tools to draw upon, and I also love creating something new together. I know that context is important and that every school is unique.


With over 30-years’ experience, I know the rules when it comes to school finance and have deep respect for those who dedicate their life to teaching.

Integrity is very important to me, so I will speak up if I see something that’s wrong. I will say if I’m not the right person to help you, and you can rest assured that if we do work together you will be in safe hands.

Strong Relationships

Working with others to make a bigger difference

As well as working directly with schools, academies and multi-academy trusts, I am often called upon to share my expertise more widely. Over the years, I have built strong relationships with Headteacher associations, Schools Forum representatives, local authorities, unions, professional and sector bodies, policy and research institutes, the DfE, universities and teaching schools. My recent direct experience in multi-academy trusts complements my policy work with the Confederation of School Trusts.  One way or another, I have my finger on the pulse of developments in school finance.

Susan Fielden

School Finance Specialist and Founder of Effervesce

I am a qualified accountant with over 30-years’ experience working with schools and education leaders.

After many years as strategic finance lead for education and children’s services in Somerset I joined the DfE to work on national funding policy for schools.

I established Effervesce during 2016 so that I could work with individual schools and trusts to improve the cost-effective use of resources for children.

Alongside that, I have been a CFO in one growing multi-academy trust and remain a Trustee in another. 

I work with the Confederation of School Trusts as their School Funding Policy Specialist and represent employers on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme Pension Board.


Over the years…

paul fielden

Business and management consultant

Paul has extensive experience in management consultancy and senior leadership in large organisations, bringing valuable knowledge of business practices.

Louise Miller

Business productivity

Louise has brought a wealth of expertise to ensure that the Effervesce office runs smoothly. Her on-going support helps to ensure clarity and focus.


Sam Ellis

Technical Adviser and research partner

Sam worked with Effervesce on school funding research as well as the development of tools to support schools in strategic planning.

Chris Beech

Educational Advisor

Chris lent his experience as a teacher and Headteacher to the development of tools and resources at Effervesce. 

Michael FIelden

Solutions Architect

Michael used his expertise to bring a range of technical improvements to a number of Effervesce tools.


What is important?

Team work

A strong team working together can lead change through challenging times


Limited resources are most effective when education and financial decision-making are connected



Understanding the system is vital in getting the most for our children and young people


Meaningful change takes time, yet the future is uncertain. Strategic planning requires courage, guesswork and an assessment of risk.

Big picture, small details

Knowing what you want to achieve is half the battle. The rest is knowing where to start and how to deploy time and money in the best way.


Proper processes

Efficient policies and processes help an organisation run smoothly and fairly. They don’t need to limit creativity and innovation.

Get In Touch