Our History

Baines Cutler was founded in 2013 by Tim Baines and Rhiannon Cutler. Although a relatively new business it was many years in the making. It is built on the simple idea that consultancy and advice is best when it is based on the firm foundations of information and facts, not just on subjective opinions. It is the fact that Baines Cutler has created and has access to the most authoritative information in our chosen areas which makes Baines Cutler unique.

The idea for the first financial benchmarking survey began in 1992 when Tim Baines, as a partner at PwC, realised that schools had no useful external information to help them benchmark their financial results and that the sector had no generally accepted ratios or KPIs. The first Charity SORP in 1995 gave Tim the opportunity to remedy this as it codified school accounts for the first time. The first survey was published in 1996 and as they say the rest is history.

The survey is now the official survey for the sector, supported by ISC, the ISBA and all the other associations. Many of the ratios established in the early days have now become the foundation KPIs for the sector and provide the way in which most schools now view and compare their finances. We work with the ISBA's finance committee each year to ensure the survey addresses current "hot topics".

The Teacher Salary and Benefits Survey came about following a pilot project in 2009 and takes place every 3 years. In 2017, it was extended to teacher workload and the survey now provides the sector's only detailed survey of these subjects, with participation reaching over 500 schools. In 2012 and 2014 we carried out surveys of Fundraising and Development and these were so successful that we sold out of the surveys and the reprints!

The growth of survey work, together with the advisory and consultancy work which followed, encouraged Tim and Rhiannon to leave CCW in 2013 and set up Baines Cutler. The firm has become the key source of financial benchmarking to the sector and the data is used widely, including by ISC in its affordability guidance to schools. Since setting up Baines Cutler, we have also extended our services to anonymised parental earnings surveys, teacher pay consultancy, strategic reviews and teacher workload. We both enjoy the challenge of working with schools and we would like to thank all our friends in the sector who continue to support us, encourage us and make this possible. We never stand still and are always open to new ideas - so please get in touch or keep in touch!

Tim Baines            


Rhiannon Cutler

Baines Cutler – the first place for schools to look for information and solutions