Hello July

I am disappointed that my week away lasted longer than England’s world cup campaign. And like those England supporters who were expecting to manage their cash over several weeks, changes to the timing of income and expenditure can impact upon academies. This week we look at changes to the timing of payments from the EFA as well as what needs to be done this month.

From The EFA Business Planner

The EFA Business Cycle Wall Planner covers the Period from April 2014 to March 2015. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/efa-business-cycle. The tasks set for July are: Academies:

  • Submit their budget forecast return for 2014 to 2015 by 31 July
  • Closing date for applications for round 2 of the ACMF 2014 to 2015

EFA:

  • Confirms Pupil Premium allocations for 2014 to 2015 financial year
  • Pays the first of 4 pupil premium payments for 2014 to 2015 financial year
  • Pays first of 2 payments for 2014 to 2015 summer schools
  • Pays first of 2 revenue payments for universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) for September 2014 to March 2015
  • Publishes final post-16 funding guidance for 2014 to 2015 academic year
  • Hosts webinars (interactive online seminars) on the academies financial framework for academies (15 July, AM) and academy auditors (15 July)

EFA Academies E-Bulletin

The bulletin dated 19 June (visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/efa-e-bulletin-19-june-2014) has further information on the following areas:

  • Priority School Building Programme – application closing date 18 July 2014.
  • Risk Protection Arrangements (RPA) for academy trusts.
  • Online training for academies on financial returns and framework.

The EFA have also provided confirmation of the revised payment profile for next year, which will be in 12 equal instalments. You will need to factor this into your academy cash flow. If the change in funding results in cash flow issues for an academy, they should notify EFA at the earliest opportunity.

Academies will receive the first grant payment for Universal Infant free School Meals with their July payment – as you read this the money is probably already in your bank account. This payment should cover the first two terms of the academic year and is based upon pupil data from the January school census. Academies should remember to treat the grant as deferred income in their year-end accounts, so that it can be applied to expenditure in the next financial year.

Also based upon the January 2014 census are the Pupil Premium payments. The grant will be paid in quarterly instalments in July, October, January and April on the 4th working day of the month. An additional payment to ‘growing academies’ (those that added year groups after January 2014) will be made in April 2015 based on the autumn census. New free schools and academies should take all the steps they can to ensure they maximise the number of eligible pupils in the autumn census.

PE & Sport Grant payments will be made in October and May. Schools with 17 or more eligible pupils will receive £8,000 plus £5.00 per eligible pupil. Schools with fewer than 17 eligible pupils will receive £500 per eligible pupil. With different grants being paid at different times, and differently to previous years, academies will need to ensure they manage their cash flow. The finance consultants at School Business Services are happy to assist you with this. Call our Help Desk on 0845 300 8179 to make an appointment.

Performance Widget

The DfE is developing a performance widget that will contain headline measures of performance across all types of school. Its purpose is to standardise the way performance information is currently displayed on school websites and is in a visual form, which the DfE thinks will make it easier for parents to compare schools. To see the consultation document  and the proposal on how data should be presented, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/publishing-performance-measures-on-school-and-college-websites

National College

Those School Business Managers (SBMs) who you the resources of the National College for Teaching and Learning should be aware that resources have transferred to the GOV.UK site. The existing member site is due to close in September 2014, with materials transferring to The National Archives. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-college-for-teaching-and-leadership.

SBMs who are considering taking one of the SBM qualifications are reminded that a grant may be available through the School Business Management National Scholarship Fund. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/school-business-management-national-scholarship-fund

Sponsor Capacity Fund

A reminder that those academy sponsors who have not yet taken on responsibility for an open academy that the DfE will be accepting applications between 1 September and 31 October to its Sponsor Capacity Fund. More details at https://www.gov.uk/sponsor-capacity-fund.


Taking a short break

Stephen is having a short break so I’m afraid there’s no insightful post from him this week. I hope you’re not too disappointed, and please be assured that he will be back next week with his pearls of wisdom. If you have any particular topics you would like Stephen to cover, or burning questions you […]

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One Direction In Accounts Direction

In the week that One Direction played Wembley Stadium, we got the first chance to look at the Department for Education’s Accounts Direction for 2014. Whilst it is recommended that the 150 page document is circulated amongst Academy Accounting Officers, Business & Finance Managers and Trustees & Governors, in this week’s blog we will summarise […]

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Flaming June

For some the half term break will have provided time to re-charge the batteries before the final sprint finish to the end of the school year – I hope you were one of these. For academies this is also the final quarter in the financial year, with activity required to ensure everything is reported correctly […]

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