Whilst speculation continues about what might be in the Queen’s speech and how this might impact on our work in schools and colleges (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32697243), in this week’s blog we cover some important areas that schools and academies need to comply with during the next few days and weeks.
Academy Budget Forecast Returns
Budget Forecast Returns for 2015/2016 must be submitted online by 31 July 2015, though the new online form may not be available until 30 June. In the meantime:
- The DfE have provided a work book and guidance to help academies to prepare their budget – See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-budget-forecast-form
- A webinar will take place on 17 June to support Academies – See https://registration.livegroup.co.uk/efa/
Points To Note
- All academy trusts are required to complete the 2015 to 2016 budget forecast return, and will need to complete the return on an accruals and prepayments basis.
- MATs must submit a consolidated return aggregating the budgetary information of each of their academies. If a new academy joins the MAT on or after the submission deadline of 31 July 2015 then a separate return for that academy will be required.
- You will need to input September 2014 to March 2015 actuals (unless the academy opened after 1 April 2015), and the year-end forecast outturn for 2014/2015 (the sheet will then calculate the figures for April to August)
- You will also need to input forecasts for September 2015 to March 2016 and April 2016 to August 2016 (the year-end forecast outturn will automatically be populated from these)
- Guidance describes what is required on each line of the forecast
How will the National Insurance changes affect my budget?
Teachers Pension Scheme
All Academies need to be aware that they must submit their End of Year Certificate by Friday 29 May 2015 – and if you are on half term that week it means you need to complete it this week. See our blog dated 4th May for further guidance.
In addition HMRC requires employers to provide data about members to their Pension Scheme Administrator (in this case TPS) by 6 July 2015. Academies need to ensure that they include all staff members including members who have previously opted out of the Scheme but are still employed and also members who are re-employed after retirement, and both full-time and part-time workers in their return. Also all pensionable allowances need to be reported.
Further guidance to Academies can be found at https://www.teacherspensions.co.uk/employers/tptv/tptv-ols-annual-return.aspx
Free Meals – 16 to 18
Maintained school and academy sixth forms are already required by the Education Act 1996 to provide free meals to disadvantaged students who are aged over 16. From September 2014, this requirement was extended to disadvantaged students following FE courses at the range of FE funded institutions.
EFA Guidance on this has recently been updated – See https://www.gov.uk/16-to-18-education-free-meals
The latest EFA Bulletin provides information on;
- Condition Improvement Fund feedback and appeals
- Post 16 funding report on the study of maths & english as a condition for student funding
- Compliance with school’s admission appeals and complaints
All schools are reminded that the census day this term is Thursday 21 May.
NASBM are providing a number of training sessions in June to assist School Business Managers. For further information on the following areas visit the NASBM website – http://www.nasbm.co.uk/Training.aspx
- Tight budgets and tough decisions
- Academy Budget Forecast Return
- An introduction to marketing your school
- IOSH accredited training for SBMs
- Financial skills refresher for primary SBMs and Finance Officers
- Income generation & writing successful funding applications
- How to survive and thrive in the role of school business manager
Welcome Pack For New Academies
Last September the EFA provided all new Academies with a welcome pack. This document has recently been updated.
At the time we commented that these was an extremely useful document for both new and existing Academies as it set out information on Funding Arrangements, Governance, Finance, Admissions and other matters that those employed by academies and academy governors need to be aware of.
If you have not looked at the material – is well worth the effort.