At the start of the final half term of this school year we look at the EFA’s calendar and at some of the announcements in the last few weeks.
EFA Calendar For The Final Half Term
We start this blog with our regular look at the EFA’s plans – see the EFA Exchange for more information.
31 May Publication: Academies Accounts Direction 2015 to 2016 – Academy trusts are required to submit to EFA their audited financial statements and auditor’s management letter for the year ending 31 August 2016 by 31 December 2016, using the Accounts Direction as a guide.
10 June Event: Academy trusts’ budget forecast return webinar – This webinar takes place at 3pm on 10 June, and provides an opportunity to ask questions on completing your budget forecast return. A recording will also be made available after the webinar.
30 June Publication: Academies Financial Handbook 2016 – EFA publishes the Academies Handbook 2016, which comes into effect on 1 September 2016.
18 July Publication: Academies’ August accounts return – Academy trusts are required to submit accounts returns for the year ending 31 August 2016 by 31 January 2017. Trusts should complete this return if it is preparing financial statements as at 31 August 2016, and has academies open at that date.
18 July Reminder: New academy trusts need to contact the EFA Academies Enquiries Service by 9 September 2016 if they intend to defer their first set of accounts or to prepare dormant accounts.
31 July Deadline: Academy trusts’ budget forecasts due 31 July 2016 – Academy trusts open at 31 March 2016 must submit budget forecasts by 31 July 2016, using the online form and guide. For trusts opening on or after 1 April 2016, the deadline is 6 weeks from receiving the funding letter or 31 July, whichever is later.
Accredited Training Partner for PS Financials
School Business Services have now achieved accredited Training Partner status for PS Financials.
PS Financial is the leading accounting package for academies, and our accreditation means that we are able to fully support schools and academies moving to the new software. We are also working to create links to our own budget planning software to provide a complete accounting and financial planning solution to schools and academies.
If you are interested in seeing how School Business Services and PS Financials can work for you contact us on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2.
Local Authority Pay Award 2016 – 2018
It has now been confirmed that an agreement has been reached on local authority pay. The agreement, for workers in local government, schools and most academies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, includes one per cent wage rises for each of the next two years, and more for lower paid employees.
SBS Online had already been updated with the anticipated changes – click here
Effective Financial Management In Schools
In recent weeks we have discussed what steps schools and academies might take to be more financially effective (click here). The EFA has now published its first set of case studies that show how schools and academies have developed effective financial management, resulting in better educational outcomes for children and young people.
The studies cover:
- Three-year budget plan helps schools to address budget deficit
- School reaps financial benefits from efficient timetabling
- Creating a leaner and more effective senior leadership team
- Academy becomes more efficient by tackling staff absence rates
- Finding efficiencies in support staff spending
- School business manager peer support improves financial health
EFA Announces Capital Allocations To Schools & Academies
Earlier in the year the school condition allocations and devolved formula capital allocations for 2015 to 2018 were announced. Details of the allocations for all schools and academies can be found here.