Tempus Fugit

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Time Flies! Its July already and time to dust off the trophies for sports day, get out the tombolas for the summer fete and say good bye to staff leaving at the end of term.

There will be transition days too, something that is now effecting the whole country.

In this week’s blog we look at what has been published by the EFA and consider the role of teaching schools in delivering ‘Education Excellence for Everywhere’.

From The EFA

In recent weeks the EFA have released a number of documents that schools and academies will need to consider moving forward.

  • Academies Accounts Direction – Information to support Academy Trusts in preparing their annual accounts has been released. ( more details below).
  • Pupil Premium Allocations for 2016/2017 – The EFA calculates the funding allocation using January 2016 school census data and looked-after children numbers from the March 2015 children looked-after return (also known as SSDA903).Details of the conditions of grant are also published, these show the conditions that academies and local authorities must meet to be able to receive the pupil premium. Click here for further details.
  • Universal Infant School Meals – Allocations and conditions of grant have now been published. Click here for further details. The allocations table shows the payment schools and academies will receive as a final payment for 2015-2016 plus a payment for the first two terms of 2016 to 2017 based on the provisional allocation (Academies will receive their payment on 6 July 2016).
  • Academies Budget Forecast – A final reminder that academies must complete and submit their 2016/2017 budget forecast to the EFA by 31 July 2016. Budgets need to be approved by the full governing body, and any academies planning to submit a deficit budget must notify the EFA as set our in the Academies Financial Handbook. The EFA have provide templates and guidance notes to assist business managers (Click Here). Academies using SBS Online can obtain further support from our Help Desk - 0345 222 1551 • Option 5

Academies Accounts Direction

The Academies Accounts Direction is the reference pack for academy trusts and their auditors to use when preparing and auditing financial statements for the accounting period ending on 31 August annually.

The recently published Direction for 2015/2016 Accounts is based on the new 2015 Charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), which most academies will be using for the first time. The EFA have produced a guide to assist academies moving from the old to the new standards (Click Here)  which should be read alongside the Academies Accounts Direction (Click Here).

As you read the documents you will become aware of changes in the following areas:

  • Remuneration disclosures
  • Reserves policy
  • Risk management
  • Significant events
  • Treatment of software licences
  • Property valuations
  • Operating leases
  • LGPS pension valuations
  • Changes to the accounting policies may also impact on the point at which income is recognised in the accounts.

In some areas you may summarize figures in a different way to the way you did previously, for example Governance Costs are no longer a separate note but included within Support Costs. Where this occurs you will need to re-work 2014-2015 figures to provide the comparative data.

Academy auditors should be the first port of call for guidance – but if we can help, call us on 0345 222 1551

School Led Systems

It is now some weeks since the Education White Paper, Education Excellence Everywhere .  A number of school leaders are now looking at the opportunities that the changes may bring. A recent blog from the National College for Teaching & Learning (NCTL) discusses the opportunities for teaching schools and their alliances. Their analysis is that:

‘The white paper makes it clear that the role of teaching schools in school improvement is expanding and emphasises that teaching schools should have a particular focus on increasing their work in areas of the country where access to school-led support is more limited.’

The NCTL acknowledges that there are areas in the country where schools are under achieving and do not have access to the school led resources to help them improve. As a result they are looking to increase the spread of existing alliances. The belief is that:

‘By September 2017, funding for school improvement will increasingly be routed through teaching schools and system leaders. This means that the best schools will have 3 roles to play in supporting schools.

  1. helping schools move from good to great
  2. preventing underperformance in vulnerable schools
  3. tackling underperformance by turning around failing schools

 Teaching schools will not only be expected to provide support to other schools but also to provide robust challenge. This will mean greater accountability for teaching schools in how they perform this role and use the funding.’

 For the full article click here.


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