On The Horizon


With the first named storm of the year having rolled across the horizon, in this week’s blog we look at a number of issues set to impact on schools.

Future School Funding

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has produced data to estimate the levels of cuts schools across England and Wales can expect over the coming years. Schools and academies may find this useful in planning budgets over the next 3 – 5 years. School Business Services is not endorsing the data provided – and schools should use their own judgement about future funding for their establishment.

The NUT used 2015/16 funding as its baseline. They calculated the impact of the cash freeze on per pupil income, the proposed cut to the Education Services Grant and the proposed introduction of a National Funding Formula. They included a Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) as this has been in place since the government started moving towards a National Funding Formula in 2013/14.

See – www.schoolcuts.org.uk

Condition Improvement Fund 2017 to 2018

If you’re intending to apply to the Condition Improvement Fund for the first time, please ensure you’ve registered to use the portal by 5pm 30 November 2016. The deadline for all applicants to submit an application is 12pm (noon) 9 December 2016.

See our earlier blog for more information on this fund.

Energy Efficiency Fund

The EFA has launched, in partnership with Salix Finance, a new energy efficiency loan fund for sixth form colleges and academies. The Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is available to sixth form colleges applying for loans to carry out capital works that improve energy efficiency.

Regional Academy Growth Fund

The EFA has recently announced the regional academy growth fund to support successful trusts to grow and to improve standards in underperforming schools.

There are three categories of eligibility:

  • Sponsor capacity
  • Multi-Academy Trust growth
  • New hubs

Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) will prioritise applications that meet the specific needs in their region and of opportunity areas where applicable. Click here for more information, and how to contact your local RSC for more information.

Schools’ Safeguarding Responsibilities

The use of technology is now a significant component of many safeguarding issues, including radicalisation, child exploitation and sexual predication. As of 5th September, online monitoring has become a mandatory legislative requirement as part of new updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE). Guidance calls for all schools to employ effective online safeguarding mechanisms to empower children and protect them from online dangers. Compliance will now be inspected as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

Please see our ICT Blog about support systems for schools.


SIMS Training Courses in 2017  

Dates for our 2017 SIMS courses are available to view now on our SIMS Training page. As well as some of the ever-popular, regular SIMS training courses you will also find some new courses on offer: SIMS Interventions – Capita will be introducing the new Interventions area of SIMS in Spring 2017. This will be […]


Online Monitoring and Schools’ Safeguarding Responsibility

As of the 5th September, solely using web filters to protect students from harmful content is no longer sufficient and schools are expected to be more proactive in monitoring online activity. An increased emphasis on online safety means that schools are now expected to implement an appropriate and effective monitoring system, which adheres to the […]


Personal Tax Account

Don’t have the time to call HMRC and wait on hold for what feels like forever to check your tax code or inform them of a change of address? HMRC have now created the personal tax account service which allows you to check the main information they hold for you. This service enables you to: […]


The SIMS Autumn Release is available now

If you are a school for whom we run the upgrade, we will be contacting you to arrange a convenient date. Important Information regarding this release School Census – this release will remove the Autumn pupil census functionality, therefore you should ensure that your Census has been authorised and successfully submitted prior to the upgrade […]


Important changes to Microsoft UK licensing

From 2017, Microsoft will increase the pricing of all UK licences Why the increase and how much is it? To keep their British pricing in line with European Union pricing, Microsoft has announced a 13% increase in licensing for onsite software and a 22% increase for cloud services. This will take effect from January 1st […]


Governance and Financial Healthchecks

Academy Accounting Officers will have received a letter from the CEO of the Education Funding Agency, Peter Lauener, reminding them of the principles that those holding public office should adhere to. This is perhaps a timely reminder for all senior leaders and governors – both academies or local authority maintained schools. Lord Nolan set out seven […]


SBS Online – November Update

The latest update to SBS Online contains some improvements to parent planners of Multi-school trusts, new rounding options and a new set of tooltips on parent planners. Trust Schools In the ‘Multi-school’ module, under ‘Trust schools’, users will be able to see the name of the published budget for each school. Parent planners will now […]


Children Missing Education – New statutory guidance from the DfE

On 1st September 2016, new statutory procedures were introduced by the DfE with regard to Children Missing Education. The DfE Children Missing Education statutory guidance document states that: All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they […]


Departmental News

The DfE/EFA have released information that Senior Leaders and Governors will want to consider. Condition Improvement Fund Academies and sixth-form colleges can apply to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) for capital funding from the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). The core priority for CIF is to address significant condition need, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and […]


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