The Latest from the ESFA

Finance Forum

As schools continue to deal with the ongoing difficulty, that is Covid-19, it is important that any update when it comes to school finances, is made aware of and publicised.

As can be expected during a time like this, changes to deadlines and protocols are going to be hard to keep track of so below is a short update on some recent announcements from the ESFA.

Change to the Academies Planning Calendar

Just the one amendment here regarding the change of date for the land and building collection tool. The form will now go live on the 15th December 2020 with a submission deadline of 28th January 2021.

For those trusts who have had academies join them after 1st September, do not worry about them as their previous trust will include them. This form must be completed online and can also be recalled if any changes need to be made which certainly helps during these busy times and with our mind on more things than normal. Another key change is that this year you can attach documents directly to an occupancy and will not be able to create one without at least two documents attached to it. Therefore its’s imperative that you have all documents to hand prior to starting the submission.

This change can be seen on the revised calendar.

Click here to download

Academies Accounts Return Form Now Live

The academies accounts return form is now live. The deadline for this submission is the 23rd February 2021. It is worth making sure that your external auditor details are correct as they are the only person permitted to submit this. The ESFA will be running a number of webinars if you need any questions answering and the link for those can be found here.

Deadline for CIF Bid

An important deadline for some coming up early in the new year and that is the deadline for CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) applications. 12 noon, 14th January 2021 is that date however the deadline for setting up an account to apply is 12 noon, 10th December 2020. This year’s criteria again favour bids from applicants with strong governance and good financial management. Guidance on the application process can be found here.

Don’t forget that the Finance team at SBS are here to keep you up to date with these announcements as well as provide assistance, so if you have any questions, please contact the service desk on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2, or email

Further SBS support for your school or MAT

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Arbor’s Brand New ‘My Homepage’!

Arbor’s Brand New ‘My Homepage’!

Arbor are rolling out My Homepage – a brand new, personalised homepage for teaching and pastoral staff. There’s also improvements to the main Arbor homepage for all staff roles!

Also, have you booked onto our FREE Virtual Schools Data Forum next week, featuring Arbor and more?

See our latest MIS blog for details.


SBS Schools Data Forum – Free to attend online

SBS Schools Data Forum – Free to attend online

Our next Schools Data Forum for primary schools will be held online at 10:00-12:00 on Tuesday 24th November 2020.

See our latest MIS blog for details, agenda and bookings.


F&B – Essential Skills for the SBM/School Bursar Q&A Session for Maintained Schools

F&B – Essential Skills for the SBM/School Bursar Q&A Session for Maintained Schools

We at SBS have created an Essential Skills for SBM/School Bursars, Q&A Session.

See our latest blog for details on how to book your place.


ULN Requests

Please note we are holding a Schools Data Forum on Tuesday 24th November – find out more > The ULN Service has been de-commissioned You can no longer submit ULN requests via Secure Access S2S. Previously CTF files could only be submitted to LRS via the S2S system, which would in turn ‘translate’ these files […]


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