The Latest ESFA Update

ESFA update

The recent ESFA update has provided plenty of information concerning the 2020/21 academic year.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many an update concerning deadline and funding changes, and this continues in the first update since the break-up of schools for the summer holidays. Some of the key talking points in this bulletin include:

Academies Planning Calendar Released

A planner showing key dates for payments, publications and academy actions, for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Some of the key dates include:

  • 2020 BFR3Y deadline 29th September 2020 – please note we can support with this
  • Audited financial statements submitted from 15th October 2020
  • Spring school census January 2021
  • BFRO deadline May 2021
  • BFR3Y deadline July 2021

School funding arrangements 2021/22

Provisional funding allocations for 2021/22 confirmed. The allocations distribute the second year of the multi-billion school funding settlement that the Secretary of State for Education announced to Parliament on 3 September 2019. Core school funding is increasing by £2.6bn in 2020/21, and will increase by £4.8bn and £7.1bn in 2021/22 and 2022/23 respectively, compared to 2019/20. In addition, the recent increase in pension costs for teachers, worth £1.5bn a year will continue.

The aim of this information is to provide certainty of future funding to schools and local authorities. Schools can also apply for exceptional funding to cover specific unavoidable costs incurred by schools due to coronavirus (COVID-19) between March and July that cannot be met from existing resources. Schools will also benefit from the £1bn ‘catch-up’ package for the 2020/21 academic year to directly tackle the impact of the disruption that COVID-19 has caused.

Dedicated schools grant 2020/21

The grant is paid in support of the local authority’s schools budget. It is the main source of income for the school’s budget with 25 payments being made throughout the year. The latest updates reflect the change in dates for the payments as well as the conditions of the grant.

If you have any questions, please contact the service desk on 0345 222 1551 • Option 2, or email financeservicedesk@schoolbusinessservices.co.uk.


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Letter to Accounting Officers

Letter to Accounting Officers

The ESFA have released their letter to accounting officers in academy trusts. This is the first letter distributed since April and a lot has happened in that time…

See our latest blog for details.

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PE and Sport Premium for schools confirmed

PE and Sport Premium for schools confirmed

It has been announced by the Education Secretary that schools in England will benefit from £320 million from the PE and Sport Premium during the 2020/21 academic year.

See our latest blog for details.

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Academies Financial Handbook 2020 Released

Academies Financial Handbook 2020 Released

The ESFA have released their latest version of the Academies Financial Handbook which comes into effect from 1st September 2020.

See our latest blog for details.

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An update on the Internal Audit

An update on the Internal Audit

The ESFA has made it a requirement in their latest handbook that internal scrutiny in academy trusts must take place on a yearly cycle. To help with this, SBS can remote into systems to perform checks and ensure that important discussions take place when needed.

See our latest blog for more information.

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Updated Academies Chart of Accounts

Updated Academies Chart of Accounts

An updated chart of accounts has been released for Academies by the Department for Education for use in the academic year 2020/21. This includes a small amount of changes to the previous set released in May 2019.

See our latest finance blog for more information.

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A round-up of our remote school finance support

A round-up of our remote school finance support

This blog reflects on the ways we’ve worked with schools since the closures and provides finance management hints and tips, with some free FAQ videos for staff CPD.

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Academies BFRO cancelled

Academies BFRO cancelled

We’ve provided an update on submitting returns to the ESFA in 2020.

See our latest Finance & Business blog for details.

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Coronavirus financial support available

Coronavirus financial support available

The Department for Education (DfE) has provided guidance on a financial support plan running until the end of the 2019/20 summer term allowing the schools to focus on the vital part they are playing at this difficult time.

See our latest Finance & Business blog for details.

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