Building for the Future

The Summer Term highlights the need for all academies and schools to plan for the future. School Development Plans for the 2014-2015 academic year should be finalised, with academies having to submit their budget projections for the next academic year before the end of term.

As well as revenue – academies and schools need to consider what capital developments may be needed over the next 3 – 5 years, and start planning now.

This week’s blog looks at some of the announcements around these issues and has details on how School Business Managers can be supported with their own professional development.

Priority School Building Programme

On 1 May 2014, David Laws announced the Government’s plans for a second phase of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The new phase, valued at around £2 billion, will run over the next Spending Review period, from 2015 to 2021.

The Department for Education has published initial application guidelines for this new phase PSBP, and further information on the application process will follow shortly. Applications will need to be submitted before the summer break, exact timescales to be announced soon.

For further details visit:

Academies Capital Maintenance Fund (ACMF)

The ACMF 2014 to 2015 round 1 was open to academies to apply for up to 2 projects to tackle building condition or to expand facilities. In total, 2,015 academies applied and following the assessment and moderation process, 1,388 projects at 1,134 academies have been awarded approximately £393 million.

Further information about applying for round 2 will be available in late spring 2014. Funding allocations will be announced in October 2014. ACMF round 2 funding will be available to new academies that open after 1 December 2013. It will also be open to schools with an academy order signed on or before 1 June 2014.

For further details visit:

Your Views Are Being Sought By the DfE and EFA

The Department for Education is seeking views about how local authorities and academies can achieve ESG savings in the 2015 to 2016 financial year.

The Department for Education has launched consultation to look at simplifying the administration of academies funding.

The latest EFA customer survey is now open for you to give us your views about the service the EFA are providing to you.

See the Academies E-Bulletin dated 30 April for further details:

Support From DfE

EFA has launched a series of online presentations and interactive webinars to help you complete your financial returns.

  • 15th May 2pm; March accounts returns: how to complete your March accounts returns – for academy trusts that did not prepare financial statements at 31 August 2013 or opened new academies between 1 September 2013 and 31 March 2014
  • 9th June 2pm; Budget forecasts: how to complete your 2014 to 2015 budget forecast returns – for all academies
  • 15th July 11am; Financial Framework: understanding the academies financial framework, including the academies financial handbook and the accounts direction - for all academies
  • 15th July 2pm; Audit: a session aimed at academy auditors – for all academies

Register now by visiting:

Support from School Business Services

School Business Services provide a number of training opportunities to support Academies and Schools. Over the coming months the following courses have been scheduled. Most courses will take place in both Central London and Poole – but if there is a cluster of academies and schools in your area that would like this training then please contact us. We normally require a minimum of 6 delegates to enable us to carry out the course at your school.

  • Finance Courses
    Courses relating to Capita FMS Accounts Systems
    Courses relating to RM Accounts Systems
    New Finance Officer Induction Courses
    Budget Monitoring and Reporting to Governors
    School Financial Value Standards
    Academy Financial Returns – Introduction to all
    Academy Year End and Annual Accounts Return
    Business Continuity Planning
    Academy Conversions
  • SBS Online Courses
    Introduction and Refresher Training
    Salary Monitor Training
    Budget Monitor Training
  • MIS Courses
    SIMS Personnel
    Preparing for a New Academic Year
    SIMS SEN User
    Staff Performance Management
    Maintaining the Timetable
    Exam Results Analysis

For further details of all the courses and how to contact School Business Services visit:

National College – School Business Management Programmes

The National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) are changing how school business management (SBM) programmes will run in the future. It will provide opportunities for the profession to take ownership of its leadership development and ensure that the role of school business managers remains as a critical element of effective school leadership and school improvement.

Content from the Certificate (CSBM), Diploma (DSBM) and Advanced Diploma (ADSBM) will be made freely available with the expectation that a number of training providers will run the programmes independently. NCTL will no longer manage the programmes and accreditation will be overseen by the Institute of Leadership and Management.

NCTL will also be launching a national scholarship scheme until 2016 to help school business managers access this accredited provision.

For more information visit:

If your organisation is interested in becoming a provider for SBM programmes, please email with the subject line ‘NCTL SBM programmes’.

SBS provides expert advice on all aspects of education finance, from service desk support to complete financial management. Learn more about how we can help your school.

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