Much To Do In March

Posted  3rd March 2017

After ‘Marching On’ - Hare’s another blog to ensure you are the best informed person in your school on finance and business matters.

From The EFA

The EFA have reminded academies, that after extending its deadline, all Academy Accounts Returns (AAR) should have been uploaded by 28 February. Those academies that have still to submit their AAR should contact the EFA and explain the reason for this. The majority of academies will have received details of their funding for 2017/2018 by the end of February – if you have not done so yet, check the EFA Document Exchange under Revenue Funding - 2017/18. Those academies funded on pupil estimates should review the updated information released about Pupil Number Adjustments. The EFA has updated guidance on Post 16 support in areas such as the 16-19 Bursary, Free Meals & Residential Support. See EFA Bulletin 164 for links. 

National Funding Formula

You are reminded that the consultation deadline is 22 March 2017. See our blog at the start of the year for links to the consultation documents. The CEO of the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) took park in a debate on Radio 5 Live recently about the impacts the new formula may have on schools. The debate starts at around 34 minutes into the programme. NASBM has also produced tools to help you think about the main issues and respond to the consultation – click here. 

6% Savings

Whitehall departments have been told by the treasury to draw up plans to make up to 6% savings under a cross-government efficiency drive.  Announcing its plans a treasury spokesperson said that government was committed to a modern, high-quality public sector that delivers the services people need in the most efficient way possible. Departments will need to produce two plans for the treasury – one setting out 3% savings and one for a 6% reduction. However, the NHS and core schools budgets are protected areas of spending and do not come under the scope of the review. The treasury also said it recognised the spending pressures on social care services, therefore any efficiencies found within the Department for Communities and Local Government would be reinvested in care provision.

Pension Scheme Annual Returns

As the employer, academies are reminded that they will need to provide annual returns to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and their Local Government Pension Scheme. Academies should ensure the Pension Schemes have up to date contact information, this will ensure documentation and reminders are sent to the most appropriate person. In addition TPS advise that academies should ensure the following documents have been submitted – unless you have moved to Monthly Data Collection (all academies will move to this method of collection before the end of 2017)
  • Ensure your starters are up to date by completing the TR6 template
  • Ensure your leavers are up to date by completing the TR8 template
  • Check any outstanding error files, amend and upload the data
Local Government Pensions Schemes will also require information from academies in April. This will vary from scheme to scheme so please ensure you are aware of what is required from you.

Homes & New Schools

The recent white paper setting out plans to build up to 275,000 new homes a year (Fixing Our Broken Housing Market), noted that developments should be about communities and not just homes. This includes shops, transport links, parks and, of course, schools. Developers are being asked to ensure that education schemes are included in the early planning of large developments. As well as making good business sense for the developers, such plans will assist with the social cohesion of the communities. Through our work overseas under our international entity SBS Education, we have experience of helping investors and developers establish new schools; and would welcome the opportunity to discuss proposals in the UK.


This week the issues surrounding eSafety and sex education in schools has made the news. Colleagues in our ICT Support team have been aware of this issue for some time (see blog), and have a number of products that can help you with issues of eSafety.