January Update


As academies struggled to submit their AAR by the January deadline here is some news you may have missed.

Academy Accounts Return

As extensively reported, Peter Lauener has written to all academies postponing the deadline for the Academies Accounts Return (AAR) until Tuesday 28th February. If academies continue to have issues they should first consult the Gov.UK website, and if they still have an issue email academies.questions@education.gov.uk.

Another Return

Hidden in announcements before Christmas, the EFA revealed that for 2017 all academy trusts are expected to produce two Budget Forecast Returns. The first will be in the spring, with the second coming in the autumn. In previous years a single forecast needed to be submitted by 31 July.

Following earlier criticisms from the National Audit Office, this change is part of the move to a new academies sector annual report and accounts which has been agreed with the HM Treasury and Parliament. No further details such as the level of data collection and submission deadlines are available at present but the EFA have said they will do their best to minimise the additional effort needed.

National Funding Formula

The debate on the National Funding Formula (NFF) is gathering pace. Many commentators have used both the National Audit Offices report on the additional costs schools face and the DfE consultation on the NFF, and drawn the conclusion that most schools will have less funding as a result of the introduction.

Whilst both issues are important, DfE consultation is about “how we slice the pie (the funding available) not the size of the pie”.

The following links may be of interest:

To see how your school might be affected – see School Cuts

Financial Health & Efficiency

Schools & academies are reminded of the support the EFA provides schools to improve financial health and efficiency. Further materials have recently been published, including case studies on how savings have been made through governance reforms and staffing re-structures. For full details click here.

In a similar vein, NASBM have also published a case study from one of its members to help the wider community. Click here.

Technical Education

The Prime Minister has set out plans for greater state intervention in the economy. Included in the pillars to support this strategy there are plans to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Mrs May announces that a new system of technical education will be built, benefiting the half of young people who choose not to go to university. It could include maintenance loans, the creation of institutes of technology in every region, and 15 core technical “routes” that equip students with the skills most needed by employers in their area. It is envisaged that new educational institutions will be built, along with other bodies, while some existing establishments will be strengthened.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, business secretary Greg Clarke said this idea was driven by the government’s belief the UK was falling behind nations like China when it comes to technical skills.

Click here for Sky News details

Academies Accounts Return

Academies having submitted their Annual Report and Accounts to the EFA by the 31 December 2016, will be aware that they must now submit their Academies Accounts Return by 31 January 2017. The EFA has introduced a new process for submitting the annual return (click here for further information). However, the EFA is aware that […]


Nearly Xmas – But Some Important Work Still To Do!

Many schools and academies are now in their final week before the Christmas break. But there are still important tasks to complete. Key Deadlines for Academies As we get to the end of the autumn term, there are a number of key actions that academies need to undertake – a summary of these can be […]


Changes to CFR & March Accounts Return

April is a busy period in all schools. For those in the maintained sector it is the start of a new financial year – with the EFA announcing changes to CFR. All academies are required to provide staff information to their pension scheme administrators. While, new and expanding academies are likely to have to complete […]


April Round Up

For those considering expanding their Academy Trusts or opening a new UTC the DfE have recently issued guidance. Primary Schools are reminded to publish details on how they spend their Sports Grant. And for all we start with a look at the EFA planner for the Summer term. From The EFA Planner April Fourth payment […]


Piloting Our Way Through January

The warmest winter on record so far in some parts of the country. And in schools and academies everywhere the pace is hotting up – accounting returns to be made and budgets for 2016/17 to be prepared. But first, our regular look at what the EFA have in store for us. EFA Calendar and News […]


The old year is over; a new one to begin

As the odds tumble on a white Christmas – too warm and wet – a final reminder to academies about year end activities. Submission of Audited Accounts by 31 December 2015 The deadline for academy trusts, including free schools, studio schools and University Technical Colleges (UTCs) to submit their audited accounts and auditor’s management letter […]


Upcoming Deadlines

There are a few things coming up that you might have missed in recent EFA bulletins – a couple require action in the next week. Post 16 Funding Speaking to schools and academies with 6th forms – a number seem unaware on the approaching deadline for Individual Learner Records (ILR). More info → The Individualised […]


One Stop For Latest Finance News

A new place for the latest news. Regular readers of the SBS Finance Blog will have noticed that the blog is now available within the main School Business Services website. We will continue to provide the same summary of news from the education sector as it affects your finances. However, why not look at the […]


Happy birthday SBS blog!

This is  the 30th blog we have published – the first being on 21 March 2014. So happy birthday blog. We hope that you have found the contents over the year useful – and of course we welcome any feedback you might have. We open this week’s blog with our monthly look at the EFA […]


Click here to contact us today!

12 divided by 2 =

Please see our privacy policy