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


  • Fourth payment of Pupil Premium for 2015/2016
  • Publication of academy trust budget forecast guidance


  • Last payment of 2015/2016 Sports Grant to primary schools
  • Academy trusts to submit their audited financial statements to Companies House by 31 May 2016
  • Academy trusts’ March accounts returns due 31 May 2016
  • Academies Accounts Direction 2015 to 2016 published


  • Academies Financial Handbook 2016 published.


  • Academy trusts’ budget forecasts due 31 July 2016
  • Academies’ August accounts return published
  • New academy trusts to contact EFA by September if they intend to submit dormant accounts for 2015 to 2016

Further details can be found in the EFA Exchange.

New Academies – March Accounts Return

Academy accounts returns assist the DfE in bringing together information from Academy Trusts (year end 31 August) with the accounts of the DfE (year end 31 March). Much of the information is from the accounts produced by academies as set out by SORP; but some additional information is needed by the DfE.

The majority of Academies complete a return following publication of their year end audited accounts – however information about some operations is not available from these returns, so trusts may need to complete an additional March return.

The following Academies will need to provide the DfE with a March Accounts return:

  • Trusts with academies open at 31 March 2016 that did not prepare audited accounts at 31 August 2015
  • Trusts that did prepare audited accounts as at 31 August 2015 but have opened academies between 1 September 2015 and 31 March 2016

The EFA have a live webinar on 26 April 2016 to help Trusts in preparing this return – click here to register.

PE and Sport Premium

The DfE provides funding to schools as part of the PE and Sport Premium, which is ring-fenced funding to help improve the quality of physical education and sport teaching in primary schools. One of the conditions of grant is that schools must publish information, on their website, about their use of the premium funding by 4 April 2016.

The information should include:

  • The total amount of premium funding received
  • A full breakdown of how the funding has been spent (or will be spent)
  • What impact the school has seen on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment and how these improvements will be sustainable in the future.
  • Schools should also consider how their use of the premium is giving pupils the opportunity to develop healthy, active lifestyles.

Clicking here will take you to a page setting out what schools need to publish of their websites.

DfE Funding for Sponsored Academy Projects

The DfE have recently published a document that gives sponsors information about the DfE funding that is available to academy trusts for full sponsored, intermediate and fast track academy projects, including grant payment and reporting arrangements. In some situations, the project type attracts a differing level of funding support – these are clearly identified in this document. For more information click here.

New UTC Applications

The deadline for applications to establish a university technical college (UTC) is 7 October 2016. To help groups interested in opening a UTC, the DfE will publish guidance before the summer on the application process.

The guidance will include information on:

  • What DfE expects in an application to establish a UTC
  • What applicants need to know before applying
  • How to complete and submit an application
  • Who to contact for help with an application

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, who will be able to offer advice and support. BDT is funded by DfE to help applicant groups prepare.

For more information click here.

Dream Teams

School Business Services has recently assisted in the publication of an article to help support schools undertaking staff re-organisations. Read the article by clicking here.

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 […]


Remember, remember. . .

Get ready for the school workforce census on 5th November. Also reminders about the PE Grant, Condition Improvement Fund and other items from the EFA planner. If you need any support please call 0345 222 1551 option 5 November Diary School workforce census day is 5 November. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workforce-census Academies are required to complete and submit the school […]


October – What to look out for

We start October with a look at the deadlines facing schools this month and the support available. With the party conference season upon us – what should your PEST consider? From The Planner What can we expect in October? Institutions: LAs return part 2 16 to 19 grant returns Academies and others submit 16 to […]


School & Academy Shorts

School & Academy Shorts The DfE has released guidance on the PE & Sports Premium received by primary schools. The notes explain how much will be received and how schools might choose to spend it. Click here for a copy. The EFA has published a guide for Academies on the new SORP and FRS102 that […]


Happy New Year

The new school year has started. I’m sure that as well as re-kindling some old acquaintances all schools will be welcoming new colleagues, new pupils and new parents. Many new academies will have also have opened. School Business Services extends a warm welcome and wish a happy new (school) year to both new and old […]


Budget & TPS Return Deadlines

Whilst speculation continues about what might be in the Queen’s speech and how this might impact on our work in schools and colleges (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32697243), in this week’s blog we cover some important areas that schools and academies need to comply with during the next few days and weeks. Academy Budget Forecast Returns Budget Forecast Returns […]


Easter Shorts

To ease you back after the Easter break – this week’s blog highlights a small number of areas that appeared in the last few weeks that you might find interesting and useful. Welcome to Easter Shorts. Schools facing potential budget cuts – Institute for Fiscal Studies Report The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) recently produced […]


Welcome to 2015

Out with the old and in with the new – welcome to 2015. For many academies the period around the year-end is the busiest period for School Business Managers, so we hope Christmas was all you wished for. Year End Tasks With the end of 2014, all Academies should by now have submitted their Audited […]


Remembrance & Future Opportunities

For many November is a time for reflection. This is also true with Academy Finances, as the final adjustments are made by auditors across the land. Academies also need to look forward. Those looking to apply for capital funds have until 19 December and all need to think about how the reduction of the ESG […]


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