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 is 31 December 2015. Trusts incorporated from 1 March 2015 may have extended their first year accounting period; if this is the case this deadline will not apply.

The Academy Accounts Direction states that you will need to submit the accounts and management letter using the EFA Information Exchange and complete a short online cover form. Please make sure you can access Information Exchange before the deadline. You no longer need to submit the separate value for money statement that was required last year as this has been absorbed into the governance statement in your annual accounts.

For the New Year

A few things to put on your New Year to do list:

  • Annual Accounts Return: The Education Funding Agency requires academy trusts to submit their 2014 to 2015 accounts return using the template issued by 31 January 2016.
  • Insurance Top-Up Funding Claim: If you have a long-term insurance policy and need to make a new claim for top-up funding for 2015 to 2016, you can now use the online claims form available via GOV.UK.
  • Budget Planning for Pay Rise: The Local Government Association’s National Employers group has offered a 1% pay rise in each of the next two years to local government employers. Under the plan, staff with salaries starting at £17,714 per annum would get a 1% increase in both 2016/17 and 2017/18. Those earning less than this would receive higher increases to take account of the new National Living Wage.

Under Consultation

  • Fair Funding: The Department for Education is expected to announce consultation in January on plans to redress differences in school funding across England. Commentators suggest that London boroughs are likely to be among those that will lose out.
  • Education & Adoption Bill:  Lord Nash has written to the chair of each academy trust about details of a proposed change in the bill. A government amendment will make it clear that the coasting definition will apply to academies as well as maintained schools.
  • English Baccalaureate: The DfE is currently seeking views on how it can achieve the goal of over 90% of pupils in maintained secondary schools being entered for EBacc.

Further details can be found in the EFA Bulletins.

Until the New Year – we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and look forward to working with you in 2016.

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