All Head teachers, School Business Managers/Finance staff and Chair of Governors
Firstly welcome back and a happy new year to you all, please find below a short update on a number of key topics for this term:
Schools Financial Consultation
The Local Authority (LA) launched a consultation document last term with all governing bodies on proposed amendments to:
• The Local Funding Formula; and
• The Scheme for Financing Schools.
The consultation responses are summarised at Appendix 1.
The LA will present detail of the consultation responses relating to the local funding formula proposed amendments to Schools Forum at the meeting scheduled for 21 January 2014 and seek a recommendation to be presented to the LA Executive on 11 February 2014 for decision.
The LA will present a further report to Schools Forum on the proposed amendments to the Scheme for Financing Schools document at the meeting scheduled for 20 March 2014 and seek approval on the LA proposals.
A further update on the above subject matters will be provided in due course to all schools.
Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)
The Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) is the mandatory self-assessment process all LA maintained schools are required to undertake as stipulated by the Department for Education (DfE).
The SFVS is based upon 23 questions covering four specific areas of financial management;
• The Governing Body & School Staff;
• Setting the Budget;
• Value for Money; and
• Protecting Public Money
All schools are required to ensure the self-assessment against the 23 questions has been reviewed by the identified school personnel in 2013/14 and the appropriate school return is submitted to the LA by 31st March 2014. The LA recommends that as a minimum the review should be undertaken by the Head teacher, School Business Manager, Chair of Governors and the Chair of Finance Committee.
The DfE announced as part of their autumn term 2013
spend review commitments plans to provide all key stage 1 pupils with a free school meal (fsm) from September 2014. Further details are expected later this term as to how any specific grant funding will be provided to local authorities to support schools in this key priority investment area.
Further information will be provided directly to schools as soon as the detailed information has been released by the DfE.
2013/14 Year-end Training
The annual schools year-end training sessions will be held on Wednesday/Thursday 26th/27th March at Stopford House for all school finance staff.
These sessions will provide all school finance staff with the key information and timelines for dealing with year-end transactions and ensuring the accounts are closed on time and reflect a true and correct position for all schools in accordance with the accounting accruals process.
Further details/information will be posted on Office on-line shortly.
2014/15 Budget Planning Sessions
Schools Finance will be running the annual 'Budget Planning Sessions' in March 2014, giving schools the opportunity to prepare their budget plans for 2014/15 with members of the Schools Finance Team. As in previous years the budget planning sessions will be held in a group format.
The 'Budget Planning Sessions' are to be held during week commencing Monday 10th March 2014 (Venue TBC)
AM sessions will commence at 9.15am and finish at 12.15pm
PM sessions will commence at 1pm and finish at 4pm
Please note there is a maximum of 2 delegates per school
Please refer to Office On-Line communication item 407 for further details and any action required by the school.
Should you require any additional information on any of the above subject matters or any other school finance issues please do not hesitate to contact myself (details below) and/or any member of the Schools Finance team.
Group Accountant – Schools Team
Corporate & Support Services
Appendix 1 -click here to read the document-