Monthly Archives: September 2012

Responsibilities of the academy trust’s Accounting Officer (AO)

The Accounting Officer’s role is a pivotol poistion at an Academy – Why  you may ask. Well please note the following headline functions  which may help you.

  • Designated named individual as its accounting officer (AO).
  • AO advise the board of trustees in writing if, at any time, in his or her opinion, any action or policy under consideration by the governing body is incompatible with the terms of the Handbook or FA.
  • AO advise the board in writing if the board appears to be failing to act where required to do so by the terms and conditions of the Handbook or FA.
  • AO advise in writing the EFA’s accounting officer of the position if still considers action proposed by the board is in breach of the Handbook or FA.

The introduction of audit committee arrangements- Why?

I thought it would be useful to briefly touch upon a recent change that was included in the September 2012 version of the Academy’s Handbook – that you as Academy’s should be aware of:

  • Academy Trusts (AT) that are a multi-academy federation must have a dedicated audit committee;
  • all ATs with an income of over £10m or capitalised asset value of over £30 million should consider having a dedicated audit committee; and
  • all other ATs may have a dedicated audit committee.
  • The relevant committee must review the risks to internal financial control at the AT and must agree a programme of work that will address these risks, inform the statement of internal control and, so far as is possible, provide assurance to the external auditors.

Pupil Premium 2013-14

England’s most disadvantaged pupils are to benefit from extra cash next year when the Pupil Premium rises to £900 per pupil – around 50 per cent higher than last year.

Schools receive extra cash through the premium for every child registered as eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the past six years and children in care who have been looked after for six months.

Schools Minister David Laws said:

It’s unacceptable that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to do well in school than their peers. The coalition government has introduced the Pupil Premium to tackle this problem.

After just one year, many schools are already telling us that the Pupil Premium is making a difference.

This extra funding will help schools provide the extra support children and young people need to reach their full potential

28th September 2012 deadline date for submissions

Hi all , can i please remind you, that the above deadline is fast approaching and you have to submit your:

1.Whole Goverment Account Return (WGA)

2.Academies Capital Maintenance Fund 2012 bids

 

Stop Press! The New Academies Financial Handbook

The New Academies Financial Handbook

At last we have the new version of the handbook – which replaces the 2006 edition. I have posted this for your information :

It outlines the freedoms and responsibilities that are associated with the status of academies as independent, publicly funded bodies.

The handbook is 30 pages long and can be found by using the link below.

Interestingly, the Handbook allows, for the first time, academies to carry forward any surplus balances they may have, to invest in future years’ priorities.

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/a/academies%20financial%20handbook%20sept%202012v11.pdf

 

Multi-Academy Trusts -What Are They?

I have recenly been asked by a number of schools on what options were available to them , if they decided to ‘partner’ with another school.  Many of you may find the following useful:

  • Multi-Academy Trusts: Several academies are created using one funding agreement.  There is one company and each academy might have a governing body, but with limited powers. Academy budgets are usually top sliced to support the central organisation.

 

  • Umbrella Trust Model:  Each academy has its own funding agreement, company and governors.  There is then an umbrella trust (completely separate from the agreements with the SoS).  It is established and populated by the member academies according to pre-determined objects.

 

  • Collaborative Partnership Model:  Each academy exists as a separate entity but there is a management agreement to bring the academies into working partnership for specific purposes.  This is, in effect, a less formal variant of the umbrella trust model.  It enables collaboration without control and is more easily reversed.

Stop Press !!!!

Academies Capital Maintenance Fund 2012

There is capital funding available for schools that have converted to Academy Status after April 1st 2012. We can provide expert support and submit a bid on your behalf. Don’t lose this opportunity to gain valuable resources. The headlines across this fund are as follows:

Maximum project value capped at £250k although minimum size lowered to £5k for primaries and £15k to secondaries, and are restricted to the following;

Replace or repair:

  • windows
  • roofs
  • fire protection systems
  • boilers / heating systems
  • or to address emergency asbestos issues.

Academies with other types of projects should not apply to this round; there will be future opportunities to bid for other types of project, including expansion schemes.

Capital projects must enhance an existing asset, owned or leased by the academy or its trust.

In all cases, priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate urgency and which may result in closure of all or part of the academy – for example dealing with structural failures, window frames that are falling out from height, leaking roofs, failed boilers, situations where fire officers have indicated closure of the academy will be required without immediate action – or other significant health and safety concerns.

Given the short timescale available for delivery, the dfe expect works to be tendered whilst applications are assessed; funding for shortlisted projects will only be paid when evidence of contractor appointment (and relevant statutory approvals if necessary) has been provided. Whilst this work will need to be progressed at risk, even if the project cannot be shortlisted for funding at this time, there will be a future opportunity to bid, and the project will be ready to proceed quickly.

APPLICATION TIMESCALE

Instructions to applicants available Thursday 6 September 2012

Application website opens Monday 10 September 2012

Recommended target for submission of applications Tuesday 25 September 2012

Deadline for submission of applications Friday 28 September 2012 at 18:00

Notification of successful projects 14 December 2012

 

 

Testimonial -Infant School Head Teacher (Academy)

“Annal provides a professional and friendly service to our school. He is extremely thorough in his preparation which means that meetings can get off to a swift start and cover necessary business. He is able to explain complicated financial procedures to members of staff and governors who are less experienced in school financial matters leading all members to have a much clearer understanding of expectations and procedures. Annal also has the human touch and will gets to know people, remembering key events in the life of the school and picking up on the things that matter to us.

 

Annal is quick to pick up information which may be important to the school, e.g. bid funding, and sends this out to us on a regular basis. He has formed an excellent working relationship with myself and my Business Manager. I’m not sure how we’d manage without his guiding hand.” (Head Teacher Infant School, Berkshire)

Annal Nayyar’s Summary Profile

I am a qualified and currently practising accountant – with over 20 years’ experience in Local Government Finance – specialising across education finance, providing consultancy and project management.

In-depth knowledge of the financial processes to deliver academy transfers (both sponsored and traditional convertors), client base includes currently working with major corporate educational specialists on a number of school based projects.

Thorough understanding of accounting requirements, standards and processes required by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and other internal /external stakeholders .

Free Schools – Service provided from bid submission to set up and readiness to open stage.

Currently providing financial services to Local Authority Schools, Academies (including Multi Academy Trusts) and Free Schools.

Specialties

Schools Finance Academy Status Conversion

Free school set up

Governor Training

In compliance system support

Whole of Government Accounts

Theres only a  couple of weeks left for these EFA returns to be submitted. If you require support please contact us and my collegues and i will complete on your behalf.

 

Academies need to be aware of the follwing dates so as to forward the relevant returns to the Education Funding Agency

  • The  2011-12 WGA return (large or small academy version) due by 28 September
  • The  counterparty balance statement due by 28 September
  • The LGPS  FRS17 valuation statement due by 31 October
  • The  2012/13 budget forecast due by 28 September

All relevant submissions to academieswga.EFA@education.gsi.gov.uk by 28 September 2012