Our blog on the latest issues affecting the Academy schools sector
Leading Governors: The role of the chair of governors in schools and academies
June 26, 2014
The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has published an updated version of its ‘Leading Governors’ booklet which explores the role of the chair of governors.
Education Funding Agency needs to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability
June 19, 2014
Last week, a Public Accounts Committee report found that the Education Funding Agency needs a better oversight over how school money is spent. The Committee found that whilst the Education Funding Agency has succeeded in getting money to schools on time, it needs to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in the education sector, especially in respect of the growing number of academies.
The P11d deadline is looming
June 12, 2014
If you employ any staff that have taxable benefits in the tax year 2013/14, and you do not have a dispensation in place, you must ensure forms P11d are completed by 6 July 2014. Forms P11d are used to report taxable benefits and expenses paid to employees earning over £8,500 per annum. Late submissions of P11ds will result in penalties.
Change to GAG payment
June 11, 2014
From September 2014, general annual grant (GAG) payments will be paid in 12 equal monthly instalments, which could apply pressure to your academy if you previously relied upon front-loaded payment to aid cashflow. We would recommend that you plan now to avoid cash flow difficulties in September.
Academies Capital Maintenance Fund 2014 to 2015 Round 2
June 4, 2014
The Department for Education has released guidance on the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for the 2014 to 2015 financial year (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015) to aid applicants to apply specifically for the second round (Round 2 funding). The Round 2 funding is aimed at recently converted academies and those with academy orders signed on or before 1 June 2014 that did not apply in Round 1.
Academies Accounts Direction 2014
May 27, 2014
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has released its annual Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) which covers the accounting period 2013-14. Whilst the updated AAD does not include any significant new requirements to the accounts of academies and free schools, it does highlight that improved transparency is required and that academies are expected to maintain the highest levels of governance, which is not unexpected given the public sector funding provided to academies and free schools.
Employer contribution to rise to 16.4% from September 2015
May 23, 2014
Following on from consultation and reform to public sector pension schemes generally, Teachers' Pensions has now indicated that the employers’ contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme are due to increase to 16.4% in September 2015. You should ensure that this increase is taken into account when preparing your school’s longer term budget forecasts.
Peter Lauener’s new ‘Dear Accounting Officer’ Letter
May 21, 2014
Peter Lauener, Chief Executive of the EFA, has written a new ‘Dear Accounting Officer’ letter to all Accounting Officers of academies to draw to their attention some important points that have arisen from the EFA’s recent work and from recent hearings of the Public Accounts Committee. The letter should be shared with all academy governors and trustees as well.
Academy conversion: treatment of surplus and deficit balances for new academies
May 21, 2014
The EFA has released new guidance for schools and local authorities (LA) on the treatment of surplus and deficit balances when a school ceases to be maintained by a LA and becomes an academy. The guidance is intended to help LAs comply with their duties, and ensure that deficit or surplus balances are transferred within the statutory timescales, and for schools to understand the treatment of their surplus or deficit balance on conversion.
Campaign to improve school governors
May 16, 2014
The Inspiring Governors Alliance wants to encourage more "high-calibre people" to volunteer for school governor roles. The campaign is launched in conjunction with a report on the current state of school governance that found that many schools in England - often in deprived areas - struggle to recruit governors.