School and academy financial management and assurance

Reporting for academies and local authorities, school procurement, risk protection arrangement (RPA), payments and compliance

General information and guidance

  1. Academies planning calendar

    A wall planner for academies showing key dates about ESFA activities for the 2017 to 2018 academic year

  2. Improving financial efficiency with curriculum planning

    Information for schools highlighting the potential benefits of curriculum planning to achieve greater financial efficiency.

  3. Risk protection arrangement (RPA): guide for academies

    How academies can opt in to the risk protection arrangement (RPA), what the arrangement covers and where they can go for support.

  4. Schools financial health checks: supplier directory

    A directory of suppliers offering financial health check services to schools.

  5. Schools financial health checks: supplier registration form

    Form for suppliers to complete to be included in the schools financial health checks supplier directory.

Academy and academy trust finance and reporting

Accounts Direction, Academies Financial Handbook, budget forecast returns, payments and compliance, planning checks.

  1. Academies Accounts Direction

    Detailed guidance for academy trusts and auditors on preparing and auditing academy trusts' annual financial statements.

  2. Academies accounts return

    Information to help academy trusts to complete their 2016 to 2017 accounts return.

  3. Academies budget forecast return 2017 to 2018

    Form and guide to help academy trusts submit their 2017 to 2018 budget forecast return (BFR) to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  4. Academies budget forecast return: outturn 2016 to 2017

    Form and guide to help academy trusts submit their 2016 to 2017 budget forecast return: outturn (BFRO) to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  5. Academies budget forecast: validation tests

    This document shows the tests, thresholds and standard questions EFA uses in validating academy trusts’ budget forecast returns.

  6. Academies financial assurance

    This guide helps academy trusts to understand and comply with the financial accountability framework and assurance arrangements.

  7. Academies Financial Handbook

    A handbook issued by ESFA that describes financial requirements for academy trusts.

  8. Academies financial management and governance self-assessment

    Financial management and governance self assessment (FMGS) for new academy trusts to submit to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  9. Academies financial returns

    This guide explains to academy trusts how to submit their financial returns to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  10. Academies land and buildings collection tool

    Guide to help academy trusts submit their 2016 to 2017 land and buildings collection tool to the ESFA.

  11. Academies land and buildings valuation

    Guide to help new academy trusts complete their land and buildings information form.

  12. Academies payments information: remittance advice notes

    Information to help academies understand remittance advice notes which accompany funding payments.

  13. Academies severance payments

    This guide explains to academy trusts how to seek approval to make special severance payments.

  14. Academies severance payments form

    EFA form for academy trusts to seek prior approval for non-contractual payments of or over £50,000.

  15. Academies: guide to reducing any risk of financial irregularities

    Guide for academy trusts on reducing the risk of fraud and reporting it to the Education Funding Agency.

  16. Academy conversion grant for local authorities

    Details about the academy conversion grant for local authorities, including guidance on how to apply.

  17. Alternative provision free school financial template

    A tool to help alternative provision (AP) free schools plan their budget.

  18. Answering questions on schools financial health and efficiency

    A video panel discussion giving information for schools on schools financial health and efficiency.

  19. Anti-fraud checklist: academy trusts

    Anti-fraud checklist for use by academies and academy trusts.

  20. Compare your school's budget: financial benchmarking

    Benchmarking allows you to check how your school’s finances compare with other similar schools.

  21. Expanding your academy trust: resources for multi-academy trusts

    Links to a selection of sources of support and guidance for MATs looking to take on more schools and grow their academy trust.

  22. Indicators of potential fraud: learning institutions

    Information for academies, 16 to 19 providers and other learning institutions to help them identify potential fraud.

  23. Maintaining good financial health

    A video providing information for schools on how WISE Academies has ensured good financial health.

  24. Making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools

    A video providing information for schools on making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools.

  25. Risk protection arrangement for academy trusts: membership rules

    The rules governing the risk protection arrangement (RPA) for academy trusts.

  26. Schools financial efficiency: a guide to getting started

    Information for schools about how to develop an approach that achieves greater financial efficiency.

  27. Schools financial efficiency: benefits of workforce planning

    Information about the benefits of workforce planning in schools.

  28. Schools financial efficiency: budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan

    Information for schools about the value of budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan, avoiding risk and making effective long-term decisions.

  29. Schools financial efficiency: collaborative procurement

    Information for schools about collaborative procurement to achieve greater efficiency and value for money.

  30. Schools financial efficiency: effective procurement

    Information for schools and academies about effective procurement.

  31. Schools financial efficiency: strategic financial planning

    Information about strategic financial planning in schools.

  32. Schools financial efficiency: the role of the school governor

    Information for school governors about their role overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.

  33. Schools financial efficiency: top 10 planning checks for governors

    Information for school and academy governors to help make sure schools manage their resources efficiently.

  34. Schools financial efficiency: top tips for financial planning

    A video for school leaders with information and advice about strategic financial planning.

  35. Schools financial efficiency: training and peer support

    Information about organisations that offer schools support with financial management.

Financial management, reporting and assurances for 16 to 19 year olds funding

Financial health assessment, identifying potential fraud, improving financial efficiency, financial planning tips, budgeting.

  1. Answering questions on schools financial health and efficiency

    A video panel discussion giving information for schools on schools financial health and efficiency.

  2. Compare your school's budget: financial benchmarking

    Benchmarking allows you to check how your school’s finances compare with other similar schools.

  3. Indicators of potential fraud: learning institutions

    Information for academies, 16 to 19 providers and other learning institutions to help them identify potential fraud.

  4. Making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools

    A video providing information for schools on making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools.

  5. Schools financial efficiency: a guide to getting started

    Information for schools about how to develop an approach that achieves greater financial efficiency.

  6. Schools financial efficiency: budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan

    Information for schools about the value of budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan, avoiding risk and making effective long-term decisions.

  7. Schools financial efficiency: strategic financial planning

    Information about strategic financial planning in schools.

  8. Schools financial efficiency: top tips for financial planning

    A video for school leaders with information and advice about strategic financial planning.

  9. Schools financial efficiency: training and peer support

    Information about organisations that offer schools support with financial management.

Local authority schools financial reporting and assurance

Financial management and efficiency, reporting frameworks, identify potential fraud, assurance guidance.

  1. Answering questions on schools financial health and efficiency

    A video panel discussion giving information for schools on schools financial health and efficiency.

  2. Compare your school's budget: financial benchmarking

    Benchmarking allows you to check how your school’s finances compare with other similar schools.

  3. Consistent financial reporting (CFR) framework

    A framework to help schools to collect information about their income and expenditure.

  4. Dedicated schools grant assurance: guidance for local authorities

    How to complete and return the chief financial officer's annual assurance statement to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

  5. Improving efficiency in schools

    Document providing information on the available data on schools’ expenditure.

  6. Improving financial efficiency with curriculum planning

    Information for schools highlighting the potential benefits of curriculum planning to achieve greater financial efficiency.

  7. Indicators of potential fraud: learning institutions

    Information for academies, 16 to 19 providers and other learning institutions to help them identify potential fraud.

  8. Instructions for financial reporting on the Section 251 financial data collection 2012 to 2013

    Instructions and guidance for financial reporting on the Section 251 financial data collection covering the funding period 2012 to 2013.

  9. Maintained schools with sixth-form funding: assurance guidance

    Education and Skills Funding Agency guide for local authorities on assurance for maintained schools with sixth-form funding.

  10. Making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools

    A video providing information for schools on making the most of financial review and self-assessment tools.

  11. Schemes for financing schools

    Statutory guidance for local authorities on producing and amending school financing schemes.

  12. Schools financial efficiency: a guide to getting started

    Information for schools about how to develop an approach that achieves greater financial efficiency.

  13. Schools financial efficiency: benefits of workforce planning

    Information about the benefits of workforce planning in schools.

  14. Schools financial efficiency: budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan

    Information for schools about the value of budgeting with a 3 to 5 year plan, avoiding risk and making effective long-term decisions.

  15. Schools financial efficiency: collaborative procurement

    Information for schools about collaborative procurement to achieve greater efficiency and value for money.

  16. Schools financial efficiency: effective procurement

    Information for schools and academies about effective procurement.

  17. Schools financial efficiency: metric tool

    A tool to provide schools in England with an indication of their efficiency compared with similar schools.

  18. Schools financial efficiency: strategic financial planning

    Information about strategic financial planning in schools.

  19. Schools financial efficiency: the role of the school governor

    Information for school governors about their role overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.

  20. Schools financial efficiency: top 10 planning checks for governors

    Information for school and academy governors to help make sure schools manage their resources efficiently.

  21. Schools financial efficiency: top tips for financial planning

    A video for school leaders with information and advice about strategic financial planning.

  22. Schools financial efficiency: training and peer support

    Information about organisations that offer schools support with financial management.

  23. Schools financial value standard (SFVS) and assurance

    Guidance to help schools and local authorities complete the annual schools financial value standard (SFVS) and assurance forms.

  24. Section 251 documents

    Documents to help local authorities comply with section 251 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.

  25. State-funded boarding schools: managing boarding provision

    How state-funded boarding schools should manage and charge for the boarding provision they offer.

School procurement

Buying goods, works and services. Collaborative procurement, finding suppliers, practical tips. Example contracts, timelines and letters.

  1. Buying for schools

    Guidance on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process to buy goods, works or services for your school.

  2. Cloud computing: how schools can move services to the cloud

    Guidance for schools on the benefits and risks of moving information and services to the cloud.

  3. Cloud software services: how schools should protect data

    Data protection guidance for schools considering using cloud services ('the cloud') to hold sensitive information.

  4. Copyright licences for schools

    Licences the Department for Education provides to schools, and where to get advice on buying additional licences.

  5. Leasing and subscription services for school equipment

    Best practice guidance, practical dos and don’ts and suggestions as to how to find the best value for money agreements.

  6. School procurement: bid evaluation scoring summary

    Spreadsheet to help school business managers compare suppliers' bids during a procurement process.

  7. School procurement: example contracts

    Model documents for schools developing a contract with a supplier of goods or services.

  8. School procurement: example letters for the tender process

    Model letters for schools to use with suppliers bidding for high-value and EU-compliant tenders.

  9. School procurement: example timelines

    Example timescales for schools planning a procurement process for goods or services.

  10. School procurement: expression of interest form

    This document includes a blank expression of interest (EOI) form that schools can use to send to suppliers of goods and services.

  11. School procurement: glossary

    Definitions of common procurement terms.

  12. School procurement: Microsoft memorandum of understanding

    How the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Microsoft and the Department for Education can benefit schools.

  13. School procurement: selecting a school MIS

    What schools need to consider when selecting a new management information system (MIS).

  14. Schools’ buying strategy

    An outline of initiatives to help all schools improve how they buy goods and services.

  15. Schools financial efficiency: collaborative procurement

    Information for schools about collaborative procurement to achieve greater efficiency and value for money.

  16. Schools financial efficiency: effective procurement

    Information for schools and academies about effective procurement.