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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-land-and-buildings-collection-tool/land-and-buildings-collection-tool-summary-guidance-for-academies
1. What is the land and buildings collection tool?
We introduced this online form in 2017 for academy trusts to tell us about their academies land and buildings and upload any supporting documents. The Department for Education (DfE) will use this information when preparing the academies sector annual report and accounts SARA. This will improve the quality and transparency of reporting to parliament, the National Audit Office and to the public.
This return is currently separate to the valuation form for new academy schools, which still needs to be completed within 6 weeks of opening.
The return will be available from 1 October 2018 and the deadline for completion and submission is 5 November 2018. The majority of trusts will have filled in this return in 2017 and this data will be included in your 2018 return. The academy trust is required to confirm this is still accurate and note any changes during the 2017/18 academic year.
2. Who fills it in?
The DfE requires a return from your academy trust if you have at least one open academy at 31 August 2018. If an academy school joined your academy trust on or after the 1 September 2018, the predecessor trust will need to complete a return covering that school.
The land and buildings collection tool (LBCT) is a trust level return based on the number of academies in each trust.
There are two academy user roles required for the LBCT:
- preparer: the user who enters the data on behalf of the trust
- approver: the user who can both enter the data and submit the return to the DfE
The approver should either be the Trust’s Accounting Officer or a person with delegated authority to approve the return on behalf of the Accounting Officer.
2.1 What to do if you have queries
If you have any queries about this year’s collection please see the ‘How to contact us if you have queries’ section of the LBCT main web page.
3. What has changed since last year?
We have made several improvements to the LBCT form. We have:
- prepopulated your return with your data, for those who completed it last year
- introduced a dashboard to help users track progress of the returns of each academy within an academy trust
- improved the layout of the form
- streamlined the process flow for users – for example, added and removed some fields
- modified user roles to mirror other academy trust financial forms – for example, the approver may also prepare as well as approve
- included a summary report in the form for your own record of the data entered
- included e-mail notifications to alert and provide updates on the progress of the form as this is being completed and then on submission
- introduced a diocesan sign-off within the form for academies with church owned land – this replaces the paper sign off, please see here how of how to grant access
We prepared a tutorial video showing you some general navigation advice for how to get around the LBCT form.
3.1 For academy trusts with church owned land
If your academy trust doesn’t have church owned land please skip this section.
This year there is a new role for diocesan users, this also refers to other church trustees where they are the owners of the land and buildings. This user will check the details included for any church owned land reported by any academies in your academy trust. These users work on behalf of the church trustees, usually the diocese and will be set up in accordance with details provided by the churches.
The diocesan user will only be able to access your church owned land data in your return. You must enter their details in the diocesan user page of the return if there is church owned land. You can’t submit your return without diocesan review if you have church owned land. For details of how to enter diocesan details please see this section of the guidance, please see here how of how to grant access.
4. DfE expectations of users this year
4.1 If your academy trust completed the LBCT last year
Your return will be populated with the data you submitted last year. This means you will need to check this data and update it for movements in year. We have added a few new fields which you may also need to complete.
If your academy trust has acquired any other academies since 1 September 2017 and they had completed the return last year, their data will be in your populated data. If they did not complete the LBCT last year, you will need to complete it this year for the first time.
The DfE has reviewed the data from last year’s return and has found some isolated inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the returns for a small number of academy trusts. We will write to the affected academy trusts in September explaining what we have found and what we would believe needs to be updated in the return.
We have produced this tutorial video to show users how to update or amend their rollover data in the LBCT form.
We would like all academy trusts to review the details within their return including the documents uploaded. The data rolled over can be amended by either the academy preparer or approver role. This will need to be checked for each academy in the academy trust and submitted by 5 November 2018. Please note that if you have church owned land your nominated diocesan user will need to review your return by this date as well. Please allow a reasonable amount time for their review. Please see here how of how to grant access.
4.2 If you are new to the LBCT this year or did not complete it last year
If your academy trust has opened since 1 September 2017, you will need to fill this return in for all your academies. All academy trusts that have at least one open academy as at 31 August 2018 are in scope to complete the return.
You should read this guidance to find out any documentation you require ahead of the return being launched. Your trust will need to make sure your users are set up in IDAMs and that you have allocated user’s roles to complete the form. The registration guidance can be found here.
New academies will need to upload their land registry documents to the document store this year. As you’ve recently converted this information should be available as part of your conversion process.
5. Completing your LBCT return
These next four sections outline the summary details that we will be expecting all LBCT users to follow when completing their return this year.
The online form will be available for users from 1 October 2018 and the deadline for submission is 5 November 2018. The online form will be here when the form goes live.
The way academy users will need to complete their trusts LBCT return is set out in this example. The academy user will confirm if they have any centrally held assets in the trust section of the form. Then the academy user will select an academy from the dashboard. The academy user will enter/review all the occupations for that academy. The academy user will review/add the assets, including land, for each occupation route. The academy user will select the next academy from the dashboard when they have completed their review. The academy user will complete this process for each academy on the dashboard. The form will save the data entered by academy users when the ‘save and next’ button is pressed on each page for the LBCT.
Once the academy user has completed their updates, they will need to add any explanatory documents to the LBCT document store.
Once the academy user has completed their updates, they will need to add any explanatory documents to the LBCT document store. Below is a sample site map that we have used in the above image that we have used to demonstrate the process flow of how the Coketown Academy LBCT is completed.
6. Academy trust and academies information
This section of the form will show users the academies that are included in their academy trust. This year it contains a new dashboard, which will give users ability to review in their preferred order. It will also show the completion status of each academy, i.e. whether it has been reviewed or not. This will help users plan their work and will be of particular help to multi academy trusts.
Users will be able to access the trust level and academy level sections from the dashboard.
We have made a tutorial video showing users how to navigate around the dashboard.
If users click on the trust level section of the form they will be able to update contact details, inform the DfE of any details that are not correct and review or add any centrally held assets that are not part of an individual academy. Please note that the centrally held assets section requests information in exactly the same format as the rest of the LBCT.
The dashboard has three broad status:
- Not started
- In progress
There are a number of status that are covered by the broad ‘in progress’ heading, these are shown below.
|In-progress status||Meaning of status|
|In progress||An academy user is completing the form|
|Sent to approver||An academy preparer has submitted to an academy approver for review|
|Rejected by approver||An academy approver has rejected a form back to an academy preparer to amend|
|Approved||An academy approver has approved it - not yet submitted|
|Sent to diocese||An academy approver has submitted the form to a diocesan review|
|Rejected by diocese||A diocesan user has rejected the form to the academy approver to amend|
|Approved by diocese||A diocesan user has approved the form - not yet submitted|
When users select an academy from the dashboard, they then move to the next part of the form.
The return uses the term ‘Occupation Type’ to refer to the way an academy occupies the land it uses. This section of the form will request the details for all the land occupations for that academy.
This is the page where you will tell us about all the parcels of land for that academy. For instance, if you have a single large site that is made up of one piece of land this will be a single land occupation. However, if you have a site where there is a separate playing field to your main school site this should be treated as two occupations.
Please record all land occupations separately and include a brief description that describes clearly that part of the school site. Your school site plan and your land registry documents will help you identify how many pieces of land you occupy and how you occupy them (the type).
The options that users have when selecting each of the occupation types are:
- leasehold e.g. Local Authority subleases with trusts where there is a PFI
- church owned land
- customary occupation
- church leases
- tenancy at will
Details of these definitions are in the glossary section at the end this page.
For each option, we will ask when you first occupied the land and also if you have disposed of an individual piece of land in the year. If you discover that the wrong occupation type was entered last year (being the first year of operation this has occurred in some instances), you should answer ‘Yes’ to the disposal question and choose the ‘entered in error’ option from the dropdown list.
If you have more occupations to include, please use the ‘add another occupation type’ button to add all the pieces of land that you have, including playing fields. Once you have added all of the occupations, press ‘save and continue’.
The form is dynamic; it will adjust depending on the occupation type selected. Please update or review the data on this page.
In most cases, you will be asked to enter the land registry title number and your basis for occupation. If there are any lease arrangements, you will be asked to provide your landlord name, length of the lease at the time of signing and monthly payment in pounds. The standard lease from a local authority for an academy converter school will usually be 125 years with a peppercorn rent.
You may need to refer to your contract with the landlord for all the relevant information. To help you gather any information about your lease agreement, these are the questions you will be asked:
- monthly fees
- if there are any initial premium, payment holiday, initial fees and termination fees
- if there are any break clauses, typically every 5 -10 years
- if you’ve got a hire purchase agreement the details for initial capital value and final balloon payment
- the contract terms for at the end of the lease, i.e. do you retain ownership?
The next section of this page will ask you to enter all the assets associated to that piece of land on the screen (occupation).
We have produced this tutorial video showing users how to add occupations to their LBCT return.
This next section will ask for the assets that are on each occupation. Some examples will include:
- playing fields
- land for the main site
- land for buildings if no other land is recorded on that occupation
- swimming pool
- mixed use buildings
Please name each asset on the sites you occupy using a brief description that is meaningful to you and which links back to your site plan. The descriptions will be used in the report that you will be able to download for your records at the end of the return.
In this section, we will ask you to tell us if the asset is land or building. We will also ask if it has undergone capital improvements since 1 September 2017 or if it is under construction. The final question on this page asks if the asset is permanent or temporary. Most assets will be permanent; temporary applies to assets that are moveable - such as porta-cabins. It is important that all buildings on the site are accounted for – even if they are not all used for educational purposes.
If you have not included any land on an occupation, a validation message will appear asking you to add another asset as land. If you have a legitimate reason not to include land in your occupation, please include a brief explanation.
Once you have added all of your assets, including your land, press ‘save and continue’. The next series of questions are about each group of assets (land and buildings) in turn. These questions will be relatively short and will ask about the primary use, number of classrooms, the year the asset was built (if known or nearest decade), if it is sublet, if you have stopped using it in the year or if it is unoccupied.
Once you have added assets to each occupation and completed the follow up questions you will reach the review screen. This page will have a summary report that you can double check and save as a record of your return details.
If you are a multi-academy trust and have more academies to complete, you should return to the dashboard and complete each academy in turn.
Once you have completed your update for each academy and the trust section, the LBCT form will ask you to confirm if you are ready to:
- as a preparer, submit to your approver for review
- as an approver, submit on behalf of your trust
If, as an approver, you are not satisfied with the return, you can go back into it and amend as necessary or you can reject the return and it will go back to the preparer to amend and resubmit for your approval. If you reject a form please include relevant comments as to what needs amending. Point of best practice, if you’re rejecting this to a preparer please speak the user to get this amended as quickly as possible.
We have produced this tutorial video that shows you how to add assets to your LBCT return.
If you have entered diocesan user details in your return because your data includes church owned land, the diocesan users will receive an email to notify them that they can now access that part of your return, please see here how of how to grant access.
8.1 If you have entered church owned land
If you do not have any church owned land, please skip this part.
If your diocesan user is content with the information they have seen for the church owned land, they will submit your return on your behalf to the DfE. If they are not, they will provide comments in the form explaining why and the form will be rejected to you to amend and then you will need to resubmit to the diocesan user. With either outcome, the academy LBCT users will get an email confirming what action the diocese has taken.
You should liaise with your diocesan user early in the process to agree the timelines for completing and submitting your return. Your diocesan user must provide the email address(s) you need to enter in your LBCT return to grant access to them. We will deem your return as late if it is submitted late by the diocesan user.
Please see this tutorial video for how to enter diocesan users details to obtain church owned land sign-off.
The key steps to grant access to your nominated diocesan user is:
- speak early in the process to confirm which diocesan users the academy users will need to add
- academy users log into your LBCT return early to add the email address exactly as provided
- confirm with the diocesan users that they can see your academy trust from their login
If the diocesan user can’t see your academy trust after the academy user has entered their email address these top tips may help resolve it:
- check there are no spaces, extra letters or numbers added to the diocese email address
- confirm with the diocesan user that they can log into the link - if they can’t they have either provided the wrong email address or aren’t set up
Please note that that either the Catholic Education Service (CES) or the Church of England Education Office (CofEEO) will need to approve any new diocesan user set up.
This is where academy users will upload documents to the document store. The document store is in the same page as where you select the LBCT form. These documents will help explain what you have entered in the form for each academy in your trust. This year we would like academy users to tell us which documents relate to what occupations in the form for each academy via the comments box. This will help the review process and avoid follow up questions to you. The documents that we would like you to upload, in PDF format, are:
- annotated site maps showing your buildings and land occupations example site map
- lease and sublet agreements
- land registry titles
For new academy trusts, it is recommended that you have these in advance of starting the form. Please submit your form and then enter your documents afterwards. Documents can be uploaded after the deadline without effecting the return submission date however, please try and do this as close to submission date as possible.
We have prepared a tutorial video showing academy users how to upload documents to their document store.
10. How to submit your LBCT return to the DfE
10.1 Sections to complete
If you use a preparer or an approver to complete your return the sign-off path the review/preparation stages are the same. The academy user will have to go through each of these sections to submit the form to DfE:
- academy trust and update for any centrally held assets
- each academy in turn to update for any changes required
Once the preparer has completed both aspects of the return and sent for approval, all of the dashboard status will be updated to ‘Sent to approver’. The approver must now log in and review each screen for the trust and each academy. At the end of each of the return sections (trust and each academy) the approver will have to ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ the data submitted by the preparer. If there are amendments, as an approver you can make these yourself or you can reject back to the preparer. If you reject, please include a helpful message in the comments box for the preparer to action. If an approver prepares and approvers the form the sign-off route will be the same. Once each of the academies and the trust sections are complete each status on the dashboard will show as ‘Approved’.
Please note that if a return is rejected, the dashboard status will change to ‘rejected by approver’. This status will remain until the approver has gone back into the return and clicked ‘accept’ following a review of the updated information. The same process will apply if a diocesan user rejects a return back to the approver.
Once all the statues on the dashboard show as ‘Approved’ a new button will appear at the bottom of the dashboard. This is the button to submit your return to the DfE. Once pressed your return will have been submitted to the DfE and your return will become read only. Once you’ve pressed the submit button your dashboard status will move to ‘Complete’.
10.2 If your trust has church owned land included as an occupation route
If your trust has an occupation route of ‘church owned land’ there will be an additional step to complete. Once you reach the sign-off stage you’ve already entered your nominated diocesan users email address into your form. This would have granted them access to allow them to check your return for accuracy. The diocesan users will submit your return to the DfE on your behalf. They will review the data entered in the form that relates only to church owned land, if they are content they will ‘accept’ if not they will ‘reject’. The diocesan user will provide helpful comments as to why they have rejected your form. Once the diocesan user has reviewed each and every section of the dashboard with church owned land and has accepted everything, all the statuses will be either ‘approved’ if there was no church owned land or ‘approved by diocese’.
The same button will appear at the bottom of the dashboard to submit the form the DfE. Pressing this will submit the form to the DfE - it will make your return read only. Once you’ve pressed the submit button your dashboard status will move to ‘Complete’.
11. If your form has been rejected by a user
If your LBCT form has been rejected by either a dicoesan user or an approver, this image shows you where to find the rejection message provided by them.
The image shows you that in the first tab called, stage 1, there is a section now clickable called information, this is where the rejection message has been entered by that user. We strongly recommend that if you’re going to reject a form that you speak to the effected users to ensure that they understand any change requests.
These are some of the most common phrases used in the within the guidance as well as the LBCT online form; there is also an example site for an academy.
- academy level: to do with an individual school(s)
- approver: the accounting officer or designated representative who submits the return on behalf of a trust and can also prepare the return
- centrally held assets: any land and buildings which are not part of an academy school e.g. a separate headquarters site for a MAT or an investment property
- church leases: this is a lease with the local diocese for use of land
- church owned land: church trustees, usually the local diocese, will own the land and will normally have set specific parameters around your use of the land
- customary occupation: a standing arrangement allowing you to occupy the site informally.
- diocesan user: representative from a church body responsible for reviewing church owned land
- freehold: you own the land completely, you are the landlord
- IDAMS: a registration portal for setting up and updating user roles
- leasehold: you have a lease from your landlord who may own the freehold
- lease length: length of the lease in years and months at the time of signing
- lessee: you hold the lease for a property
- lessor: the person who leases or lets a property to another
- licence: you have a legal agreement to use the land from the owner
- mixed use: where an asset (building) is used for multiple purposes e.g. as classrooms and also as a sports hall
- occupation type: the way the academy occupies the land it uses
- other: for any occupation route not covered in the other options
- peppercorn rent: a small nominal token rent that remains fixed for the whole term of the lease. For our purposes any rent below £100 per annum can be considered to be a peppercorn rent
- preparer: the person who fills in the return with data then submits to the approver
- SARA: Sector Annual Report and Accounts: a consolidated report for the academy sector that feeds into the Department’s annual accounts
- save and next: this button will save the data on that page and take you to the next page of the form, users can log out after pressing ‘save and next’ and the form will retain all the data entered
- sitemap: this will include land boundaries for each occupation, asset names, annotations and colour coding
- sublease: a lease by a tenant or lessee of part or all of leased property to another person
- sublet: you have rented part of you building out, i.e. to a nursery
- temporary asset: accommodation type that is 5 years or less or any structures and buildings about to be demolished excluding storage sheds, electric substations
- tenancy at will: this is an agreement to allow a tenant and the landowner use of land before a formal contract has been drawn up. These are usually short term and can be cancelled with immediate effect
- trust level: to do with all academies in the group i.e. represented as one entity