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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/efa-e-bulletin-15-may-2014/efa-e-bulletin-for-academies-15-may-2014
1. Information: risk protection arrangement for academy trusts
More information about the risk protection arrangement (RPA) for academy trusts is available on GOV.UK.
This includes confirmation of the appointment of the Willis Group – a global risk advisor and insurance broker – as expert advisors and Gallagher Bassett – a leading third-party administrator – as claims handlers for the RPA.
2. Action: finance and assurance training
EFA has launched a series of online presentations and interactive webinars to help you complete your financial returns.
The March accounts return webinar takes place on 15 May at 2pm. You can register now for this, as well as for webinars on the budget forecast (9 June, 2pm) and the financial framework (15 July, 11am). There is also a session aimed at academy auditors on 15 July at 2pm.
Narrated presentations about the March accounts return and budget forecast are also available now.
3. Information: Priority School Building Programme 2
On 1 May the Department for Education announced a new second phase of the Priority School Building Programme. This is a 5 year programme operating between 2015 and 2021 to undertake major rebuilding and refurbishment projects in those schools and sixth-form colleges in the very worst condition.
EFA expects to open the online application process in early June and will be publishing further detailed guidance on the information applicants will need to provide, to enable you to consider this in advance. This will be available on GOV.UK by the end of May.
4. Information: academies Sponsor Capacity Fund applications
Applications for the Sponsor Capacity Fund opened on 1 May 2014. The fund is designed to support approved academy sponsors and those in the process of applying to be sponsors.
The deadline is 30 June 2014 and applicants will be notified of the outcome in September.
5. Information: grant to employ a school business manager
Applications for small clusters of primary schools to apply for a £25,000 match-funded grant to employ a school business manager in a leadership role are open until 13 June 2014.
The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) is managing applications. Applicants should register their interest by emailing email@example.com by 6 June.
6. Information: final Devolved Formula Capital allocations
The 2014 to 2015 Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) allocations have been updated based on the list of open academies as at 1 April 2014.
The provisional allocations published in January 2014 were based on those schools that were expected to convert to academy status by 1 April 2014. The final allocations reflect the actual position as at 1 April 2014.
7. Action: 16 to 19 Bursary Fund - vulnerable student claims
16 to 19 Bursary Fund vulnerable student claim forms need to be submitted to the Learner Support Service (LSS) before the end of the academic year.
Institutions should draw down funding for vulnerable students from the LSS as soon as they assess a student as being in one of the four defined vulnerable groups, which are:
- in care
- care leaver
- in receipt of Income Support or in receipt of Universal Credit in place of Income Support
- in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or in receipt of ESA and Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
Please read the guidance notes accompanying the form before completion. Detailed explanations of the vulnerable groups are set out in the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for the 2013 to 2014 academic year.
For more advice or information, call LSS on 0300 303 8610 or visit GOV.UK.
8. Action: EFA customer survey
The EFA customer survey is currently open for all providers and academies to tell EFA what you think about the service it provides. All comments, compliments and criticism is welcome!
The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and will help EFA continue to develop the service that it provides to you.
9. Information: Asbestos - gas masks and other military artefacts
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced advice to schools that no gas mask should be worn or handled by children or teachers.
It also advises that it is not appropriate for children or teachers to wear or handle any artefacts that potentially contain asbestos. This includes army helmets such as ‘Brodie’ helmets.
Please seek health and safety advice should you have any concerns on this issue. Further guidance on asbestos management in schools can be found on GOV.UK.