Information to help academy trusts submit their budget forecast returns to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Academies budget forecast return
This year there’ll only be a single BFR online form. We have combined the BFRO and BFR3Y into a single online form. This will go-live on 22 June 2021 with a deadline of 27 July 2021. These are the same timings as the BFR3Y.
This year the single form will require:
- all the BFRO data as usual - except the debtors and creditors section
- all the BFR3Y data
- your academy trust’s 3-year forecast
Please note that all academy trusts must compile longer-term forecasts for their own internal financial planning as required in the Academies Financial Handbook (section 2.11).
The Excel workbook is under development. We will publish this once it is ready and we recommend that trusts use it to prepare for their BFR return later in the year.
The BFR will collect your data based on the academies in your trust at the end of April 2021. This means if you have an academy and you expected it to transfer in or out at a later date, your BFR return must reflect this. The table below shows what you need to include in your BFR based on the month of transfer:
|Month of transfer||Academy leaving a trust||Academy joining a trust|
|September 2020||No action required||BFR to include actuals and forecasts for the academy joining the trust|
|October 2020 to April 2021||BFR to include actuals up to the point of transfer and from that point onwards||BFR to include actuals and forecasts from the date of transfer|
|May 2021 to August 2021||BFR to include actuals to the point of transferring and remove forecasts from then on||BFR include forecasts from the point of transfer|
|September 2021 onwards||BFR to include actuals and forecasts up to the point of transfer and remove forecasts from then on||BFR to include forecasts from September 2021 onwards|
The budget forecast return online form uses the IDAMS registration service. Academy trusts must be registered and set up to use the service before they can access the form. Please read this guide on how to register and set up the online forms for the BFR.
Academies budget forecast return outturn (BFRO)
This form collects financial outturn information as at the end of March each year. ESFA uses the information provided to ensure that the academy sector can accurately report its financial data to HM Treasury. For this year the BFRO is combined with the BFR3Y form.
Academies budget forecast return three year (BFR3Y)
This form collects financial outturn information as at the end of the academic year. ESFA uses the information provided to ensure that the academy sector can accurately report its financial data to HM Treasury. This return includes 3 year forecasts. For this year the BFR3Y is combined with the BFRO form.
New academy BFRs
Please note that we have ceased the collection of the in-year BFR financial return. New academy trusts and established trusts with new academies should include their new academies in the single BFR form this year.
If you have any questions about academies budget forecast returns, please contact us using our online enquiry form below. Please put ‘academies budget forecast returns’ at the top of your enquiry so we can quickly direct your question to the team.