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.


The SFVS helps schools to manage their finances and to provide assurance to the local authority that they have secure financial management in place.

The guidance applies to maintained schools and local authorities and is for:

  • governing bodies of maintained schools
  • management committees of pupil referral units
  • local authorities
  • other interested parties

As governing bodies have formal responsibility for the financial management of their schools, the standard is primarily aimed at them.

Local authority maintained schools are required to submit the SFVS annually to the authority. Local authorities use this information to inform their programme of financial assessment and audit.

Other schools are welcome to use this guidance and any of the other material associated with the standard.

The SFVS will be revised for 2019 to 2020 to review the list of questions and add a data-based self-assessment tool. The new SFVS will be published ahead of the 2019 to 2020 financial year. We are trialling the data-based tool in a version for academies and it can be found at School resource management self-assessment tool.

Schools financial value standard guidance 2018 to 2019

The assessment form informs the local authority’s submission of the dedicated schools grant chief financial officer assurance form, covering all maintained schools in their area. This is returned annually to the Department for Education.

This guidance provides clarification for each of the 25 questions on the assessment form. It also includes examples of good practice and details further support available to assist schools in addressing specific issues.

The additional resources provides useful information and tools to help complete the SFVS effectively. It includes details to help schools to review the roles of governors, as well as staff in schools with financial management responsibility. It also includes a matrix to help schools to analyse the spread of relevant skills and competencies.

Schools financial value standard guidance: 2017 to 2018

Schools financial value standard guidance: 2016 to 2017

Published 26 March 2015
Last updated 20 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added information and a link for the trial for the school resource management self-assessment tool.
  2. We've published the 2018 to 2019 schools financial value standard (SFVS) guidance and forms
  3. Updated with guidance for 2017 to 2018.
  4. The documents on this page have been updated to now cover the 2016 to financial year
  5. Open format versions added of assessment form and additional resources document, to enable completion.
  6. First published.