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Finance admin sessions CFL Finance February 2014
Guest inputs Pensions - Teachers • Diana Whyte Audit and Governance • Ian Withers – Audit & Governance Manager • Dave Phillips – Mazars Audit • SLA 14/15 • Shirley Si-Ahmed HCSS Bus • Rob Moorcock In house Catering • Parish Church Schools
Schedule • • 09. 30 - 09. 35 SLA 2014/15 09. 35 - 10. 20 Croydon Schools Finance Team 10. 20 - 10. 35 Audit & Governance 10. 35 - 10. 40 Pensions update 10. 40 - 11. 00 Break 11. 00 - 11. 10 In house catering – Parish Church Schools 11. 10 - 11. 40 HCSS Bus 11. 40 - 12. 00 AOB
Proposed finance agenda • • Team update - Latest news Various odds - Training, Year end, SFVS Funding 13/14 – Any issues Funding 14/15 – An update including the latest information regarding the government initiative to provide a free school meal to all Yr. R, 1&2 pupils • AOB – A chance to raise any other matters that may be relevant
Update on the CFL Finance team • Patrick Leavy is now close to fully trained and will take on more schools in due course. • Ingrid will be reverting back to her management accountant role after year end. Ingrid will be keeping a small number of schools and will also be available to provide short term back up and support when required. • Vanessa Newton is assisting Louise Watts with the monthly processes in schools.
Update on the CFL finance team – high needs • Janet Baidoo the Finance Manager that leads on high needs has just gone on maternity leave. She will be replaced by an interim business partner next week. In the short term, John Fennell will be the link between the LA and schools.
Overview of Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) • DSG funds the majority of education activities • From April 2013 -14, made up of 3 blocks: – Schools Block – Early Years Block – High Needs Block
DSG – allocation to Croydon • The Department for Education (Df. E) provide funding on a per child basis of: – Schools Block (£ 4, 559. 18) – Early Years Block (£ 4, 564. 33) – 25 hours! • These have remained cash flat for 2014 -15 • The High Needs block is based on historic expenditure, some £ 51 m
DSG – Croydon’s Schools Block • A funding formula is used to distribute Schools block funding to Schools • Academies are included in this formula, as it is used to calculate their funding • Croydon’s schools block is £ 207. 282 m in 2014 -15 • Academy recoupment is expected to be around £ 80. 0 m in 2014 -15
DSG –Schools Formula The formula divides up the “pot” to each school: • It is staying very similar to the 2013 -14 formula • AWPU has increased slightly • Prior attainment has increased in pot size • Mobility has reduced in total size, even though factor was doubled (change in criteria) • Lump sum reduced in secondary phase (but was re-distributed to secondary phase)
DSG –Schools Block Central Expenditure • Some education funding can be retained by the local authority to cover central items. • These are: – Admissions (£ 1, 206 k) – Termination costs (£ 213 k) – Copyright licenses (£ 93 k) – Schools forum (£ 39 k) – Carbon Permits (£ 10 k) - PRUs
DSG –Schools Block central items Choice presented to Schools Forum around top slicing further amounts from the Schools block: • Key Stage 3 and 4 funding (£ 808. 5 k) • Growth fund (£ 4, 690 k)
DSG –Schools Block de-delegation Choice presented to Schools Forum around services that maintained schools want to buy back from the Local Authority: • Union Facility time (£ 97 k) • Support to under achieving groups (£ 200 k)
Pupil Premium Grant • Allocations are increasing in 2014 -15: 2014 -15 2013 -14 Free School Meals - Primary - Secondary £ 1, 300 £ 935 £ 953 (£ 900) £ 900 Looked After Child Service Child £ 1, 900 £ 300 £ 900 £ 300
Catering – Free School Meals • The new arrangements come into place in September 2014. • How will the funding be calculated for the FSM pupils in Yr. R, Yr 1 & Yr 2? • Capital funding to cope with the increased capacity in school kitchens. How will it be distributed? • These questions are being looked at.
High Needs Funding • Changes to the way the funding is calculated from April 2014. • Potentially from Sept 2014, all new statements will be based on a Education Heath & Care Plans. • This is likely to change things a lot, with parents having more of a say into the support being provided. It can be TA hours, but likely to move to other areas of support.
High Needs Funding (Contin) • All schools including Special Schools must reclaim funding from other boroughs for their Out of Borough pupils. • A letter will be coming out after half term to explain the process. This will contain a list of contacts at other LA’s
Timetable of returns February / March 2014 School sets initial budget Electronic version returned by 31 March 2014 Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) and Assurance SFVS due by 31 st March 2014 and must have been agreed by the governing body at a Full Governing Body Meeting before that date April 2014 School submits Period 12 (quarter 4) return ** 28 April 2014 or 14 April 2014 if school is in deficit April 2014 School submits the 2013/14 year end schedules and preliminary CFR return (SFVS due by 31 st March and must have been agreed by the governing body at a Full Governing Body Meeting before that date) The end of year returns are due by Thursday 17 th April 2014 May 2014 Scanned and signed initial budget Signed version 1 May 2014 (might switch to 15 May 2014) June 2014 School submits final CFR return Electronic and scanned signed versions due by Friday 20 th June 2014 **You should scan and email a signed copy to schools. [email protected] gov. uk within 4 weeks of the end of the period/quarter (or fax a signed copy to CFL (Schools) Finance on 020 8633 9577 – please use a fax as a last resort)
Year End • The deadline for returns is Thursday 17 th April 2014. The 18 th is Good Friday, so no real time for slippage. • We have 13 working days, 9 of which are in the Easter holidays. • Your co-operation in managing to fit us in during the school holidays will be really appreciated.
Year end (continued) • The year end schedules template will go onto Fronter by 31/3/14. • However, we will load a non funding populated version after half term, which schools can use to enter accruals & prepayments. • Any unresolved funding issues for 13/14 should be accrued for.
Training • Two SFVS bitesize sessions were held recently. • Two Year End bitesize sessions are scheduled for Wednesday 19 th March 2014 at 9. 30 and 11. 30. • These will be particularly useful to any new finance staff or anyone wanting to understand more about the process. They are being held in one of the IT rooms at Leon House, so there will be plenty of opportunity for ‘hands on’.
Balances/Deficits • Schools Forum looking at schools with apparent excessive balances and reviewing the balance analysis produced within the year end returns. • The process is likely to change next year with only specific targeted schools being asked to explain their excessive balances. • If a school enters a deficit position, then they need to apply for a licensed deficit and follow the procedure for deficit returns.
Balances/Deficits - continued • Balances are up by 27% across all schools from Q 2 to Q 3. Primary schools are up by 35%. Will the trend continue to Q 4? • The total projected balance is around £ 6. 5 million. • 22 primary schools have balances over £ 100 k, with 6 over £ 150 k and 3 over £ 200 k. • There are 6 schools currently in deficit.
Returns • Electronic or active spreadsheet so we can pull out the data from the cells • Signed so a picture (pdf) so we have a copy for audit • Scanned is preferred over faxed e. g. can read it e. g. receipt if by email scanned, but cannot reply if faxed • There are two quarterly returns - a normal quarterly return - an analysis of balances - Both need to be sent in electronically and scanned/signed.
Returns • We have been chasing hard this year to get all returns in by the due dates. • We are aware that some of you have been chased for returns and apologies if you think this is over the top or not within your remit. However we do need to ensure that the records are complete and we do find that some schools require few reminders. This is an Audit requirement and each school’s date of return is recorded and will be checked by Internal Audit when you are audited. • We do issue dates in advance and many are also on the Fronter calendar and Finance Matters.
Returns - SFVS • This should be well on the way to completion. • We have received a number of returns already. • They must be: - updated from March 2013, do not just submit last year’s with no changes. - agreed by full governing body by 31 March 2014. - fully signed by 31 March 2014. - received by 31 March 2014. • Internal Audit check every SFVS when you are audited.
Returns – Book B (Contracts) / Bank Statement March 2014 • Please start completing your Book B. It is for all your contracts /SLA’s THIS YEAR 2013/14. This is one of the most important documents in the academy conversion process so should be kept up to date. A draft template is available on Fronter within Other Useful Info. • March 2014 bank statement must be signed, scanned and returned promptly – this includes any deposit accounts linked to your main account and they both must be recorded in Book A. It is important, as the CFL Finance department is externally audited every summer and several schools bank statements and contracts are part of that audit.
AOB - a chance to raise any other matters that may be relevant • BACS – an update. • Budget Template • LA debt collection SLA
Audit & Governance
Deteriorating Audit Assurance • Audit assurance for schools has steadily declined the last 4 years, so much so, that more schools have been assessed as having a limited or no assurance during 2013/14, as depicted in the following table: Full Substantial Limited None 2010/11 0% 77% 23% 0% 2011/12 0% 57% 43% 0% 2012/13 0% 48% 52% 0% 2013/14 (YTD) 0% 44% 12%
Deteriorating Audit Assurance Schools should also be aware that: • Ofsted may consider the assurance of any recent internal reports when making their assessment. • Based on recent experience, ‘Limited’ or ‘No’ assurance final audit reports are likely to be subject to FOI requests and may be the focus of articles in local newspapers.
Deteriorating Audit Assurance The Council’s Corporate Leadership Team has expressed concern regarding the results and at the Audit Advisory Committee meeting held on 3 December 2013 it was agreed that in future: • Head Teachers and Chairs of Governors for schools with ‘No’ Assurance reports would be invited to attend the committee to discuss their school’s poor performance and the actions being taken to improve this. • Schools with ‘Limited’ or ‘No’ assurance that did not engage with the follow up process or did not demonstrate satisfactory progress in implementing recommendations, would also be invited to attend the committee.
Common issues The more common issues arising from ‘Limited’ or ‘No’ assurance School audits for 2013/14 have been: • Orders had been raised subsequent to the receipt of the respective invoices for the majority of the transactions sampled. • Goods or services received checks had not been evidenced for the majority of the transactions sampled. • Two references were not evidenced as obtained prior to employment
Other specific significant issues identified in individual school reports included: • A head teacher’s salary had been increased from the wrong date and not with effect from 1 September as required. In addition, the ‘Pension Return of Salary and Service Information’ returns submitted for the same periods contained errors and did not correctly represent the salary changes. • Several one-off payments had been made to teaching staff, which were not in line with the School’s Pay Policy, or evidenced as approved by the Staff Committee.
Other specific significant issues (cont) • Occupational health checks had not been evidenced. • Evidence of right to work being obtained for the new starters sampled was not evidenced. • There were a number of instances where the staff DBS checks had not been renewed and DBS checks the governors were not evident.
Moving forward In order to assist schools and help them improve their governance and control environments, the following are either in place or planned: • An ‘Audit, Governance and Anti-Fraud’ room has been set up on Fronter. • The Chair of Governors meeting in January 2014 was attended. • Governor training on internal audit has been and will continue to be provided.
Moving forward (Cont) • The current school audit test program is readily available on Fronter.
Moving forward (Cont) • Presentations have been made at the bursars/finance manager meetings. • The ‘Financial Governance & Audit Working Group’ of the School’s Forum meets to inter alia monitor results of school internal audits to identify areas of common weakness and make recommendations for actions to address these.
Moving Forward (Cont) • The Governance Team is available to visit schools and advise on governance matters.
Moving forward (Cont) • The ‘Governance Newsletter for Schools’ is produced.
Contact us Governance Team Chief Executive's Department London Borough of Croydon 12 th Floor, Zone B Bernard Weatherill House 8 Mint Walk Croydon CR 0 1 EA [email protected] gov. uk 0208 760 5489 Internal. [email protected] gov. uk 0208 760 5771 [email protected] gov. uk 0800 328 9270