A review of the year so far, a look at the financial priorities and training opportunities for Autumn term 2016.
Welcome back to an exciting new academic year! Following on from my last blog we have received an update regarding the consultation/implementation of the National Funding formula.
On 21 July 2016, Education Secretary Justine Greening stated that, although the government is firmly committed to introducing fairer funding for schools, high needs and early years, it understands the need for local authorities to have sufficient information to begin to plan their funding arrangements for 2017 to 2018.
The following has therefore been confirmed for 2017 to 2018:
- No local authority will see a reduction from their 2016 to 2017 funding (adjusted to reflect authorities most recent spending patterns on the schools block of the DGS grant (per pupil funding) or the high needs block (cash amount).
- The current minimum funding guarantee for schools will be retained, so that no school can face a reduction of more than 1.5% per pupil in what it receives through the local authority funding formula.
- The government will not proceed with proposals to create a new schools block within the DSG.
- The above points will be covered for 2018 to 2019 and beyond in the government's response to the first stage consultation in the autumn.
School Finance Team
It is important that we spend some time reflecting on last year and looking at how we can develop and improve our work with schools. As many schools are still in the process of planning for or converting to academy status we are currently developing our support services for academies. We have also had some really positive feedback to our FMS6 user training and our team endeavour to continue developing and delivering quality training to meet the growing demands on school staff.
Financial management of your school budget for the current and future years still remains a key priority. Period 6 monitoring is fast approaching which is an ideal opportunity to review your school’s financial position at the half way point of the financial year, but don’t worry our team of school budget officers are on hand to give you any support you may need and current customers will soon receive their helpful reminders to support them with the preparation of this information.
Autumn term is always an extremely busy time for schools with a new intake of pupils, autumn census and period 6 monitoring amongst many other priorities it can be a very challenging time. It is important that we ensure the financial management/administration skills of new and current staff remain fresh so that budgets are reliable and financial data is sound. This information being up-to-date and accurate is key to school governors and the senior leadership team in ensuring they can make the best possible decisions for their school, it is important to remember that it’s not just new staff who require professional development but experienced staff too who may require some refresher training or wish to enhance their skills in the fast paced and ever-changing school environment.
School Finance New Training Offer and Courses Available
The One Education School Finance team have been hard at work over the summer developing our training programme to better meet your needs. We have listened to customer feedback and have added HCSS budgeting software user training to the programme.
Our programme now includes:
- FMS User Training
- FMS Advanced User Training
- HCSS Nuts and Bolts of Business Management
- HCSS Budgeting Software User Training
Our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience with all aspects of school and academy finance, and is able to provide full on-site training, advice and support to new and developing administration/finance staff, school business managers, senior leadership teams and governors.
Bespoke training is available on a one-on-one or group basis covering:
- a variety of financial management systems
- budget planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting
- strategic approach in all aspects of school finance
- tailor made training packages to support staff development
If you would like any additional information, or for an informal chat, please contact Sue Lamb on 0844 967 1111. We will be happy to talk through any queries or pop in to visit you if it is more convenient.