Guidance and policy documents relating to schools finance

Financial Administration and Control Policy

The 'Financial Administration & Control Policy' is prepared in accordance with, and should be read in conjunction with, the authority's 'Fair Funding Scheme'. The policy outlines the respective responsibilities of the Governing Body, Headteacher and Staff in relation to financial administration. It also provides a standardised approach to all finance related tasks within the school, which is consistent with the Financial Regulations of Nottingham City Council.
Financial Admin & Control Policy

Finance Manual

The Finance Manual provides a point of reference to assist schools in the management and administration of their delegated financial responsibilities. It details financial policies and practices that are approved and recommended by the Local Authority and takes account of all corporate and legislative requirements.
Finance Manual

Financial Procedures for Academy Conversions

We will visit the school one month prior to conversion to explain the process. Schools Finance Support will provide the final balance to Head Teacher within four months of the date of conversion and School Funding Team will release the agreed final balance within one month following the agreement.
Financial Procedures for Schools converting to Academies

Head Teacher Finance Induction

An introduction to schools finance for Head Teachers who are new to the post or the school.
Head Teachers Finance Induction

HMRC Employment Status Indicator Interactive Tool

If you have completed a checklist and are still unsure of the employment status of the person you are engaging, you can use the ESI tool.  This will guide you through some basic questions and give you an employment status along with the reasoning for this decision.
www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/esi.htm

School Funding Guides

How to understand the school funding
Schools Funding Factors
School Funding Example
How to manage the school funding
This will show you the key timelines for the school funding including annual allocation, termly adjustments and clawback arrangements.
Funding timeline

Self-Employed Contracts

An individual can only be paid via invoice if they can demonstrate that they are performing a contract for services (i.e. self-employed) as opposed to a contract of service (i.e. employed). In order to assess whether the individual is performing a contract for services or a contract of service, refer to these guidance forms:

Self Employed Assessment Form
Nottingham City Guide to engage with self-employed individuals
Determining employment Status
Guide to using HMRC's Employement Status Indicator Interactive Tool

 VAT Files

Guidance on how to export VAT files for monthly submission.
How to export VAT files

The Approved Fair Funding Scheme

In line with the Department of Education's (DFE) "Schemes for financing schools - statutory guidance for local authorities December 2015", Nottingham City Council has prepared a revised version of its Fair Funding Scheme. You can find the approved version of the revised Fair Funding Scheme here

Background

The Fair Funding Scheme sets out the financial relationship between the local authority and the maintained schools which it funds. The local authority's previous version (2013) is now slightly out of date. As per Schedule 14 of School Standards and Framework Act 1998, "as regards any proposed variation of the scheme, the authority shall first consult every governing body and head teacher whom they are obliged to consult". Therefore, we have initiated a consultation to get your feedback before submitting the revised version to the Schools Forum for their approval.

For your information:

  • Every section begins with a content summary and highlights the areas that have changed.
  • Every section includes contact details at the local authority for each subject area.
  • A summary of all changes since the previous version are shown on pages 4 and 5 of the document.
  • There are two types of changes: "update" means that the information was part of the previous version and some details have been updated in accordance with the DfE Schemes for financing schools 2015; "insertion" means that the information was not part of the previous version but they are now included so as to comply with the DfE Schemes for financing schools 2015. Stage 1 (Consultation with the governing bodies and the head teachers)Stage 2 ( Feedback Review and Report to Schools Forum)Stage 3 (Implementation)Key changes:

Stages of Formal Consultation

Stage 1 (Consultation with the governing bodies and the head teachers)

The consultation period was open between 8th January 2016 and 22nd January 2016.

Stage 2 ( Feedback Review and Report to Schools Forum)

The Schools Finance and School Funding Teams worked together to review all the feedback from the consultation and wrote a report to Schools Forum on the outcome of the consultation and took a revised draft copy of the scheme to the Schools Forum on 25th February 2016 for approval. This has now been approved.

Stage 3 (Implementation)

The approved Fair Funding Scheme will be effective from 1st April 2016.

Key changes:

  • Clarify the notification period for any schools that intend to use an alternative payroll provider to Schools Finance Support from one month to three months in line with EMSS payroll requirements.
  • Specify the write-off of debts limits and the approval process in line with the LA's Financial Regulation.
  • Re-introduce the submission of a 3-year budget plan from all maintained schools by 15th July each year - it is best practice to prepare a multi-year budget plan which supports the Governing Body in establishing a view of the schools medium term sustainability and provides the ability to take strategic action in a timely manner where financial issues are highlighted.
  • Change the order threshold from £10,000 to £5,000 in accordance with Financial Regulations.
  • Change the April cash advance payment from 5% of 5/12th of the indicative non-pay budget to 10% to help with schools' cash flow.
  • Change to no interest charges on cash advances to schools using external payroll to make it consistent with schools using EMSS payroll.
  • Change the deadline from 3 months to 4 months to finalise closed school accounts in line with the DfE guidance.
  • Specify the treatment of a deficit school balance and the arrangements in place to minimise the deficit level to prevent the LA from picking up debt from an academy conversion.

The full changes are detailed on the approved Fair Funding scheme.