Governance & Compliance 32: FPS Web Training Dates

The Education & Learning Team are pleased to announce that following a successful Financial Planning Suite (FPS) Web pilot and approval from Schools Finance Group, DCC will be adopting the FPS Web as the budget planning tool for 2016/17.

EAL Finance would like to apologise to Devon maintained schools for not being able to notify you sooner, but we have been waiting on information from our partners around training dates and costs associated.

We are now in a position to confirm the training dates as follows:

11th, 12th, 18th, 20th January –  Exeter Racecourse
19th January or 22nd February –  The Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple
1st or 8th February –  The Watermark Centre, Ivybridge

Secondary Schools 27th January – Exeter Racecourse

Federations 9th February – Coaver Club, Exeter

  • The training is mandatory for all maintained schools and will cost £130 per school (up to 2 people may attend), with the training course taking place over a full day.
  • Schools will be able to use their own chart of accounts and staffing data. Instructions on tasks that are required to be completed prior to the training course will be provided by ScoMIS once a school has booked on their place on a training course.
  • Each school will be required to bring their own laptop.

The training courses on the 27th January and the 9th February will be focusing mainly on secondary schools and federation schools respectively. This is so that schools with similar queries and issues can sit and work together on the one session.

Note: if you are unable to make these dates, please book on another date.

Schools unable to attend

If a school chooses not to attend one of the available FPS training dates, the school will still be charged £130 and will be required to take out training offered by ScoMIS at an additional cost of £170 per person.

Access to FPS Web will remain blocked until a school has booked on to one of the above training dates.

Initial Training costs will be raised in February/March 2016.

Annual Charges

The annual cost has come in under the £1,000 estimate stated at the Bursar Briefings in November. Starting form 1st April 2016 prices will be.

2016/172017/182018/19
FPS Web Licence£435£435£435
Personnel 7 & FMS6 Links£200£200£200

These charges will apply to each school with a single budget.

So for example, 4 schools are in a single budget with a hub school number ‘1111’ will see only the cost to the single budget federation which will be £635 and will be charged to school number ‘1111’.

If you are multi-budget federation then each school maintains their own budget and each school will see a charge of £635.

If a school is not in a federation, they will be charged £635.

The cost of the FPS Web licence and links will be raised by the EAL Finance at the end of this financial year.

Booking

This is currently not available to book online. To book yourself on an FPS training course please contact ScoMIS on 01392 385300 or email ScoMIS (ScoMIS@devon.gov.uk).

Must be completed

As part of the set-up for FPS Web, ScoMIS will require written permission to apply two patches for those schools that are on terminal sever. These schools will need to copy/print out the text below, sign and complete the request form and send it back to ScoMIS (scomis@devon.gov.uk). If the school is not on terminal server please contact ScoMIS and request the patches for ‘Third Party Budgeting – FMS 6 Link Licence Patch_19335  and Third Party Budgeting – P7 Link Licence Patch 12104’.

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HCSS Financial Planning Software for Five Year Budget Plans

FPS Web companion is a piece of software (provided by HCSS/Capita) that allows users to perform budget planning tasks. The software has two components that extract data from a SIMS or FMS databases. These components are known as the FMS link and the P7 link software.

In preparation for the training sessions being offered to Devon maintained schools for this software, please accept this email as confirmation of the school’s authority to apply the following to our SIMS and FMS databases:-

Third Party Budgeting – FMS 6 Link Licence Patch_19335  and Third Party Budgeting – P7 Link Licence Patch 12104 .

Signed ……………………………………….

Name (printed)………………………………

Date ………………………………………….

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2 comments on “Governance & Compliance 32: FPS Web Training Dates

  1. John Lawlor says:

    So this is a new “mandatory” system being introduced by DCC because they decided to replace a perfectly adequate previous one. Schools have therefore no choice but to adopt the new system and are being charged an annual cost of £635 for the privilege! On top of this we then have to pay £130 to have our admin staff trained and even better we be still charged if we decided to not send staff on the training course! At £130 per school someone is making a lot of money out of the training not to mention the licence fees!

    No wonder schools want to leave the LEA when they are treated like this.

    • education.finance says:

      Why change to Financial Planning Suite
      The Budget Planning Tool is required to be completed by the maintained schools within the authority.

      The current Budget Planning Tool is an Excel spreadsheet containing 40 separate tabs designed and maintained by a single individual within the Education Finance Team. This has reached a critical point and no longer remains a viable option due to:

      • Lack of common IT platforms across schools
      • System heavily customised, unsupported and limited upgrade path
      • Stability of the spreadsheet cannot be guaranteed with continued expansion
      • Time restraints due to staff reductions

      The Financial Planning Suite (FPS) is to replace the current spreadsheet and meets the requirements of the Devon Schools in that:

      • The application is web based which will mitigate the problems varying IT platforms and the requirement of a single individual to have the skills
      • Producing budgets for schools using base data driven from existing systems as it integrates with FMS and SIMS.

      FPS Web for Schools has a number of advantages over Excel:

      • Multiple users may view and edit FPS Web for Schools budget plans at the same time from a variety of locations, without the need for emailing various versions of an Excel document around. This means that users do not have to worry about accidentally using older versions of the budget, and can view changes made by other users immediately.
      • FPS Web for Schools can contain a huge amount of data and complicated formulae without speed of use being significantly affected. Excel spreadsheets can be slow to open and save once they grow beyond a certain size.
      • Data validation reduces the chance of entry errors, and the nature of the software means that formulae cannot be accidentally overtyped. This gives FPS Web for Schools a huge advantage over Excel which is very vulnerable to formula errors.
      • The system has is the ability to create multiple scenarios. This means the school, by May, can get a signed off and published scenario for County and the schools can easily create multiple scenarios to assess future changes.

      Annual Charges
      The annual charges are reduced due to the bulk purchasing power the LA has and in year 1 the LA has funded £49,000 to bring the cost to the same value as following years. Note this may vary in the future years as schools convert to academies or single budget federations.

      Schools Finance Group (SFG) have continually been informed of the pilot and have accepted the charges that schools will have to pick up for the licencing.

      Training Costs
      ScoMIS have arranged the 10 venues for the all day training and have started it will cost each school £130 to make the events cost neutral. Hence why each school will be charged whether they attend or not.

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