School budget share, planning and monitoring
Financial planning is an essential part of good financial management. The budget sets out how resources are allocated and provides a mechanism for monitoring expenditure through the year. It should be the concrete expression of the School Improvement Plan. Clearly identified links are needed between the school’s annual budget and its development plan.
- School Budget Share
Section 47 of The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires schools to be allocated their own budgets. It is the school’s responsibility to plan and implement the effective use of these funds. Section 50(3) empowers governors (subject to the provisions of statutory regulations) to spend the school budget share (SBS) as they “think fit” for the purposes of the school.
School budget share 2018/19
- Budget Planning (HCSS Budgeting)
The preparation of budgets is an ongoing process whereby the initial assumptions are refined over time as more up to date information becomes available.
A number of tools are available including a spreadsheet-based school budget calculator that will help to calculate the financial consequences of changes in pupil numbers.
Other useful documents when completing the Budget Plan
- Budget Monitoring (FRS)
Schools are required to provide budget monitoring information on a termly basis to their full Governing Body. The Schools Finance Team requires the budget monitoring information behind these reports provided to the full Governing Body in the format of an FRS report as stated within the ‘FRS Assistance’ document available from the FRS Guidance website. All FRS reports are to be submitted using the Finance Information Community via AnyComms at three specified dates in the year, approximate to
- Mid-May (following the financial year to account for actual over and under spends)
In making the June and November returns, schools will have flexibility in the selection of the return date: which will not be earlier than the end of the relevant term. Schools will be able to select a date to suit the pattern of their governors meetings.
For further information, together with the FRS User Guide and various helpful templates please visit the FRS Guidance website.
To assist Devon schools in the budget monitoring process the EAL finance team has produced the following information:
- Budget Monitoring Flowchart (PDF)
- FRS Assistance (Word)
- FRS User Guide (PDF)
- 3 Letter Transaction Reference and Contact Name
A report template has been created by DCC that schools must use and apply when submitting their FRS reports. For information on how to apply this template, please refer to the FRS assistance.
As of the 1st June 2015 all schools that have submitted an FRS report will receive a pdf document that details if an error exists within the report, such as:
However, if no errors are detected, the school will receive a confirmation PDF report stating that the FRS report has bene received and processed. This report will provide a detailed breakdown of income and expenditure by CFR category, including the carry forward and will show the anticipated end of year position.
These PDF reports are sent back to schools via AnyComms and are available for download from the Finance Information Community normally within 48 hours of the FRS report being submitted to DCC. If a school has not received a report back after 5 working days, please contact the Education & Learning Team (01392 382429).
- Year end guidance
The Year End Process is designed to ensure that the accounts are correctly closed in accordance with all of the requirements placed on the County Council. In some respects “Closing Down” is largely a tidying up exercise at the end of the financial year. It finalises the Revenue Accounts and this leads into the production of the statutory statements and key financial measures.
The following letters set out the requirements expected to be undertaken at the schools
The Task and Deadlines for 2017-18 have seen some reduction in timescales to meet the Government requirement to complete annual returns in a shorter timeframe.
- Data transfer
If you are a LA School and cannot access Staff.Devon links then please contact Scomis.