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4 December 2019
By Leanne Parker

School Financial Services Newsletter

Office Closure

Due to the Christmas period SFS office will be closed from 12pm on 20 December - 2 January 2020.

The SFS Helpdesk will also be closed on the 6th January 2020 for staff training day.

Please email:
 [email protected]  on these days and we will respond as soon as we can. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Classcare refunds

Some Kent schools may be receiving a refund from Classcare shortly which relates to previous years.  The refund is expected to appear in the December Statement of Account and should be coded to I07.

Please ensure that this is included in the 9 month return and sufficient commentary is provided to governors and the Local Authority to explain the increase in income.

Pensions Re-enrolment

Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

Many academy trusts are approaching their ‘re-enrolment window’. This is a legal duty that employers must comply with as part of their automatic enrolment duties – every three years they need to ‘re-enrol’ certain staff who may have left/opted-out of their workplace pension scheme.

The Pensions Regulator has published guidance on re-enrolment to help academy trusts understand what their duties are, what they need to do to comply with the law, and by when.

Please visit: for further information.

Nine Month Monitoring

Please remember that all nine month monitoring is due by the 17th Jan 2020.

Please send in your Balance Control Mechanism along with this return.

For any queries please call SFS Helpdesk on: 03000 415 415.

Academies Accounts Return Skype Call and Web Chat Schedule

From Tuesday 19 November, Education Skills & Funding Agency (ESFA) will start to host a series of weekly Skype calls and web chat sessions covering the accounts return.

The deadline for an academy trusts external auditor to submit the accounts return is Monday 20 January 2020. Academy trusts must make sure their external auditors are registered and set up to use the financial returns online forms.

Please also note, the deadline for trusts financial statements using the accounts submission coversheet is Tuesday 31 December 2019.

Academy trusts should use the online enquiry form for any queries and select the option ‘Academies financial returns’ and provide the trusts UPIN or company number.

Please click the links above for more details.

Staff Travel & Expenses

All staff travel expenses must be processed directly with the schools payroll provider using the appropriate claim forms.  No travel claims should be paid directly to staff from the school via cheque/cash.  This is in accordance with HMRC guidance on travel and subsistence expenses.  Full details can be found within Section 9 of the Financial Controls. Please visit: for details.

In This Issue

  • Office Closure
  • BPS TLR and SEN Rates
  • Classcare refunds
  • Teachers Pay Grant
  • Pensions Re-enrolment
  • Ebay/Facebay Accounts
  • Courses Spring 2020
  • Nine Month Monitoring
  • Academies Skype Call

BPS TLR and SEN Rates

The TLR and SEN values in the BPS are amendable by users and are not centrally updated.  Please check the values in your Employees menu are appearing as expected and for the SEN go into the relevant timeline and enter the new value.   For the TLR rates make sure you use the “SCH” option (e.g. TLR2.1 (SCH)) when adding these to employees to make sure the correct value is assigned.

Please contact the SFS Helpdesk on: 03000 415 415.

Teachers Pay Grant Supplementary Grant application form

The ESFA have provided guidance on the online claim form for the Teachers Pension Employer Contribution supplementary grant including a link to the form itself.  Visit for details.

Ebay/Facebay Accounts

If a school wants to set up accounts with these online websites to buy goods, the following rules apply: 

The account must be in the school name (not a staff member), valid VAT invoices must be received in order to claim VAT ( if not available then must use VAT code R) and finally school corporate card details must not be saved on the site.

Financial Controls and Banking

Please be aware that when contacting the schools banking provider the individuals in their Customer Service teams are unlikely to be aware of the Financial Controls that Kent schools must adhere to.  If any advice is received from the schools bank that may contradict these controls, please call the Help Desk for clarification before proceeding.

Courses Spring 2020

There are places still available on the following courses:

FMS6 Healthcheck

31 January 2020 SCH20/278

11 February 2020 SCH20/279

FMS6 Beginners Closedown

25 February 2020 SCH20/282

27 February 2020 SCH20/283

Introduction to BPS

11 March 2020 SCH20/335

Budget Setting for Academies

31 March 2020 SCH20/285

To book a course please visit CPD online.