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1 September 2021
By Schools Financial Services

Schools Financial Services Newsletter - September 2021

Additional Funding for NQT Induction

All state funded schools that currently have an NQT who is due to complete induction
this summer will have access to a one-off payment to further support the development of this cohort. The funding will be based on data from the School Workforce Census returns and be received in the summer term of 2022. Read the latest on the changes to statutory induction from September 2021 on GOV.UK.

Consultation on the National Funding Formula

The Department for Education has launched the Fair school funding for all: completing our reforms of the National Funding Formula consultation. This seeks views on how to simplify the current funding process and ensure all schools final funding allocation is determined by the same, national formula, and no longer subject to further adjustment by local authorities.

This is the first stage of the consultation on these reforms to the NFF, and it will be open for responses until 30 September. You may like to read the consultation document. Further news and updates on NFF will be cascaded at the next Finance Information Group.

Post-16 School Census Tool

The ESFA have updated the post-16 interactive tool to support the return of accurate post-16 school census data. Some institutions risk not getting the funding they should because of inaccurate data. The tool will help schools understand how data is used to calculate post-16 funding and how common data errors affect funding.

A suite of ESFA funding reports will be available in COLLECT when the autumn census opens in October. They will show you how your data looks in relation to our post-16 funding calculations. We strongly advise institutions to use these reports to help quality assure census returns. The tool is in an Excel workbook, and you need to ensure that macros are enabled so that the workbook functions properly. Any school queries on the tool need to use the ESFA online enquiry form.

Academies to Submit Historic Claims

In light of the proposals for ESFA to pay business rates directly to the billing authorities on behalf of schools from 1 April 2022, there will not be the need for academies to submit claims for their rates reimbursements from that date if agreement is met. If it goes ahead, academies must submit any historic claims for unclaimed years from 2015-16 onwards by 31 March 2022 as after this date the ESFA will not accept, process, or reimburse academies for historic claims. However, academies would still be able to claim for historic adjustments from 1 April 2017 onwards through the NNDR portal after April 2022.

In This Issue

  • Training Webinars
  • Additional Funding for NQT Induction
  • Consultation on the National Funding Formula
  • Post-16 School Census Tool
  • Changes to the 16 to 19 tuition fund in academic year 2021 to 2022
  • New Letter Sent Out From ESFA to Academy Trusts
  • Academies Planning Calendar
  • Academies to Submit Historic Claims

Training Webinars

The autumn term training programme is available on CPD Online and ready for bookings to be made. Here are examples of what's on offer:

  • Introduction to BPS
  • Introduction to School Finance
  • Various FMS6 Courses
  • NEW REVAMPED - Senior Leaders
  • Strategic Financial Management in Difficult Times
  • Improving the Quality of School Monitoring

These courses are free to all Kent maintained schools and Medway schools and academies who purchase the Core Financial Support Package. If you don't purchase a package you can attend for a small fee.

If you're interested in attending, ensure you have booked your place via CPD Online.

New Letter Sent Out From ESFA to Academy Trusts

The letter to accounting officers includes information about the academy trust handbook 2021 published on 16 June 2021. It also draws attention to the recently published academies accounts direction, the financial management and governance good practice guides, the school resource management self-assessment tool and timetable for financial returns for 2021 to 2022.

Academies Planning Calendar

The ESFA have published the academies planning calendar for the 2021 to 2022 academic year. The calendar provides a summary of key actions and dates about academy funding, finance and trust compliance with their funding agreement.

Changes to the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund in Academic Year 2021 to 2022

The ESFA are broadening the eligibility for the 16 to 19 tuition fund to include economic disadvantage in addition to low prior attainment in academic year 2021 to 2022. Including these students allows providers to offer tuition to all disadvantaged students who have been impacted by the pandemic, while still maintaining focus on low prior attainment. The ESFA will publish further details on GOV.UK in due course.

UIFSM July Adjustment (Kent Maintained Schools Only)

The ESFA have recently changed the methodology for calculating the UIFSM funding for the 2020-21 academic year. This new methodology supersedes the instructions that were provided in the Closedown Pack and may result in the YE adjustment made on the July Advance differing from the YE adjustment that your school calculated for the September 2020-March 2021 period - with some schools getting less, others more.

Please note that this new methodology has also been used to calculate the April to August 2021 funding.

The funding received on the July Advance has been distributed by the KCC Budget Team as per the ESFA allocation tables and you will need to amend the school's expected outturn on your monitoring accordingly. You cannot change the Closedown YE adjustment made on FMS as the final accounts are closed, nor should you process any journals to make up for any difference between the YE adjustment calculated and the amount received. Please adjust the monitoring and notate the reason for the variance.

For further information, please refer to the following documents on Kelsi:
- Universal infant free school meals funding allocations
- Universal infant free school meals conditions of grant (Academic Year 2020-21)

Public Fraud Awareness Webinar

A Public Fraud Awareness Webinar is being run by RBS on 16 September at 11am to midday (note that despite it being RBS branded, it covers our Corporate Agreement with NatWest/RBS).

Topics covered will include:

  • Top threats - Email Scams and Invoice Redirection
  • The Role of Social Engineering Plays in Most Common Fraud Types
  • Financial Malware and Phishing
  • Smishing and Vishing
  • Hints and Tips on How to Stay Safe Online and Beyond.

There is no link to register for this webinar, just a link to join. Therefore if you'd like to
attend, please make a note in your calendars. Click here to join the webinar.