Academy Finance Support Options

Academy Trusts Financial Efficiency Evaluation

We are able to offer an independent evaluation of the Trusts financial efficiency, including that of individual academies within or about to join the Trust, with reference to the terms of the MAT Development and Improvement Fund Grant.  We will also provide advice on how the Trust can embed integrated curriculum and financial planning across all schools within the Trust and any new schools that the Regional Schools Commissioner has agreed can join.

The review will be carried out over a five day period.  Two days of which will be undertaken at the premises of the Trust and individual schools. The review will take the form of a written report, completion of Annex K of the MAT Development and Improvement Fund offer and a verbal report to Trustees if required. A follow up visit will be included to review progress against recommendations made in the review. 

Note: This can also be purchased to review the trusts financial efficiency even if the MAT Development and Improvement Fund has not been applied for.

Accounting Policy Review Service

Managed Policy Framework

Educator Solutions can provide a service to new convertors, establishment Single-Academy Trusts and Multi-Academy Trusts to ensure you are compliant in having the appropriate accounting policies in place.

The service will include supporting you in developing your ‘Scheme of Delegation’ and provide appropriate policies. Establishing a clear policy framework is important to ensure good financial practice is in place across the trust.

This service will also include compliance with the requirements of the ‘Academies Financial Handbook’ and ensures the appropriate policies support the completion of the ‘Academies Financial Management and Governance Self-Assessment’

Internal Assurance Function

Internal Assurance Function

At Educator Solutions we can offer an independent internal audit function that will provide assurance to your trust that risk and control arrangements are in place. This will provide objective assessment to the board that the leadership is the doing the right things in the right way.

We can deliver this programme of work to ensure you meet the Academies Financial Handbook requirement that academy trusts submit an annual report to the ESFA by the 31st December each year.

By working cross-departmentally at Educator Solutions and Norfolk County Council we provide a comprehensive offer that will focus on key areas of risk management. Included in the offer is:

  1. Procurement
  2. Monthly financial closedown
  3. Payroll & HR
  4. Efficiency, funding & budgets
  5. Anti-fraud, theft, bribery and whistleblowing
  6. Management information and reports
  7. Governance & Safeguarding
  8. Data & IT
  9. Health & Safety

Direct Support Offer

Our Finance & Business Services team have extensive expertise and knowledge to enable us to provide support to academies in periods of absence of key staff which will ensure the duties continue for short or long periods. Our team can deliver support at different levels from administration support up to school business manager support. We will be able to cover the academy and meet each individual need dependant on the situation, one of our management team will work with you to consider specific requirements and tasks you want to be completed, we can deploy staff to assist with directed duties or have a more flexible support approach which would be directed by your leadership in school or establishment. This service maybe beneficial when considering any structural solutions to give time to plan for the future, we would work with you over an agreed timescale. This could be delivered onsite or from a central location.

Chief Finance Officer and Business Support

Following the successful delivery of our direct support offer, we have now extended this to provide academies with the Chief Finance Officer function and Business Support to stand-alone academies and Multi-Academy Trusts. Our team would work with your setting to identify the specific requirements, and in what areas this support could operate. We can deliver the full range of duties, financial management, premises management, health and safety and team management duties. The benefits this would bring include; School leaders can focus their time and effort on improving outcomes for pupils, reduces the risk to the trust of direct employment of staff - also saving on employers NI & pension, staff members readily available and only pay for the support required.

Professional Finance and Business Support Options

A selection of options can be provided as part of this service, from just telephone helpline/email support to various different options of on-site support. This is an alternative option to the Chief Finance Officer and Business Support Service where you can purchase a contract to receive just telephone/email support and/or a certain number of on-site visits. Examples include receiving a visit per month, visit per half term, visit per term. These visits can be used to assist with month end accounting procedures, budget setting/revision support, budget forecast return submission, completion of workbooks for audit preparation etc. and can be used alongside any of the accounting software options. 

Assistance with Recruitment of Finance Staff

Our Finance & Business Services Team have a wide range of experience in supporting schools and academies with the recruitment of finance and administrative staff. We can provide support in the review of job/person specification for administrative and finance staff, school business managers and senior leaders with responsibility for budgets and financial management. We can also assist with attendance at interviews, be part of the interview panel and provide a suitable recruitment test.

Inventory Check

The inventory check is a bespoke visit designed around your educational setting. Our team will complete the onsite visit updating the register with all the required information and ensure a complete inventory of your site is captured. This service can be purchased as a one off or on an annual basis. At present this visit does not include a comprehensive fixed asset register in line with your depreciation requirements - software to be provided by the academy.

Friends/PTA Accounts Audit

An audit service is available for friends/PTA accounts. A full set of accounts will be produced and a report issued within 20 working days of receipt of all documentation. The report will include findings on the financial operation within the accounts.

Full product details are available online here

For all your Finance and Business Services enquiries please contact our designated Finance helpline number 01603 307758.

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