Administration 79: Supplier relief for schools Covid 19

On the 3rd Feb new guidance was issued by the DfE Supplier relief for schools – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This guidance is consistent with the advice previously issued in Procurement Policy Note 02/20 which expired on 30 June 2020 and Procurement Policy Note 04/20 which expired on 31 October 2020.

This means that schools will need to continue to assess their at-risk suppliers and where appropriate, continue to make the relevant payments in accordance with an approach the school deems suitable. Schools should ensure they apply the necessary financial and governance controls as set out in Schemes for Financing Local Authority Maintained Schools and the Academies Financial Handbook. Schools should ensure that they are supporting their suppliers especially where you are accessing services at a reduced rate, particularly for catering companies.

Catering companies should agree the planned terms of funding and how any overpayments are going to be reimbursed or credited for future meals. They will also need to provide open book accounting when showing the use of the payments by the school for the service given.

On the 4th Feb guidance around providing schools meals during COVID was released Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This gives schools also have the opportunity to claim ’covering additional costs’ of £3.50 per eligible pupil, per week where lunch parcels are provided and £15 per eligible pupil, per week where vouchers are provided.

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