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Administration and finance


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 2023/24

Please see link below to the School Budget Share Calculator for Financial Year 2023/24.
When opening the link, please ensure a copy of the calculator is downloaded to your computer for use, rather than using the Office 365 online version, to avoid any issues accessing and using the file.

Budget Planning (Access Education – 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-June
  • Mid-November
  • 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:

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.

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 Finance 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.

End of Year Tasks – Revenue

The following letters set out the requirements expected to be undertaken at the schools
Note: If you have difficulty opening the below documents, please attempt to refresh the page a few times as this has been known to resolve the issue. If not, please ensure that you clear your temporary Internet files and cache via the Internet browser settings and retry the links below:

End of Year Adjustments – Provided via AnyComms as Excel Spreadsheet

These will be sent to you via AnyComms for any 2022/23 adjustments you wish to post. Please ensure you use the template sent to you and do not use any templates from previous years.

  • Please do not include Payroll-related entries on this spreadsheet as they will need to be entered as part of the X-Back Adjustment exercise (More detail provided below).
  • When submitting a new version of the workbook, please add version number to document name (Guidance provided within workbook Instructions Tab) and ensure this version only includes your amendments and new entries only, do not re-submit your original entries as these will create duplicate entries within FINEST.
  • Please note that all workbook submissions will be processed, so ensure your entries are accurate and complete.

The reason this process has changed is because schools have experienced difficulties accessing the document via our website in previous years. This should also help ensure all schools have a blank copy to work with, as the template hosted online can be subject to accidental editing.

Note: If you are part of a single budget federation, only the hub school will receive an Excel spreadsheet for completion.

If you do not receive a spreadsheet via AnyComms, please let us know as soon as possible via our mailbox:

Deadline for submitting the End of Year Adjustments Workbook is 5pm 24th March 2023

X-Back Adjustments – Provided via AnyComms as a pre-populated form

The X-Back adjustment exercise will be carried out via AnyComms pre-populated form this year, please ensure you review the pre-populated form and be aware of the following information you may receive:

Received entries in pre-populated form

These will be your pay related 2021/22 actuals. You must review them and amend/delete entries as required and return to us by 5pm on the 20th March 2023. Note that all entries returned to us in the pre-populated form will be processed so please ensure these are accurate.

Received blank entries in the pre-populated form

You will need to enter your required pay related adjustments to this form and return to us. If you do not have any adjustments to make, please send a nil return back to us within AnyComms, by 5pm on the 24th March 2023.
Note: If you are part of a single budget federation, only the hub school will receive a pre-populated form for completion.

Notes on Completing the AnyComms pre-populated forms

  • Submissions must be as whole numbers only, no decimals.
  • Zero entries must be as a single zero, no decimals.
  • Please take a print screen/PDF copy of your entries prior to submission to ensure you have a copy for your records.

If you do not receive an AnyComms pre-populated form for X-Back adjustments, please let us know via our mailbox:

Deficit/Surplus Balance Reporting 2022/23

An AnyComms pre-populated form will also be used to collate school returns for this task. Please review the form and answer all questions, once complete, please return via AnyComms. This is to be returned to us by 5pm 24th March 2023.

We will require an detailed explanation for Deficit/Surplus Balances that fall within the following thresholds. Please record your cumulative deficit/surplus balance on the return:

  • Surplus balances that are 5% or more of delegated resources (School Budget Share) for Secondary schools or 8% or more for Special and Primary schools. There will be no requirement to report where the balance is less than £50,000.
  • Any Deficit balance. If for whatever reason a school has a deficit balance at the end of a financial year, the deficit should be treated as a charge against the school’s budget share for the following year.

Note: If you are part of a single budget federation, only the hub school will receive a pre-populated form for completion.

Please take a print screen/PDF copy of your entries prior to submission to ensure you have a copy for your records.

If you do not receive an AnyComms pre-populated form for deficit/surplus balance reporting, please let us know via our mailbox:

End of Year Tasks – Capital

Schools are requested to access the Capital Accruals Return via the link below. Please ensure that you download a copy to your computer and edit from the desktop version of Microsoft Excel. Please then return this to the Capital Team Mailbox by 5pm 28th March 2023:
Please ensure evidence is supplied to the Capital Team Mailbox for any accruals with a value of £1000 and above:

Capital Accruals Return 2022-23 (Excel)

Federations – School splits

Single budget Federations need to fill out the following form below, listing all transactions and the individual schools to which they relate. Please make sure you save a copy to your computer before editing and return to by 5pm 28th March 2023.

Capital Site Spend Return 2022-23 (Excel)