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  • Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF)

    Advice November 2017

    £100 million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). This fund is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing access to facilities such as dining facilities and sports facilities.

  • Application rounds for Teaching Schools and National Leaders of Education

    Advice November 2017

    The application rounds for Teaching Schools and National Leaders of Education opened on 1 November and will close at midnight, 7 December.

  • Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

    Advice November 2017

    The CIF round for 2018/19 is now open. Smaller MATs, standalone academies and sixth form colleges can apply to the CIF for capital funding.

  • 16-19 Funding Campaign

    Advice November 2017

    In October 2017, the Sixth Form Colleges Association conducted an online survey of state schools (school sixth forms, academy sixth forms and free school sixth forms) and colleges (FE colleges and Sixth Form Colleges) in England.

  • MAT Development and Improvement Fund

    Advice October 2017

    The DfE has just launched a new grant aimed at supporting trusts in improving schools. In order to qualify, trusts must plan to either take into your trust and improve at least two additional schools or form a new MAT of two schools or more and improve them, both within the next 12 months.

  • Applications for 2018 Social Mobility Foundation Programmes now open

    Advice October 2017

    The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) supports ambitious young people from less-privileged backgrounds to access top universities and careers. They run completely free programmes featuring mentoring, internships with top companies, university application support, and skills workshops.

  • School and College Funding: Lobby of Parliament 24 October 2017

    Advice October 2017

    A mass lobby of Parliament is to be held on Tuesday 24 October to tell MPs directly about the impact of real-terms school funding cuts. This is a joint action coordinated by the following unions: NEU, NAHT, ASCL, UNISON, GMB, and Unite.

  • New deal to help schools save cash on computer equipment - 2017

    Advice September 2017

    The DfE has launched the second in a series of aggregated procurements for schools considering buying new tablets, laptops or desktop devices. Schools buying devices could save thousands of pounds by taking advantage of a deal developed by the DfE and Crown Commercial Services (CCS).

  • Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up funding

    Advice September 2017

    The DfE has confirmed the arrangements for Year 7 Literacy and numeracy catch up funding for 2017 to 2018.

  • PE and Sports Premium

    Advice September 2017

    The DfE has confirmed that the PE and Sports Premium grant will be increased in 2017/18. Allocations will be double those received in 2016/17.

  • Stepping stone qualifications

    Advice September 2017

    ESFA has published a list of the stepping stone qualifications that members can use for those students who are not resitting GCSEs but who are taking other English and maths qualifications.

  • Urgent request for members in schools with sixth forms and colleges

    Advice September 2017

    ASCL has been active in pressing the government for additional funding for schools and colleges and, with your help during the run up to the General Election, helped to raise awareness of the crisis in education. We are again asking for your assistance with a campaign for 16 to 19 funding.

  • Academies Financial Handbook - 2017 version

    Advice August 2017

    This core document for academies has been reviewed and updated and the revised version published 27 July 2017. ASCL's Business Leadership Specialist Val Andrew provides a summary of the changes.

  • STRB's 27th report and draft STPCD 2017 consultation

    Advice July 2017

    The School Teachers’ Review Body 27th Report: 2017 was published 10 July 2017 and contains the recommendations on how to apply the pay award for teachers, due to be implemented from September. The DfE has also published a draft revised copy of the STPCD.

  • Period Poverty Project

    Advice July 2017

    As you may be aware, the issue of period poverty has been brought to light recently following an article that was published in The Guardian which highlighted that some disadvantaged female pupils were unable to afford sanitary products and as a result were absent from school during their period.

  • Off-payroll working rules for public authorities

    Advice July 2017

    HMRC has re-drafted the guidance for off-payroll working. Public authorities planning to offer a temporary job to someone who works through their own intermediary (often their own company, but could also be a partnership or another person), need to decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

  • Strategic School Improvement Fund

    Advice May 2017

    The first round of the Strategic School Improvement Fund is now open. The £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund is a grant to support primary, secondary, middle, all-through, pupil referral units, alternative provision and special academies and maintained schools.

  • National Audit Office (NAO) Study: Converting Schools to Academies

    Advice April 2017

    ASCL has been asked to submit views on the DfE’s arrangements for the conversion of schools to academies. NAO studies are very important and we would like as much up-to-date information from members on this as possible. We need to respond to the NAO by Fri 28 April.

  • Teachers' Pensions update

    Advice April 2017

    Teachers’ Pensions has introduced Monthly Data Collection (MDC) for employers to provide their salary and service information. MDC replaces the Annual Service Return (ASR). All employers must be set up to use MDC by December 2017.

  • Star Chamber Scrutiny Board

    Advice March 2017

    The Star Chamber Scrutiny Board (SCSB) is a panel of external partners from local authorities, schools and Ofsted who review all DfE data collection proposals relating to services for children, schools and families.

  • Academy revenue funding allocations 2017/18

    Advice March 2017

    These allocations should now be visible via EFA Information Exchange. Allocations are for academies that opened on or before 1 January 2017.

  • Updated 2016/17 pupil number adjustment (PNA)

    Advice March 2017

    Academies that are funded on estimated pupil numbers can access updated information about the annual PNA exercise.

  • Year 7 catch-up premium grant for 2016 to 2017

    Advice March 2017

    EFA has published funding allocations and conditions of grant for the Year 7 catch-up premium for the 2016/17 financial year. Academies should have received payment of the premium on 1 March 2017.

  • ASCL Funding Campaign: What Would You Cut?

    Advice March 2017

    Education funding is at breaking point because of rising costs and flat cash. After the successful launch of our #WhatWouldYouCut campaign on Twitter, on Sunday 5 March we need your help to continue the momentum.

  • Asbestos management

    Advice February 2017

    The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has published new guidance aimed at schools, local authorities and trusts in understanding their obligations and duties in relation to asbestos management in schools. The guidance was first published in March 2015 and has been updated with more information.

  • RISE information centre

    Advice February 2017

    RISE (Research and Information on State Education) is a small charity that aims to disseminate information on state education. The RISE information centre provides links to many sources, including parliamentary answers and statistical first releases.

  • Schools and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2017

    Advice February 2017

    These regulations were published at the end of last week and explain how local authorities set their education budgets for 2017/18. These regulations took effect from this month (February) and will apply for the 2017/18 funding year.

  • School census

    Advice January 2017

    The Spring Census date for 2016/17 was 19 January 2017. The census data is used to allocate core funding for both pre-16 and post-16 pupils, so accuracy is crucial.

  • New DfE guidance on buying

    Advice January 2017

    The DfE has published an outline of initiatives to help all schools improve how they buy goods and services. It has also published guidance for schools and academy trusts reviewing staff workforce structures.

  • Summary of ASCL activity on the National Funding Formula consultation

    Advice January 2017

    ASCL has been campaigning for many years to bring an end to the wide and indefensible variations that currently exist in the way that funding for education is distributed to schools.

  • New deal to help schools save cash on computer equipment

    Advice January 2017

    Schools considering buying new tablets, laptops or desktop devices this year could save thousands of pounds by taking advantage of a new deal developed by the DfE and Crown Commercial Services.

  • Summary of national funding formulae stage 2 consultation

    Advice December 2016

    The DfE published the second stage of consultation on its plans to introduce a new national funding formula for schools in England for the schools and high needs block of the NFF. The documents include illustrative budgets at local authority and school level.

  • Apprenticeship Levy

    Advice December 2016

    ASCL has taken every opportunity to lobby about the Apprenticeship Levy. We will continue to call on the government to make schools exempt. ASCL Funding Specialist Julia Harnden has had a series of meetings to discuss growing the number of appropriate apprenticeship programmes relevant to schools.

  • Funds to support school improvement

    Advice December 2016

    ASCL welcomes Secretary of State Justine Greening's announcement that £50 million per year will be made available to local authorities to support monitoring and commissioning of school improvement in “low performing” maintained schools.

  • The apprenticeship levy

    Advice December 2016

    The apprenticeship levy will be introduced on 6 April 2017. All employers with an annual pay bill of over £3 million will be required to pay the 0.5% levy via the PAYE process.

  • Insurance top-up funding for academies

    Advice December 2016

    Academies eligible to claim top-up funding for their insurance premium can now use the academies funding claim form on GOV.UK for academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17.

  • Academies - submission arrangements for 2015-16 audited accounts

    Advice December 2016

    All academy trusts that have a signed funding agreement during the accounting period to 31 August 2016 must submit audited accounts (annual report, financial statements and auditor’s management letter) for the period ending 31 August 2016 to the EFA.

  • Academies Accounts Return 2015 - 2016

    Advice December 2016

    The accounts return online form is under review and should be available soon. The EFA will be contacting all academy trust accounting officers with instructions for registering and setting up the new online system for their accounts return.

  • School cuts website

    Advice November 2016

    We have had a number of queries from members asking about the accuracy of the information on this website.

  • Income Generation

    Guidance paper November 2016

    This guidance paper is relevant to school business leaders and school business managers, together with those responsible for setting and managing budgets within all school and college settings in England.

  • Social Mobility Foundation

    Advice November 2016

    The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity that supports high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds from Year 12, throughout university and until they graduate.

  • Opportunity for Global Learning Programme

    Advice October 2016

    If your school participates in various global learning initiatives, this is your last chance for your school to apply for over £3,375 of funding, training and support provided by the Global Learning Programme (GLP)

  • Join our research project on improving financial efficiency

    Advice October 2016

    ASCL is working in partnership with income generation specialists Pebble and Teesside University on a joint research project. The project will inform the development of a prototype ‘platform’ to support the sector in achieving better financial efficiency. It will investigate ways of facilitating and

  • Workload challenge: funding for schools

    Advice October 2016

    The National College for Teaching and Leadership has published details of grant funding for which groups of schools can apply to research ways to reduce workload related to marking, planning, resources and data management.

  • 2016-17 Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium

    Advice September 2016

    The DfE has confirmed that schools will receive the same total amount of Year 7 catch-up premium funding as they received in 2015/16, adjusted to reflect the percentage change in the size of the Year 7 cohort, based on the October 2016 census.

  • Leadership Equality and Diversity Fund: for school-led programmes

    Advice September 2016

    The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is inviting lead schools, on behalf of groups or alliances of schools to apply for grant funding to design and deliver leadership programmes.

  • Financial Health Checks

    Advice July 2016

    The DfE has released information about the Financial Health Checks structure that forms part of the programme of support and guidance being developed for the Financial Health and Efficiency webpage.

  • EFA Information Exchange

    Advice July 2016

    EFA Information Exchange is a secure, online system which provides a single place for academies, 16-19 providers, high-needs providers and local authorities to do business with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in a more effective and efficient way.

  • Academies Financial Handbook

    Advice July 2016

    The 2016 edition of the Academies Financial Handbook has been published on the DfE website.

  • Do you have a great idea for bringing research alive in school?

    Advice June 2016

    Partnership Grants from The Royal Society of up to £3,000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects.

  • 16 to 19 funding: maths and English condition of funding

    Advice June 2016

    The EFA and SFA have updated their funding guidance to reflect the fact that the 16-19 maths and English condition of funding has been extended from November 2016 to summer 2017 to cover the teaching of legacy GCSE specifications in those subjects. The same rules apply to IGCSEs and equivalent Level

  • Pay award for business managers, business leaders and support staff

    Advice May 2016

    Last week, agreement was reached on the rates of pay applicable from 1 April 2016 to 1 April 2017 for business managers, business leaders and school and college support staff.

  • Pay and conditions survey for school business leaders and school business managers

    Advice May 2016

    We have launched a pay survey to review the national situation and analyse any changes since our survey in 2014. Results from the survey will provide vital data to support our campaign for more consistency in the approach to making decisions on pay for school business leaders and business managers.

  • New guidance published by KIDS charity

    Advice May 2016

    KIDS – a charity that cares for over 8,000 disabled children, young people and their families, has published new guidance that has been funded by the DfE.

  • Urgent update for ASCL members in ATT academies

    Advice May 2016

    The Academies Transformation Trust (ATT) has proposed cuts to a substantial proportion of the finance, estates, and HR jobs and resources in its schools. ASCL is extremely concerned that under their proposal, a number of ATT staff face losing their jobs or being downgraded to lower paid roles.

  • Register to buy tablet devices for your school

    Advice May 2016

    The DfE is facilitating procurement to allow schools to buy tablets using 'sector collective buying power'.

  • Free meals guidance for 16 to 18 year-old students

    Advice April 2016

    The EFA has published guidance for schools and colleges on providing free meals to disadvantaged 16 to 18 year-old students in further education (FE) funded institutions.

  • Educational Trusts' Forum

    Advice April 2016

    British charity the Educational Trusts’ Forum (ETF) is an association of 20 Educational Trusts, dedicated to supporting vulnerable children and young adults by helping to facilitate a good education.

  • What the White Paper means for you and your school

    Advice March 2016

    On 17 March 2016 we issued a special newsletter on the government's Budget announcements and following publication of their White Paper: Educational excellence everywhere.

  • New DfE guidance for academies

    Advice March 2016

    The DfE has produced new guidance and application forms for academies wishing to make significant changes to their school (such as expanding, merging with another academy or changing the school's age range or faith).

  • Application process for sixth form colleges to be academies

    February 2016

    The DfE has published information for sixth form colleges considering becoming a 16 to 19 academy, including how to apply, and the application form.

  • Efficiency Metric and Benchmark Report Cards

    Advice February 2016

    The DfE has recently launched a new Financial Health and Efficiency webpage for schools. ASCL has been pleased to be involved in developing some of the tools in the programme, however, we made it clear that we did not support the Efficiency Metric and Benchmark Reporting card in their current form.

  • Fraud awareness

    Advice February 2016

    Fraudsters are becoming ever more creative and innovative in their attempts to access funds from both personal and commercial accounts/sources. As part of our commitment to raising awareness of these risks within our membership, we have listed below a series of useful websites.

  • Procurement training for schools

    Advice February 2016

    The DfE and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) have published procurement training for schools. This is a set of introductory level modules for staff with budget or buying accountability or responsibility in all local authority maintained schools, academies and free schools.

  • New Financial Health and Efficiency webpage

    Advice January 2016

    The DfE has recently launched a new Financial Health and Efficiency webpage for schools. ASCL is pleased to be involved in developing some of the tools in the Financial Health and Efficiency Programme.

  • Braced for change

    Leader article January 2016

    Working in a MAT or stand-alone school? Operational or strategic role? Val Andrew looks at what the future holds for school business leaders and school business managers.

  • Storm Warning

    Leader article January 2016

    Julia Harnden looks at what the outcome of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review means for education and how schools can navigate the choppy waters ahead.

  • Strategic Finance: design principles and financial reporting

    Guidance paper January 2016

    This paper is relevant to senior leaders, business managers, governors, staff and officials involved in strategic financial planning and reporting. It applies to local authority (LA) maintained schools, academies and MATs in England.

  • Applications for 2016 Social Mobility Foundation Programmes now open

    Advice December 2015

    The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) supports ambitious young people from less-privileged backgrounds to access top universities and careers.

  • Reintroduction of primary academy chain development grant

    Advice December 2015

    The government has re-introduced grants designed to incentivise and support primary schools to form or join multi academy trusts (MATs).

  • Pupil Premium for children adopted from care

    Advice December 2015

    In 2014, the Pupil Premium Plus was extended to children who had left care through adoption, special guardianship order or child arrangements/residence order in recognition of their continuing level of vulnerability and need.

  • Use of the pupil premium

    Advice November 2015

    Members may find the NFER research report, Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Articulating Success and Good Practice, useful.

  • Condition Improvement Fund

    Advice November 2015

    The Condition Improvement Fund application round for 2016/17 is now open to academies and sixth-form colleges.

  • Area Based Reviews

    Guidance paper October 2015

    This guidance paper is relevant to all senior staff working in post-16 settings who may be involved in area reviews, and for all those who have an interest in the significant structural reforms likely to occur in colleges and other post-16 providers.

  • Care to Learn – change in arrangements

    Advice September 2015

    If you have any students who are young parents at your school or college, you need to be aware of new funding arrangements that will enable them to continue in education and receive childcare support.

  • Worth the risk?

    Leader article September 2015

    Julia Harnden examines the value of spending precious leadership time and resources on risk management.

  • Summary: Academies Financial Handbook 2015

    Advice September 2015

    Here is a summary of the key changes in the handbook that academies will need to be aware of:

  • DfE Sponsor Capacity Fund

    Advice July 2015

    The sponsor capacity fund supports eligible academy trusts that need additional funding to take on schools. This includes academy trusts with an open free school or a free school in approved pre-opening.

  • A perfect storm?

    Leader article July 2015

    A 5 per cent hike in costs in the next 18 months will put all schools under more pressure, but an unequal funding system is exacerbating the problems for some. Members need to take action now, reports Julie Nightingale.

  • Education Funding

    Policy paper June 2015

    The overall national education budget should be set such that all educational institutions can be funded at a level that enables them to provide an outstanding quality of education for their students.

  • Effective Procurement

    Guidance paper June 2015

    With the education sector spending in the region of £9 billion of public money on non-pay costs in 2013-14, it is it is essential that schools and colleges do all they can to ensure that procurement of goods and services offers value for money.

  • New guidance on capital funding allocations

    Advice May 2015

    The DfE and EFA have published guidance giving details of school capital funding allocations for 2015 to 2018.

  • Basic tenets of sound financial planning - business leadership

    Leader article May 2015

    Val Andrew outlines some basic tenets of sound financial planning to ensure that your school or college is running at maximum efficiency.

  • Delivering a clear message

    Leader article April 2015

    The incoming government has a golden opportunity to work with the profession to create a world-class education system, says Brian Lightman. But it will need to focus on a few key priorities.

  • EFA funding guidance for 2015-16

    Advice March 2015

    Funding guidance for 2015-16 has now been published on the EFA website. A significant change is the qualifying period for a student to count for funding.

  • Over to us

    Leader article February 2015

    Government has handed schools control of the Pupil Premium with the overarching goal of helping to boost social mobility. John Dunford sets out a ten-point plan to help heads identify where to spend the money to gain maximum impact.

  • Efficiency drive

    Leader article February 2015

    Richard Newton Chance, ASCL Funding Specialist, summarises the changes looming in the new financial year.

  • Advice to members with regard to responding to DENI draft budget

    Advice December 2014

    Following a meeting on Thursday, 11 December of the ASCL Northern Ireland Executive, a letter opposing the proposed cuts to the education budget has been sent to DE Permanent Secretary Paul Sweeney.

  • Business Leadership

    Leader article December 2014

    ASCL’s new training DVD aims to give people a deeper understanding of budgets and balance sheets and so help avoid clashes over spending, says Val Andrew.

  • The grim reality of secondary school funding in Wales: Facts and implications for school leaders and policy makers in Wales

    Guidance paper November 2014

    This document seeks to describe the reality of the pressures that are currently being put on secondary school funding in Wales.

  • Filling in the post 16 census

    Advice October 2014

    It is critical that schools pay close attention to the completion of this year’s census. This is particularly important in schools with sixth forms that have not had a similar process in previous years.

  • Academies – Calling to account

    Leader article October 2014

    Val Andrew explores what’s new in the 2014 Academies Financial Handbook.

  • Rising costs and rhetoric

    Leader article July 2014

    As sixth form funding continues to decline, staff need to understand the financial position but they also need to pull together to find creative solutions. Stephan Jungnitz offers some suggestions for building up esprit de corps.

  • Blurred lines

    Leader article July 2014

    Increasing numbers of business leaders are experiencing problems because it is unclear who is responsible for what in their schools, says Richard Bird.

  • Post-16 funding campaign

    Advice June 2014

    A group led by ASCL and consisting of AoC, PPC, IAA, FASNA and SFCA has written a further letter to Mr Gove regarding the dire situation being created by post-16 funding reductions.

  • The Equation of Life

    Advice June 2014

    Article by Sam Ellis, ASCL Funding Specialist. The title is a slightly tongue in cheek reference to the way I have been presenting and analysing the financial and curriculum situation in all types of school for the past few years.

  • Guidance for Academies and Free Schools – Good Practice in Financial Management

    Guidance paper May 2014

    As the number of academies and free schools increase, more educational establishments are seeking clarification of their responsibilities for financial management and how to implement systems and processes that comply with the regulations laid down in the Academies Financial Handbook (AFH).

  • Funding for third year students aged 16-19

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE reduced the funding for those students in the third year of study aged 16-19 for next year by 17.5 per cent. ASCL and other organisations mounted a vigorous campaign to get this funding raised back up to the level of other students aged 16-19.

  • Penalties for non-compliance with National Minimum Wage (NMW)

    Advice March 2014

    The government has published the draft National Minimum Wage (Variation of Financial Penalty) Regulations 2014, which will increase the maximum financial penalty payable by employers who flout the NMW from £5,000 to £20,000.

  • Scheme for financing schools

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE published a revised guidance document on 26 February.

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