Returns required from academiesFind out what data and returns you must submit and by when - including your audited accounts, budget forecast return, school resource management self-assessment and teachers' pension returns.
Rules for off-payroll workers (IR35 rules)The off-payroll working rules changed on 6 April 2021. Understand what changed and how the changes affect the way you pay for services from a worker with an intermediary.
Voluntary funds: what can they be used for?Read guidance from the Charity Commission and our education experts on using voluntary funds, and see examples of how schools use their funds, including cases where the school is registered as a charitable organisation.
Charging for educational visitsFind out which educational visits you can charge for and how much you should charge. Download our template to help you calculate your costs. Plus, find out what to do with any money that's left over.
Charging for residential school tripsUnderstand what you can and can't charge for with respect to residential trips, and read guidance on when parents may be exempt from paying for elements that are normally chargeable.
Recovering debt from parents: what to doUse our step-by-step guide to find out how to proceed if a parent hasn't paid fees for things like school meals or trips. Plus, download our template letters that you can send to remind, and issue warnings to, parents.
Funds and freebies: monthly highlightsUpdatedSee the latest deadlines for funding opportunities. Also find a selection of the grants available to schools across a range of areas, and details of freebies you can access.
Generating income and maximising fundsWith more pupils back in the classroom, you might be thinking about re-starting fundraising initiatives for your school. Read on for ways to make the most of your funding, how to generate extra income and how schools have put their ideas into practice.
How one school made £350,000 from its local high streetChris Dyson, a headteacher in one of the most deprived areas of the country, has discovered an untapped revenue stream: businesses that want to give back. Last year they helped him save £350,000 and now he says “money isn’t a problem at our school.” Chris explains how he does it, and how others can too.
Risk protection arrangement (RPA)The RPA is open to maintained schools and academies. It's an alternative to commercial insurance and managed by the DfE. Learn what it covers, how much it costs and how to join.
Academy Trust Handbook: changes from September 2021The Academies Financial Handbook has been refreshed and renamed. There are no major changes, but you should still be familiar with what’s different in the new handbook. Use our summary to get up to speed.
Allocating departmental budgetsFind out about the different ways you can allocate curriculum budgets. Download our curriculum budget formula calculator and see case studies from different types of school.
Budget planning: how to and templatesUpdatedGet to grips with your budget planning. Use our template 5-year budget plan spreadsheets to help you model a range of scenarios and then cost your chosen one in detail.
Consistent financial reporting (CFR)Find out the purpose of the consistent financial reporting (CFR) framework for maintained schools and pupil referral units (PRUs), and how to use COLLECT to submit a data return. Plus, see changes for 2021-22.
Financial benchmarking for multi-academy trusts (MATs)Effective financial benchmarking is harder for MATs than for standalone schools. Get expert advice on using internal and external benchmarking to improve your trust's financial health, and learn how to find trusts to benchmark against.
For Trust Leaders
Financial benchmarking: how-to guideSee how you can identify schools similar to yours and make comparisons using the financial benchmarking service from the DfE. You'll also understand the benefits and limitations of benchmarking, and see examples of how other schools use it.
How to calculate the cost of your whole-school SEN provisionKnow how to calculate staffing costs for your SEN provision so you can get a better estimate of how much money you're spending on your overall SEN provision. Download our tools to help you keep track of how much each intervention costs and whether it's providing value for money.
Presenting your budget to governors: templatesKeep your governors fully informed about your budget planning and decision making with our downloadable templates. You'll find a detailed budget planner, and a planning report that'll help you head off likely questions from governors.
School budget monitoring: questions to discussLearn about what you'll want to cover in your leadership budget monitoring meetings. Use our questions to help you spot any issues and get suggested next steps to help you keep costs down.
Staff salaries: internal benchmarkingBenchmarking internal staff salaries helps to make sure you’re paying staff fairly and following equality legislation. See advice on when and how to carry out a review.
How to use your school Facebook pageUse our top tips to make your school Facebook page a success. Learn what to post, the settings that will save you a headache, and how to respond to negative comments.
Marketing to parents: how to choose your selling pointsUse our article to help you identify what parents are looking for in a school, so you can choose the messages that will make your school stand out. Get guidance and tips on how to use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to get your message out there.
Academy reviews of value for moneyAcademies must include a review of value for money in their annual accounts. Read about the purpose and structure of the review, and see examples from other academy trusts.
Contracts register: templateUse our template contracts register to keep a record of all of your school's contracts and service level agreements in 1 place.
Deciding who should manage procurement in your trustYou need to set the right level of delegation when it comes to procurement, based on what’s right for your trust. Use this guidance to help you decide how centralised your procurement should be, and how to delegate key tasks.
For Trust Leaders
How to buy goods, works or servicesAs a maintained school or an academy, you have a duty to get the best value for money from any contracts you enter into. Follow our step-by-step procurement guide to make sure you're buying in the right way and complying with the law.
How to protect a school from payment fraudLearn about what phishing is, what to look out for and how to avoid it in your school. Create a process for paying invoices and use our template to collect new supplier information.