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I accept that as accounting officer of Lutterworth High School I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the academy trust delivers good value in the use of public resources. I am aware of the guide to academy value for money statements published by the Education Funding Agency and understand that value for money refers to the educational and wider societal outcomes achieved in return for the taxpayer resources received. I set out below in the drop-down sections, how I have ensured that the academy trust’s use of its resources has provided good value for money during the academic year.
Mr Julian Kirby, Headteacher and Academy Accounting Officer
The Academy staffing structure is reviewed on an ongoing basis to meet the educational needs of the school and its learners, both in the current year and in preparation for future changes.
The Academy is governed by a body of Trustees drawn from staff, parents, the Local Authority. The Full Governing Body meets at least three times a year. It approves the budget and reviews it throughout the year. It considers the Annual report and Accounts, and monitors audit points raised by the independent auditors. The Governing Body takes an active interest in teaching and learning within the Academy, receiving updates on tracking data and holding the Senior Leadership Team accountable for performance.
More detailed financial oversight is supplied by the Personnel and Finance Committee, which meets three times per year. This Committee reviews internal management accounts, and receives the RO report undertaken by the external auditors, MHA MacIntyre Hudson. Any large, out-of-budget expenditure is submitted to the Committee for approval, and they require an appropriate tender process to ensure value for money. The Personnel and Finance Committee is also responsible for maintenance of the Academy’s Risk Register, which it reviews section by section on a termly basis, taking into account changes in the wider political and economic climate.
This helps direct the Academy’s strategic planning to avoid the waste of time, money and resources. The Governing Body is also supported by the Teaching and Learning Committee, Health and Safety Committee and the Pay Committee, which among their other responsibilities, help ensure that proper consideration has been given to recruiting, retaining, and rewarding staff in order to offer the best possible opportunities to our students, while recognising the importance of staffing costs as a proportion of the overall budget.
The Committees operate in accordance with their Terms of Reference, and are supported by an experienced Clerk.
A register of contracts and services is maintained as is regularly appraised and contracts renegotiated when appropriate to ensure value for money.
The school managed a £1.1m project, which included a capital grant for the re roofing and window replacements, which was conducted in parallel with an extension to the school building offering significant VFM.
The Academy takes advantage of ESPO, the regional purchasing body where appropriate, to obtain VFM through economies of scale. Individual budget holders are held accountable for the use of their budgets, and are helped by an experienced Finance Officer in sourcing best value.
The Academy explores every opportunity to generate income through hire of the Academy facilities, taking catering in house to maximise resources and selling school uniform in house to parents to maximise profits.
The Academy Trust ensures that all surplus cash balances are invested in interest bearing accounts to maximise interest earning potential. Investments are maintained within the existing approved banking provider Lloyds to provide the most acceptable balance of return and risk.