Updates to the Schools Financial Value Standard

Nov 17, 2020 | Finance Posts

This week the Department for Education has updated the Schools Financial Value Standard tool with red, amber and green ratings based on 2018 to 2019 data.

What is the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS?)

The schools financial value standard helps to provide schools with assurance that they are meeting the basic standards necessary to achieve a good level of financial health and resource management.  Academies are required to use the School Resource Management Self-Assessment Tool which is very similar in format, providing similar outcomes.

The self-assessment tool (previously optional for academies, but now compulsory) helps schools and academies to identify where resources are being managed effectively and where improvement is necessary.  The tool can be helpful in highlighting opportunities for change to help ensure optimum use of resources to secure the very best education outcomes for pupils.

The tool is in two sections, comprising a checklist which asks a number of questions of Governing Bodies in six areas of resource management.  It can be most helpful to Finance and Audit Committees in supporting the process of risk management and in providing assurance regarding effective deployment of resources.

Based on the School’s financial and performance data entered, a dashboard shows how that data compares to thresholds on a range of statistics developed by the Department for Education as indicators for good resource management and outcomes. It provides explanations of each of the indicators to help schools understand the results.

The checklist

The checklist provides schools and academies to reflect on a number of questions which address these key areas, and this is supported by the self-assessment dashboard.

  • Governance
  • Strategy
  • Budget Setting
  • Staffing
  • Value for Money
  • Protecting Public Money.

Further details and deadlines

The School Resource Management Self-Assessment Tool for Academies is referenced in the Academies Financial Handbook and academies are required to submit completed returns by the deadline published annually.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-resource-management-self-assessment-tool

Local authority maintained schools must submit the Schools Financial Value Standard annually to their local authority. Local authorities use this information to inform their programme of financial assessment and audit.  During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Department for Education (DfE) has advised local authorities to exercise discretion the timing of completion of the return, taking account of the pressures on schools and local authorities.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-financial-value-standard-sfvs