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News - 15 April 2014

Important Information for New Academies

On the day your Academy opens, you will receive a Welcome Letter from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) which outlines the role of the EFA and its method of communication.

EFA published a Customer Charter which summarises its role and services.
academies service statement

The EFA has issued a delivery schedule to outline the funding for New Academies in their first year. (Funding Allocation Pack – FAC)

Academies opening in the 2013 to 2014 academic year

Date of opening Draft                FAP issued                    Reminder FAP issued          Final FAP issued
1 May 2014                                  Early April                       Mid April                                   Late May
1 June 2014                                Early April                       Mid May                                    Late June
1 July 2014                                  Early May                        Mid June                                  Late July
1 August 2014                            Early May                        Mid July                                    Late August

Academies opening in the 2014 to 2015 academic year

Date of opening                        Draft FAP issued            Reminder FAP issued          Final FAP issued
1 September 2014                   Early June                        Mid August                              Late September

Academies Financial Handbook

Your funding agreement, together with the Academies Financial Handbook, sets out all of the financial accountability requirements that apply to academies. The latest version was published on 28 June 2013.

Financial management and governance self-assessment (FMGS)

Academies should email their financial management and governance self-assessment (FMGS) to EFA within 4 months of opening, or contact EFA to agree an alternative method of providing assurance.

The FMGS is a short self-assessment that highlights the main requirements new academy trusts must have in place soon after opening.

It provides a simple way for you and EFA to gain assurance that your financial management and governance arrangements meet these requirements.

Budget forecasts

Academy trusts must monitor and manage their own budgets to ensure effective financial oversight of public funds. EFA reviews academy trusts’ budget projections and actual results to assess financial health.

Academy trusts that opened on or after 1 April 2013 and new academies joining an existing multi academy trust on or after 1 April 2013 are required to submit a budget forecast return 6 weeks after receiving their final funding letter.

Accounts Direction and Accounts Return

Every academy trust must submit audited financial statements to EFA by 31 December each year, using the Academies Accounts Direction as a reference pack.

Additionally academy trust accounting officers are required to submit an annual accounts return, which supports the preparation of consolidated accounts and benchmarking data that is comparable with maintained schools.

New academy trusts incorporated on or after 1 March 2013 should note that:

  • you may defer preparation of your first financial statements until 31 August 2014
  • if deferring your first financial statements, you should not complete the annual accounts return for 2012 to 2013 (EFA will issue an alternative version for you in March 2014)

Transferring the balance of your predecessor school’s funds

For academies without a sponsor your local authority (LA) must finalise your closing balance within 3 months of your conversion date. You are asked to work with your LA to facilitate this.

If the agreed closing balance is a surplus, your LA must pay within 1 month of finalising the amount. If the agreed closing balance is a deficit, EFA will settle that amount with your LA and set up a repayment plan with you. For small amounts, you can repay the deficit directly to your LA, as long as you inform us in advance.

For sponsored academies, any deficit remains with the LA and doesn’t have to be repaid by your academy trust.

Academies are not allowed to run a deficit without remedial action. Any that open with a transferred deficit will need to agree at the earliest opportunity with EFA, a plan to repay it from General Annual Grant (GAG) installments. Academies that develop a deficit after opening will have to agree a restructuring plan with EFA.

Revenue funding: start-up grant

Schools get a start-up grant of £25,000 to help with the costs of converting, such as legal fees, stationery and signage. The grant is paid into your school’s new bank account when the
Secretary of State has made an academy order agreeing to the conversion.

Your school can keep any unspent balance from this flat rate grant and add it to overall income.

ABDS will help and assist with all the matters arising from conversion outlined above so as to enable you to concentrate on the education side of conversion.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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