Academies are classified as central government public sector bodies and as such are included in the ‘whole of government accounts’ (WGA) in addition to having their own stand alone accounting requirements.
As a result, academies must make various returns to the Department for Education.
Earlier this month the Education Funding Agency (EFA) issued a briefing to academies confirming the various returns and other information that it requires and announcing that the EFA will provide grants to assist academies with providing this information.
However, access to these additional grants is time limited and, in some cases, the deadline for obtaining these grants is as early as 5 July 2012.
Areas where the EFA requires specific information from academies and where grants may be available for academies to use in order to obtain professional assistance with the provision of this information are as follows:
Completion of the WGA return
Preparation of the 2012/13 Academic year budget forecast
A professional valuation of land and buildings as at 31 August 2012 – In this case if an academy registers some basic information by 5 July 2012 the EFA will procure and pay for this valuation on the academy’s behalf and there will be no charge to the academy. A valuation will in any case be needed in the preparation of the academy’s own financial statements so it would be advisable for all academies to consider pursuing the offer now being made by EFA.
FRS 17 pension valuations in respect of the Local Government Pension Scheme for the academic year 2011/12.
We would recommend that all academies urgently consider the matters covered by the EFA’s recent briefing document and where appropriate lodge claims for any grant entitlements within the prescribed timetable.