PE FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS
The department for education earlier this year allocated £7,600.00 to state funded schools with secondary aged pupils for PE teacher release funding. The main aim of the grant is to help support schools to effectively fund physical exercises and activities in schools to promote healthy living and minds for pupils.
PURPOSE OF FUNDING
LEVEL OF FUNDING
The department for education has indicated in a policy document that, around 92,000 of the most disadvantaged 2 year olds are currently enjoying 15 hours a week of fully funded child care. Childcare cost has been a major headache for families in this country for a considerable period of time. The released figures concerning the said funding will therefore be a welcoming relief for those parents that have been earmarked for the scheme. According to the department, evidence shows that 2 year olds in good and outstanding nursery classes and childminders – see real gain in terms of language skills, physical, social and emotional development. This care also allow parents to concentrate on their day to day chores with confidence, knowing that their kids are in a safe hands and place.
Benefits of the Scheme to Parents and Children
The Department for education has granted an amount of £4.8 million to projects led by ex-armed forces personnel to tackle the problem of underachievement by disengaged pupils in schools. The latest funding has come about as a result of improvement in engagements and performance exhibited by pupils that have had the opportunity of associating themselves with the scheme. The funding will see 6 projects administered, including two charities (the Prince’s Trust and CVQO) with the sole aim of driving up standards and inspire confidence in underachieving pupils.
Achievements to date
According to the Department for education, the following groups are administering the scheme.
Challenger Troop, which provides leadership and engagement programmes for vulnerable or disengaged pupils aged 8 to 16 across the UK, particularly in the toughest areas of London and the South East, has been awarded £1 million.
SkillForce which provides a programme of challenges in the outdoor environment, integrated to support literacy and numeracy has been awarded £967,000.
The Prince’s Trust, which works with disadvantaged young people to help them into work, education and training, has been awarded £700,000.
Commando Joe’s which provides trained mentors and challenging activities for schools in some of the most deprived and hard-to-reach areas of the UK has been awarded £1 million
OFQUAL CONFIRMS GCSE OVERHAUL
The recent proposed overhaul to the GCSE in England announced by the Education Secretary Michael Gove has finally been confirmed by the exams regulator OFQUAL. The said change will impact on both examinations and syllabus for GCSE. The changes according the exams regulator will be in stages, starting with pupils due to take exams in 2017, with pupils turning 13 this year as the first cohort. The new system will see in place a grading system that uses numbers instead of letters, and course work being scrapped for most subjects.
Changes in any shape or form is a challenging venture to undertake, however, when it bothers on the future of young students, then care should be the watch word. The government has indicated that the current system has led pupils and students down with its frequent testing and no emphasis on deeper learning. There is therefore the need to get this changes right first time leaving no room for errors.
Local Authorities have been tasked by the Department for Education to provide early learning for two year olds from September, 2013. The said funding will see to the provision of free early learning for disadvantaged children and support working parents. The scheme will also improve the attainment and life chances of over 20% of 2-year olds in the country. The funding will cater for over 130,000 2-year-olds receiving 570 hours per year of funded early education. More importantly, all 2-year-olds who are looked after by their local authority are eligible.
The government intends to include 2-year-olds who meet any one of the following eligibility criteria from September 2014:
Places could be obtained from registered providers that follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS). This may include schools and childminders (Ofsted registered). Local authorities are also required to provide funding for early learning places in:
Many factors were taking into consideration on producing the statistical analysis by the Department fir Education’s statistics division. Notable among them were:The phonics screening check is a statutory assessment for all children in year one (aged 6) introduced in 2012. All state funded schools with a year one stream must administer the checks. Pupils who fail to meet the required standard in year one are to be tested by the end of year two (age 7). The rationale for the Key Stage One (KS1) assessments is to measure pupil’s attainment against the levels set by the national curriculum. Greater emphasis is placed on the extent to which pupils have specific skills, knowledge and understanding which the national curriculum expects pupils to have mastered by the end of KS1.
Highlights of Achievements for the Checks in 2013
Criteria for Compilation
Many factors were taking into consideration on producing the statistical analysis by the Department fir Education’s statistics division. Notable among them were:
Teaching and learning thrive on an environment that allows both teachers and pupils to share and learn without fear and intimidation. It has been reported by the Department for Education that, poor pupil behaviour is the greatest concern of new teachers and a common reason why experienced teachers leave the profession’. The department has therefore published a policy document that will empower teachers to have confidence and feel supported in dealing with behaviour and attendance issues. The overriding aim of the policy is to ensure that discipline is treated with all seriousness in schools and also to provide backing to teachers in maintaining order during school sessions.
Maintaining Discipline in schools
Reforms according to the department of education will look at the following steps to ensure that teachers have the necessary powers to maintain discipline at all times in schools.
Improving Attendance in schools
The department in its bid to improve attendance in schools will seek to enforce reforms through the following measures.
Maintaining discipline in schools requires a multifaceted approach that needs the attention of policy makers, head teachers, teachers, parents and pupils. Teaching should be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere to help pupils lay a solid foundation in their education, career and life. And more importantly, all children should grow up in a supportive and stable environment.
Procurement plays a vital role in the success of every school, as the right goods or services procured at the right quality and place will always help in the development of a child. Basic rules of procurement aim to ensure that public funds are spent openly and fairly, and make the most of every budget, while protecting you against legal challenges, financial penalties and damage to your school's reputation.
Areas to watch for potential savings:
Public Sector Buying Organisations
These are organisations that are set up with the aim of delivering value for money through combined buying power and procurement expertise for commonly bought goods and services for all public sector organisations including schools. Notable among them are:
The department for education has awarded scholarships worth £3,500 each to over 500 teachers and special needs (SEN) support staff. The overriding aim for the award is to help the staff concerned to develop and improve their specialist knowledge and skills.
Key Features of the scholarship
DO YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AWARD?
The on going spending cuts and review has seen many school projects abandoned. The government in its bid the restore some faith in the schools infrastructure development, introduced the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP is a centralised mechanism of addressing the needs of schools most in need of urgent repairs. The main aim of the programme is to rebuild 261 schools or have their needs met. The programme works in collaboration with privately financed public private partnership (PPP). According to the Department of Education, this approach of limited capital funding is to ensure more disciplined way of managing the department’s capital budgets. However, the question remains as to whether all areas in need of infrastructural development could be addressed through this approach?
Progress so far?
The Programme at a glance
Qualified surveyors visiting all schools that applied for funding for repairs or new buildings.
The Targeted basic need programme was launched by the government to help boost school places in areas where they are most needed. The programme started in March with the overriding aim of providing additional funding for school places. As a result of this initiative, local authorities were invited to bid for new schools or given the opportunity to expand an existing outstanding and good schools. The programme according to the Minister for Schools Rt. Hon David Laws, is to ensure that ‘every pupil should not just have a place, but that the growth in the system is, as far as possible, concentrated in schools that parents and pupils really want to go to’.
Key Themes of the Programme
How to Source for the Fund
What is in store for Parents and Schools
A Look At The New School Curriculum
The government recently published a new national curriculum for schools, the sweeping changes to how pupils in primary and secondary schools will be taught was referred to by the secretary for education as ‘tough and rigorous’. The main aim of the published document according to the minister is to equip pupils in the country to compete effectively with other pupils across the globe. However, some teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector have criticised the government’s proposed time table for its implementation, branding it as too tight and without much consultation to all parties concerned with education in the country.
Main Themes of the new Curriculum
The Prime Minster hailed the newly published document as the only way for England to keep abreast with the changing tide in education across the globe. However, critics have labelled the new material as:
Government Plans to Increase Take-up of School Dinners.
The nutritional needs of school children towards their educational development and growth cannot be overemphasised. The government in its bid to increase the level of school dinner intake tasked a group of experts to look into ways children could be encouraged to partake more in school dinners. The report considered opinions of teachers, parents, caterers and food nutritionists with the view of obtaining balanced view on how to increase participation of school provided dinners. The plan needed to correct the erroneous impression held by most parents that packed lunch which mostly contain junk foods is the healthiest option to school provided nutritious dinners.
The report highlighted key facts that needed urgent consideration towards the overall wellbeing of children across the country:
Plan of Action provided by the Report to Government.
The quest to provide a healthy mind in a healthy body continues, however, greater urgency is needed by parents in ensuring that school children are provided with the needed healthy meals at home and also encourage their kids to participate in the government’s efforts in providing healthy meals to all children.
Scams cost the UK economy a total of £3.5 billion a year according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The same institution also reckons that about 45% of the UK population are targeted by scams. The recent financial crises has led to many individuals who are struggling to make ends meet to fall victims to fake jobs, debt scams and training programs.
Schools are not exempted from this menace that has plagued our society. Scams come in different shapes and forms as detailed below:
How to Protect Yourself and Schools from Scams
However, if you or your school falls victim to fraud please do not hesitate to call the action fraud hotline to receive a police crime reference number.
The main thrust of the Pupil Premium as introduced by the government, was to help in eliminating the disparities in reading and writing in primary and early secondary schools. However, since its inception, the outcome for the programs stated objectives seems to be far from being achieved. For example it has been reported by the department of education that around one in five primary school pupils leave the basic level of education without the requisite standard of knowledge in reading and writing for that age group. The question is, how could all stake holders in the provision of basic education in the country ensure that the government’s planned increase in spending £1.2 billion on the scheme in the next two years help in bridging the gap in reading and writing in primary or early secondary school.
The Side effect of not using Pupil Premium effectively:
What needs to be done!
The Way Forward!
The department for Education has recently reported that only 23% of pupils failing to achieve the required standard in reading and writing in primary school were eligible for free school meals, however, the same report also indicated that only 26% of pupils eligible for free school meals were low attaining. This contrast in statistics leaves schools in a dilemma of how best to use their allocated resource for Pupil Premium. The question is do schools spend the money on pupils with learning needs or concentrate on providing free school meals to kids that cannot afford meals? Schools should concentrate on ensuring that the learning needs of all pupils are considered on a case by case situation with the view of not leaving any pupil behind in education.
Financial efficiency in Schools
Financial efficiency is widely seen as a natural focus for all involved in the financial management of schools. In 2010 the then DCSF conducted a research on financial efficiency in schools and sampled 8 group discussions and 12 depth interviews with head teachers, bursars and school business managers on Financial efficiency in schools.
The response was that all agreed that financial efficiency involved spending money wisely, yet there was little agreement beyond this. To a large extent the disagreement happened from differences in view between those with a business background and those with a public sector stance. Some argued that it was their responsibility to invest any surplus back into school services and others thought schools should be run like a businesses and cut cost accordingly. A widespread concern was the fact that salaries formed the majority of all budgets and many felt that they were left with so few funds after salaries that they had little flexibility to make any substantial changes.
As salaries dominates many schools budget, often those responsible for financial management duties find it difficult to concentrate on other areas of efficiency, therefore compromising other areas as they are perceived as unlikely to make a substantial difference.
An area that sometime goes unnoticed is procurement. According to the DCSF research many thought it difficult and lingering to achieve any major savings in procurement, as a result most were satisfied to work with Local Authority procurement departments. While this saved time and effort, few felt they were getting the best deals; in some cases they found working in this way unnecessarily prolonged and bureaucratic.
In 2011-12 financial year the total school spending, for all Local Authority maintained schools in England, was £32.3 billion (gross) and £17.4 billion (53.9%) was spent by primary schools (which included a number of primary schools with nursery classes).
According to the Department of Education statistical figures released in January 2013, of the £17.4 billion spent by primary schools £8.7 billion (50.0%) was spent on permanent and supply teaching staff (excluding agency supply teachers and supply teacher insurance costs); £2.9 billion (16.4%) was spent on education support staff; £1.9 billion (10.8%) was spent on other school staff and £4.0 billion (22.8%) was spent on running expenses.
By focusing on all areas of school spending, significant efficiency savings can be achieve non-salary cost, particularly running cost.
To find out more about identifying opportunities and delivering solutions for financial efficiency in your school please contact us. Our team of professionals is dedicated to identifying opportunities and delivering solutions to reducing school’s running cost.
The governing body has general responsibility for the conduct of the school with view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. This general responsibility gives rise to a wide range of specific responsibilities which in turn require the governing body to establish a range of procedures. The School Governance (Procedures)(England) Regulations 2003, as amended, provide the statutory requirements for governors procedures. Many of the requirements and responsibilities placed on governing bodies are covered by legislation and well defined by guidance and recommended procedures. The Department recommends that for other procedures, the governing body develops a set of standing orders. In carrying out its day-to-day work, the governing body should give consideration to certain procedures the Department requires or recommends it follows.
A governing body is accountable in law for all major decisions about the school and its future. The nature of the work load calls for diligent organisation, involving the setting up of committees and delegating tasks to these committees, and in some instances to individuals. However, Governors remains wholly responsible for any decision that is made under delegation.
Levels of Legally Delegated Functions by Governors
Procurement in schools
According to DFE (Department for Education) every year, schools collectively spend approximately £9.3 billion in areas other than teaching staff. Procurement makes up a significant proportion of school’s budget.
Significant savings can often be made in procurement, which can be reinvested in the school’s priorities for teaching and learning. If you shop around for your school, you’ll notice that prices can vary considerably. The table below illustrates the difference in prices for a simple glue stick:
Glue stick price comparison
Supplier Own Brand
Market Leading Brand
|7p, 39p, 51p, 68p||82p|
|Internet||70p, 73p, 99p|
The prices in the table vary from 7p to 99p. Shopping around in this case leads to a saving of almost 93%.
Schools have autonomy over the use of their budgets and so it is for heads and governors to determine at school level how to secure better value for money. There can be significant variations in procurement between similar schools, and so it’s important for schools to review their current procurement process, compare it to other schools, and think about how to make improvements.
Based on a strategic partnership with your school we can develop innovative tailored Procurement Services for your school and benchmark your school’s spending against other similar schools in details.
The main aspects of the service provided by us include: -
The dreaded school league table was introduced to publish academic performance of pupils in schools and to compare and improve educational standards. The coalition government upon assuming office set up a threshold of 35% of pupils achieving five GCSCs at Grade A – C including English and Maths. However a recent report by the exams watchdog ofqual has shaking the very foundation of compiling the league tables.
The future of the School League Tables
The secretary for education is set to announce in May, 2013 a complete overhaul on how the tables are structured and calculated. This change has come about partly as a result of a damming report issued by ofqual and a recent grade boundary shifts that resulted in many grades being downgraded leading to legal actions. The exams watchdog’s criticisms of the existing league table included the following:
Competition in any shape or form breads some actions on the part of some unscrupulous individuals who will stop at nothing in ensuring that goals are achieved at all cost. Some educational expert have argued that, instead of publishing school league tables, rigorous subject and general school inspection will help improve performance and also encourage subjects such as religious education, music and physical education that are not part of the Government’s English Baccalaureate but are important to the development of pupils to be given the needed attention. On the other hand, head teachers should also be encouraged and given all the needed resources to improve both academic and the overall well being of all pupils under their care. In effect, accountability should be a watch word for heads of schools, not league tables. Until the Secretary of State of Education comes out with his policy statement regarding the nature and future of league tables we will continue to watch this space.
As part of the Consistent Financial Reporting Regulations (CFR) introduced in April 2003, schools are required to submit a return through their Local Authorities to be forwarded to the Department for Education. However, schools are no obliged to publish their accounts. The returns submitted by schools forms part of the wider picture for the schools’ financial bench marking website. In January, 20011 the government published for the first time, all schools’ CFR data for 2009-10 as part of the Transparency Agenda for all schools.
Key Facts about School Accounting
Financial Reporting Process For Schools
One area in school administration that raises many questions for parents and school staff is the issue of charging for school activities. To reduce the confusion and the questions that often arise out of this, the Department for Education has come out with a policy document that seeks to answer many issues arising out of this thorny topic. Sections 449 – 462 of the Education Act 1996 sets out detailed policies on charging and remission for school activities and school visits.Schools are to ensure that parents on low income and in receipts of the benefits listed below are informed about the support available to them, when asked contributions towards the cost of school visits.
The policy document on charges clearly indicates that education provided during school hours is not to be levied on parents, however music lessons provided outside the essential part of the National curriculum or a public examinations administered to pupils is chargeable. For example if parents agree with school authorities for extra lessons for a child or group of children outside the school scheduled music lessons, the school is obliged to charge for those extra lessons.
Non Residential Visits
An activity is deemed to have occurred during school hours and exempted from charges on non residential visits, if 50% or more of the time spent on that event occurs during school hours. Time spent on travel counts in this calculation if travel occurs during school hours.
However, if less than 50% of the time spent on an activity falls during school hours, it is deemed to have taken place outside school hours.
The Department for Education announced the school funding settlement for 2013/14 in December 2012; the key highlights included the details of the local authority (LA) Dedicated Schools Grant allocations and the illustrative allocations for the Pupil Premium.
The Dedicated school Grant allocations for the year under review has been split into three main blocks of funding, namely:
The Department has indicated in this year’s funding settlement that, the Early Years Block will be allocated based on the 2013 spring school Census. However, the Schools Block will be continued to be funded through the 2012 autumn census. The Pupil Premium will also be based on the spring census.
Dedicated Schools Grant – Early Years Block
The pupil premium eligibility has not changed much under the current dispensation, as noted in the 2012/13 settlement, only pupils aged four and over at 31 August 2012 in Reception to Year 11 (or aged four to fifteen where National Curriculum does not apply) in LA maintained primary, secondary and special schools, City Technology Colleges, academies (including Free Schools) and pupil referral units (including alternative provision academies and alternative provision Free Schools) who are known as Service Children Ever or FSM Ever will be eligible for the Pupil Premium.
The criteria used for the calculation of the Premium will be the same as the one used for the Dedicated Schools Grant with due consideration to the Duplicate Report (funding for unresolved duplicate UPNS will be halved). As with the Dedicated Schools Grant, pupils whose registration status is 'C', 'M', ‘F’ and ‘O’ from the School Census and Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) Census are included (although ‘F’ and ‘O’ enrolment status are only relevant to PRUs) and, for pupils aged four, FTEs are calculated based on the ‘Funded Hours’ recorded in the census (not the full-time/part-time indicator) and include those also with registration status 'S', up to the free entitlement.
Deprivation Pupil Premium
This will be allocated based on pupils on roll in January 2013 that have qualified for the free school meals (FSM) relating to any pupil level census from summer 2007. Each eligible pupil will be attracting £900.00 This historical eligibility will be determined centrally by the Department by using the National Pupil Database (NPD) to map on the history of FSM eligibility for each pupil on roll in the January collections to determine the actual numbers of ‘Ever FSM’ pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium.
Service Child Pupil Premium
A budget is a financial plan that sets out, using figures on a school’s expected future results. It gives a clear financial path for the school to follow. Schools are required by the Department for Education to clearly set out their financial plan (budget) in conjunction with local authorities in before the beginning of the financial year so that a clear intent on its expected income and expenditure are known to all stake holders.
IMPORTANCE OF BUDGET TO SCHOOLS
PROPOSED TIMELINE FOR SCHOOL BUDGET SETTING
JANUARY (income consideration)
MARCH (Budget Setting)
Reconcile your initial estimates with the actual budget allocation provided by the Authority
Estimated balances from previous year;
Review of the Schools Development Plan;
PROMPTS FOR SETTING UP A SCHOOL BUDGET
SIMPLE GUIDE ON HOW TO CONSTRUCT A SCHOOL BUDGET
Based on the pupil numbers from the PLASC data, a school will be in a position to start collating their budget. The income received from DSG and pupil premium can be reconciled to the LA funding allocations.
The Pupil premium introduced in the academic year 2012 -13 has seen significant changes in the current year (2013 -14)
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT 2013-14 PUPIL PREMIUM
Schools have the free will to decide how to spend the money allotted for the premium based upon the needs of the pupils who qualify to receive the funding, however, schools are held accountable through the following by the department for education.
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