The governing body is accountable for the way in which the Academy’s resources are allocated to meet the objectives set out in the School Improvement Plan. Governors need to secure the best possible outcome for students, in the most efficient and effective way, at a reasonable cost. This will lead to continuous improvement in the school’s achievements and services.
I accept that as Accounting Officer of Chauncy School I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the Academy 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 taxpayers resources received. I set out below how I have ensured that the Academy’s use of its resources has provided good value for money during the academic year. Value for Money (VfM) is defined as the relationship between economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Achieving VfM means achieving a balance between all three. This is consistent with the duty of Best Value placed on the Academy.
What is Best Value?
Governors apply the four principles of best value:
- Challenge – Is the school’s performance high enough? Why and how is a service provided? Do we still need it? Can it be delivered differently? What do parents want?
- Compare – How does the school’s student performance and financial performance compare with all schools? How does it compare with similar schools?
- Consult – How does the school seek the views of stakeholders about the services the school provides?
- Compete – How does the school secure efficient and effective services? Are services of appropriate quality, economic?
The Governors and school managers apply the principles of best value when making decisions about:
- The allocation of resources to best promote the aims and values of the school.
- The targeting of resources to best improve standards and the quality of provision.
- The use of resources to best support the various educational needs of all students.
The Academy Trust is committed to:
Raising student attainment
The academy achieved the grade of good at the recent Ofsted inspection January 2013. This is demonstrated by the outstanding exam results for 2012/13:
At A Level:
- 100% of students achieved A*- E grades
- 73% of students achieved A* – C grades
At GCSE level:
- 90% of students achieved at least five A*-C grades
- 70% of students achieved five A*-C grades including English and Maths
- 99% of students achieved at least five A*-G grades
Full details are available on the Academy website www.chauncyschool.com.
Students completing KS4 in 2013 joined the school with an average KS2 points score of 27.5 and an Average CAT score of 99.1, representing an intake profile that is broadly in line with the national average. 70% of students achieved 5+ A* – C grades including English and Maths. This is a significant record for the school and well beyond the national average. Contributing factors to success were:
- PIXL approach of fine grading
- Targeted intervention
- Intensive exam preparation.
2. Robust governance and oversight of Academy Trust finances
The Academy benefits from the provision of a responsible officer . This audit reviews key financial policies, systems and procedures, including the use of tenders and presents reports on compliance to the Finance Resources Committee.
The Resources Committee receives termly budget monitoring reports and management accounts and reviews these. The full Governing Body approves the budget each year and is mindful of the need to balance expenditure against income to ensure the Academy remains a ‘going concern’. The Governing Body also receives reviews and approves the Annual Accounts and responds to issues raised in the External Auditors Management Reports on the financial statements and on regularity.
3. Ensuring the operation of the Trust demonstrates good value for money and efficient and effective use of resources
The Academy regularly benchmarks financial performance against other academy trusts to demonstrate that the Trust provides good value for money.
Staff are deployed to provide best value in terms of quality of teaching, quality of learning, adult-student ratio, and curriculum management.
Equipment, materials and services are deployed to provide students and staff with resources which support a high quality of teaching and learning.
In addition, tender exercises are regularly undertaken to ensure that high value contracts are assessed against the marketplace on a regular basis to ensure that long term contracts (3 to 5 years) remain competitive.
Governors and school managers have procedures for assessing need, and obtaining goods and services which provide “best value” in terms of suitability, efficiency, time, and cost. Measures in place include:
- Competitive tendering procedures (e.g. for goods and services above £50,000)
- Three quotes for goods and services in excess of £10,000
- Procedures for accepting ‘best value’ quotes, which are not necessarily the cheapest (e.g. suitability for purpose and quality of workmanship)
- Procedure’s which minimise office time by the purchase of goods or services under £1,000 direct from known, reliable suppliers (e.g. stationery, small equipment).
4. Reviewing controls and managing risks
Monthly budget monitoring reports are produced and reviewed by the Headteacher, Business manager and Bursar and any necessary remedial action taken to address any significant variances that may have an impact on the budget out-turn.
The governors have agreed a risk register which details all the potential financial and business risks and puts measures in place to minimise the implications of these.
The Academy ensures that all surplus cash balances are held in an interest bearing account to maximise interest earning potential.
These areas will be monitored for lessons learned and best value by:
- In-house monitoring by the Senior Leadership Team and Curriculum Leaders, e.g. classroom practice, work sampling
- Target setting meetings between the Leadership Team and Curriculum Leaders
- Annual Performance Management
- Annual Budget Planning (including submitting the ‘Value for Money’ statement).
- School Improvement Plan
- Regular visits by the accountants to carry out an internal audit
- Analysis of school student performance data against similar schools
- Analysis of LEA financial data against bench mark data for all schools, LEA schools, similar schools
- Analysis of DfE student performance data
- Ofsted Inspection reports
- Governors’ classroom observations
- Governors’ meetings (full and committee) including; a review of ‘Best Value’ at appropriate points in the year and reviewing this ‘Value for Money’ statement in the Autumn Term.
- Accessibility of information to parents.