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ESFA publishes  revised academies financial handbook for 2020/21

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​​The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published the 2020   revised version of the Academies Financial Handbook; which comes into effect on 1 September 2020.

It contains greater clarity on the role that members should play within Trusts and an increased emphasis on the professionalisation of accounting officer and chief financial officer roles. There is also further requirements around whistleblowing, an area that NAHT has  long been pressing the government on.

New provisions include:

  • a requirement for the trust to appoint a clerk to support the board of trustees
  • further guidance on the role of members including that they must not be employees of the Trust
  • Confirmation that both the accounting officer and the chief financial officer should be employees, and an increased emphasis on the need to consider if these role should require an official accountancy qualification.
  • a requirement that trusts must publish on their website, the number of employees whose benefits exceeded £100k, in 10k bandings
  • a requirement that trustees must agree the whistleblowing procedure and publish it on the trust’s website
  • further guidance on board and committee responsbilities for risk management, including a requirement around audit and risk committees.
  • removal of the option for internal audit to be performed by the external auditor
  • requirement that alll trusts complete the school resource management self-assessment tool
First published 24 June 2020