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Academies budget forecast return 2024: updates & guidance

Date published: Date modified: 2024-05-09

This year’s budget forecast return (BFR) deadline is 29 August 2024, and the last submission of the year for multi-academy trusts. The academies budget forecast return goes live on 4 June 2024.

All established academy trusts active as of 30 April 2024 are required to complete the BFR and will need to complete on an accruals and prepayments basis.

The BFR is a collection that spans the past, current, and future financial years. It collects data in a format to allow for academic and financial year analysis by ESFA/DfE.

BFR2024 covers these periods:

  • Sep 22 to Mar 23 and Apr 23 to Aug 23 (part pre-populated from previous BFR return)
  • Sep 23 to Mar 24 and Apr 24 to Aug 24
  • Sep 24 to Mar 25 and Apr 25 to Aug 25
  • Summary forecasts for Sep 25 to Aug 26
  • Summary forecasts for Sep 26 to Aug 27

The workbooks have been published in advance to help you prepare for the return, you can use the workbook to process and validate information before completing the online form.

There’s also a useful reference guide which explains what should be included on each line of the BFR.

What are the updates for this year's submission?

  • New fields have been added to the BFR to capture information around trusts forecast ICT spend.
  • The way you sign in has changed, the new submission will need to be done via DfE sign-in account. DfE Sign-in enables you to access multiple organisations from one account. The service you use will not change, only the way you sign in.

Do you need support with the return?

Get in touch to book and plan your finance consultancy hours to guarantee support with the BFR.

Our finance experts can help make the return smoother and complete the form for you. Find out more about the support we offer.


By SAAF Education
SAAF Education 340 110

9 May 2024


SAAF Education

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