SAAF Education Blog

It's time to prepare for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

The bidding window for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) usually opens around October half term and closes just before Christmas. However waiting until the bidding window opens can make it much more difficult to organise and plan your project, if you start now, you will have plenty of time to write a successful bid and submit it on time.

If you work in a standalone academy, free school or small multi-academy trust, with the support of our partners you can start the process now. We can assist in preparing a bid that could result in significant benefits for your school.

Extra Funding to Enhance Science and Music Lessons (UK)

It can often be a difficult process to receive funding for various departments in your school, academy, or MAT however there are a couple of non DFE grants currently available as a top up to your standard funding streams. 

If you’re looking for additional funding to support your school and enhance the learning experience for your pupils, this post can point you in the right direction to achieve this.

Become a PSF Master with our Live Webinar Programme

As a PS Financials (PSF) accredited support and training partner we understand how complex the software can be for users. Some processes can be time consuming and at times cumbersome, leaving you wondering is there a simpler way of doing this?

Increased National Funding for Schools Across England

Schools and academies over the last decade have faced significant financial pressures, further exacerbated due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic. However, central government are reacting to these current pressures and have announced additions to school funding for the academic year 2021/22 alongside the increase in per pupil funding previously announced. These changes in funding aim to increase the opportunities for pupils across the UK and intend to return education back to normal.

Funding for Special Schools and Colleges

It can often be frustrating when attempting to navigate the varying funding sources available for projects you wish to undertake within your schools and colleges. If you are a special school or a college, you can now apply for a grant through the Wolfson Foundation’s Funding for Special Schools and Colleges grants programme.

Free Finance System Review

Your accounting software is one of the most important tools in your arsenal when it comes to making key strategic and operational decisions. It not only performs the function of paying suppliers and raising sales invoices, it also acts as your primary system for monitoring all income/expenditure and when utilised to its full potential ensures compliance with statutory reporting as well as being the key control over your financial assets. Having the right system in place and ensuring it is maintained regularly will pay dividends, both in terms of efficient use of available resources as well as offering peace of mind that the financial information being presented to stakeholders is accurate.

With the ever-growing requirements of financial reporting in education, it is crucial that your accounting software not only offers a wide range of reports, but that the reports are up to date and reflect a true and fair position.

Effective internal controls are also essential to enable different levels of access to support the segregation of duties. It is key that the right parts of the system are only available to the right people.

Do you need grant funding for a school development project?

It can often be a difficult and lengthy process for schools to gain access to new funding. If you’re looking for additional funding for a development project, we can assist you. Using the expert knowledge and experience of our grant finding partner, we can help you secure funding to suit your needs.

Financial Insight Tools for Academy Trusts

A new benchmarking tool has been released by the DfE, my financial insight tool, which will enable academies to compare their financial performance with 30 most similar schools (based on either pupil characteristics or premises characteristics) in order to analyse data from nine cost categories. The data has been provided from the benchmarking data submitted by trusts in their 2018 to 2019 accounts returns.

Risk Protection Arrangements Available for Maintained Schools

Since September 2014 academies have been able to opt-in to the Department for Education’s (DfE) Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) as an alternative to commercial insurance. The project was introduced to reduce the cost of protecting academies against risk as the average cost of commercial insurance to academies at the time was £49.93 per pupil. The RPA launched at a cost of £25 per pupil and has since been able to reduce this to £18 per pupil in 2019/20.

New Pupil Premium Rate from April 2020

The government recently announced that pupil premium rates are due to rise in line with inflation from April 2020 for all eligible pupils.  This funding will come from the government’s £2.6 billion increase in school budget for 2020/21.