Finance - Value for Money Statement
The Board of Trustees is accountable for the way in which the Academy’s resources are allocated to meet the objectives set out in the School Development Plan of each school in the Trust. Trustees 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. Working with the Accounting Officer of The Cherry Tree Trust, Trustees ensure that the Academy delivers good value in the use of public resources.
What is Best Value?
Trustees 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 Academy Trust is committed to:
Raising student attainment
Newall Green Primary School’s cohort has large numbers of vulnerable children who historically find it more difficult to access education and make age related expectations. However due to the support we give to our pupils academically to narrow the learning gap and emotionally to improve children’s well-being we have achieved excellent outcomes for this group of students. The statistics show that
68% of Disadvantaged pupils achieved the expected standard compared to 71% of 'Other' pupils Nationally. Therefore, there is an achievement gap of 3%. National Disadvantaged is 51%. The performance of Disadvantaged pupils in school is similar or better than 'Other' pupils Nationally.
Our Trustees have the skills and educational knowledge to ensure that finances are spent supporting pupils to break down their barriers to learning. Monitoring of the budget ensures that resources are sufficient to deliver the curriculum and the Trustees strive to secure additional adults to support learners so that each pupil is supported to meet their educational goals.
Inclusion and equality
The Trustees value each child and recognise that they are a unique individual. So that each individual has the best support to reach their educational goal some learners may require a modified setting to access their learning. The Cherry Tree trust provides learners who are at risk of permanent exclusions the opportunity to learn in a smaller Alternative Provision where individual curriculums enable access to the age-related curriculum.
Children with specific learning needs are taught in a Resourced Provision and their curriculum is adapted to meet their learning needs. Using a Education Health & Care Plan, pupils access their learning either in smaller groups or with modifications through physical or practical support.
Robust governance and oversight of the Academy Trust finances
Trustees monitor the Academies Finances closely through
· Internal and external audit
· Monthly cash Flow and Balance sheet monitoring
· Monthly monitoring report
· Monthly Profile monitoring.
· Half termly School Development Plan monitoring.
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.
Reviewing controls and managing risks
The Risk Register is reviewed termly to identify all the potential financial and business risks. Measures are put into place to minimise the implications of these.
These areas are monitored for lessons learned and identified actions are put into place.
· Annual Academy Financial Updates implemented.
· Targets set by Trustees for Academic and Financial standards which are reviewed through half termly progress to target meetings.
· Annual Performance Management Review to ensure high quality teaching and learning.
· Half termly Review of School development Plan
· Regular visits by the accountants to carry out an internal audit
· Analysis of school student performance data against similar schools
· Analysis of DfE student performance data
· Ofsted Inspection reports
· Local Governing Body Governors’ classroom observations
· Trustees delegate actions to the Local Governing Body who monitor closely progress to the targets set in the School Development Plan.
· Accessibility of information to parents.