Statutory Returns

Below is information for the reporting requirements relating to the Schools Financial Value Standard and Constant Financial Reporting


Schools Financial Values Standard

The Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) is a tool designed to assist schools in managing their finances and gives assurance that they have secure financial management in place. Governing bodies have formal responsibility for the financial management of their schools, and so the standard is primarily aimed at governors.

Effective financial management ensures that money is spent wisely and properly, and allows schools to optimise their resources to provide high quality teaching and learning, to raise standards and attainment for pupils.

The SFVS form was updated on 1st April 2019 after a DfE consultation in 2018 and now requires completion of a self evaluation questionnaire which contains 29 questions divided into seven sections.  Each question requires a Yes, No or In part response – there should be back-up evidence to each answer.  There is also a new requirement to complete a dashboard based on the latest forecast, which is designed to help schools identify areas for improved resource management.  It shows how a school compares to thresholds on a range of key indicators.

Governing bodies have formal responsibility for the financial management of their schools, and so the standard is primarily aimed at governors.  The governing body may delegate the consideration of the questions to a relevant committee, but a detailed report should be provided to the full governing body and the Chair of Governors must sign the completed form prior to submission.

Schools are required to update the return annually and submit between 1st January and the 31st March.  Only the SFVS return needs to be submitted, not the related evidence, which should be kept at the school. Schools should submit an electronic, scanned copy of their signed SFVS return to the Schools Finance Team inbox and the Excel version to include the dashboard.

When schools complete and submit their SFVS forms they should reflect an in-year position about their processes.

Internal Audit will review a schools' SFVS return prior to an audit visit and will sample the evidence to check to ensure their judgement confirms the submitted statement.

If an audit issue is found during the visit, the SFVS may also be reviewed.

The SFVS form and associated guidance can be found on the DfE website.  There are three documents - SFVS form, checklist guidance and dashboard guidance - that should be downloaded and saved.

Please read the guidance carefully as additional information is required in order for the dashboard to be completed

Financial Management in Local Authority Maintained Schools

Schools are to be reminded that when completing the SFVS returns (due 31st March), the governing body is assuring that there is secure financial management in place and that the school is fully compliant with the financial regulations.  A number of concerns around financial management in schools have been identified following recent internal audit visits to schools. Please take time to familiarise yourselves with the regulations and in particular in the following areas before you complete your SFVS return.

Consistent financial reporting

The DfE is keen to streamline administration for schools, collecting only essential data, automating data collection, and improving the value of information for schools.

The introduction of this framework has provided a national picture of how schools spend their budgets. This contributes to a much greater understanding of what works in education. Good quality information is important for providing a benchmarking facility to help with the financial running of schools. Many schools already have good internal management systems in place, but to maximise the benefits for all schools through national benchmarking, some standardisation is essential.

More detailed information on the CFR structure can be found on the DfE website which can be found in the external links area. Please also see the detailed codes list links in the documents area.

Please see financial benchmarking for schools for more information.