Schools Section

This section has been created to provide governance and financial advice and help schools through their audit.
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School Audit Process (PDF, 55KB)

This summarises the key stages of a school audit. 

School Audit Questionnaire (Autumn 2015) (DOCX, 100KB)

The Questionnaire is updated annually to ensure updates to legislation, best practice and also requests from the School's Finance Team are incorporated. It is split into different Control Objectives, more details of which can be found by selecting each below. 

Control Objective 1: Governance and Accountability

Control Objective 2: Budgets

Control Objective 3: Payroll

Control Objective 4: Computer System

Control Objective 5: Purchasing

Control Objective 6: Income/Debtors

Control Objective 7: Bank Account

Control Objective 8: Inventory and Safeguarding

Control Objective 9: Non Local Authority and/or Voluntary Funds

 

Control Objective 1: Governance and Accountability

The Governors Service Team website includes the following key documents/policies: Pecuniary Interest form, Single Central Record/Disclosure & Barring/Recruitment & Vetting, Fixed Term and Temporary Contracts, Pay Policies for Teaching and Support Staff, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and the Whistleblowing Policy.

The Individual School Range and Head Teacher group pay range should comply with the requirements of the DfE School Teachers' Pay and Conditions (2015).

The Business Continuity, Risk and Resilience website includes all relevant information and contact details relating to this subject. 

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Control Objective 2: Budgets

The Local Management for Schools web page has information and guidance on: budget construction, budget monitoring and CFR coding.   

There is also some information about budgeting for Universal Infant Free School Meals and the DfE has issued guidance relating to Pupil Premium

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Control Objective 3: Payroll

Payroll information must be checked independently by someone other than the person responsible for administering the payroll reports. This should be evidenced (signature and date).

Periodic checks (e.g. termly) should be conducted of payroll data against contract information to ensure that all payments are to bona fide staff.

Supply/Overtime/Expenses should be signed by the individual and authorised as per the schools financial delegation.

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Control Objective 4: Computer System

All schools should have a documented IT Policy (inc. social media, laptops, back up etc.). If laptops are given to staff then they each should have a laptop agreement, an example (DOC, 43KB) of which is attached. 

Segregation of duites in the financial system is essential. The Local Management for Schools web page contains further information along with suggested access rights.

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Control Objective 5: Purchasing

The Local Management for Schools web page has procurement guidance (inluding the requirement to obtain/retain quotes) and also information on leases. 

Commitment accounting principles should be followed; earmarking expenditure for known expenses. This helps to reduce the risk of paying duplicate invoices and aids good budget management. 

Further guidance on ordering goods and services is available in the Financial Procedures for Schools

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Control Objective 6: Income/Debtors

There must always be an element of segregation of duty when receiving income i.e. there should always be a secondary check of income in addition to any completed by the individual that has received the income initially.

Receipts must be issued in line with the Finance Manual, as approved by governors.

Additional information on income and banking arrangements are available in the Financial Procedures for Schools

Any outstanding income (debts) should be monitored and chased regularly and the process for this should be included in you Finance Manual.

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Control Objective 7: Bank Account

Information on bank accounts, online banking, NatWest One card and BACS is available on the Local Management for Schools site.

The Records Management Toolkit for Schools is attached.

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Control Objective 8: Inventory and Safeguarding

The Asset Management Policy for Milton Keynes Schools provides guidance on the procedures that must be in place for the management of their assets and asset registers.

Income should only be stored or transported in line with your school’s insurance policy.

Please refer to the Local Management for Scools web page if you purchase insurance through the council, it has details of the insurance arrangements and secure cash holding limits.

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Control Objective 9: Non Local Authority and/or Voluntary Funds

The school is responsible for ensuring that any voluntary funds are audited annually.

Before you submit your Voluntary Fund audit report to the Schools Finance Team ensure that it has been signed by the Chair of Governors either at or soon after the Governors meeting where it was discussed/approved.

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Other Information:

Common Audit Issues

Example of Finance Guidance and Procedures

Minibus Information - Section 19 Permits

Last Updated: 30 November 2017