Organisation name: BLACKPOOL MULTI ACADEMY TRUST
Company number: 8597962
Year ended 31 August 2014
I accept that as accounting officer of BLACKPOOL MULTI ACADEMY TRUST I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the academy trust delivers good value in the use of public resources. I am aware of the guide to academy value for money statements published by the Education Funding Agency and understand that value for money refers to the educational and wider societal outcomes achieved in return for the taxpayer resources received.
I set out below how I have ensured that the academy trust's use of its resources has provided good value for money during the academic year.
Improving Educational Results
The Trust has ensured that resources have been directed where they were most needed and most effective in meeting educational requirements, for example:
• Recruitment of a Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team in the sponsored Academy (RLA).
• Recruitment or redeployment of specialist staff (SENCO/Behavioural/Science) to support the identified needs.
• Initiatives to accelerate the progress of groups of children with SEND including the investment of an Education
Psychologist’s time specifically targeted at the sponsored Academy.
• Developing the assessment, tracking and monitoring processes to ensure data is used to inform planning, target
interventions and support differentiation, including regular internal and Senior Leadership Team meetings to review
progress and impact of interventions for different groups of pupils.
• Developing new staff Performance Review and Appraisal processes for effective monitoring of performance in line with the new Performance Related Pay guidance and Multi Academy Trust Pay Policy.
The effectiveness of these strategies can be seen in improved pupil outcomes, staff observations and preparations of for delivery of the new curriculum.
Financial Governance and Oversight
The Trust’s Governance arrangements include regular monitoring by the Board of Directors, the Management Committee and the Local Governing Bodies of each Academy. The Board of Directors receive regular financial reports and ask relevant questions pertaining to those reports.
Each Academy has an experienced Business Manager in post who reports directly to each Local Governing Body and Board of Directors.
This work is further informed by regular Responsible Officer reports following monitoring visits undertaken each term at each Academy.
The Trust Accountants are Crossley and Davis who both support and monitor each Academy and the end of year Trust accounts.
Cost Effect Purchasing
Examples of steps taken to ensure value for money when purchasing include:
• Exploring alternative purchasing options both online and direct through suppliers to find the best value.
• The Business Managers have been working with each other to identify products and services that can be procured across the Trust in order to drive down costs and/or negotiate favourable rates (eg Finance Service Level Agreement, Energy costs, Insurance premiums, Education Psychologist time, Governor Services)
• Implementing a tender process for significant purchases and/or contracts (eg Outdoor learning environment at RLA, Electronic Visitors system across the Trust).
All contracts are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they are fit for purpose and best value.
Income Generation Examples of steps to maximise income include:
• Application to become a School Direct training provider for up to 12 trainee teaching students submitted and awaiting approval.
• Successful bid for a DFE Environment Grant for the sponsored Academy’s outdoor play area.
• Successful sponsor capacity grant received to aid the management of sponsoring an Academy in special measures.
• NLE grants for work carried out by the three NLE Headteachers.
• Lettings will continue to benefit the local communities via each Academy.
Reviewing Controls and Managing Risks
The Board of Directors, Management Committee, Business Managers and each Academy’s Leadership Teams regularly reviewed budget reports including future recommendations on spending.
This ensured that all Trust spending was within budget and plans were agreed and implemented when there has been any variance.
Actions taken to manage risk included the purchase of an appropriate level of insurance cover and where required professional advice was sought from Human Resources/Legal Services etc.
The Trust recognises the need to continue developing relationships with other Academies in order to benefit from economies of scale in procuring products and services, developing staff and sharing knowledge, skill and expertise.
Name: Mr Keith Berry
Academy Trust Accounting Officer
Date: 08 Jan 2015