Granby Primary School

Finance

 March 2022: No school employees have a gross annual salary over £100,000.

To view more information about financial benchmarking at Granby, please follow the link below to a DfE page:

Financial Benchmarking at Granby

How do governors fulfill their financial responsibilities?

Governors have three key responsibilities, one of which is:

“Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent”.

(The Governance Handbook, Published by DfE, updated October 2020)

The Governance Handbook goes on to say:

“It should do this by ensuring it has at least one individual with specific, relevant skills and experience of financial matters. This individual should also build a relationship with the school business professional (SBP) acting as the link between the SBP and the board. However, everyone on the board should have a basic understanding of the financial cycle and the legal requirements of the school on accountability and spend”.

At Granby, our Chair of the Finance, Premises, Health and Safety Committee (who is also our ViceChair of Governors), fulfills this role. As both an experienced governor and a finance professional, she has the specific, relevant skills and experience. She works hard to provide a link between the SBP and the board. The SBP is also present at all meetings of the Full Governing Board and the Committee meetings. Our Chair of Governors is Vice-Chair of Leicester City Council’s Schools’ Forum, which also suggests a high level of knowledge in relation to schools’ finance.

Regular training and CPD ensures that all governors have an understanding of the financial cycle. There are 6 opportunities each year for governors to formally consider the budget within their meetings. This allows for their involvement in setting, monitoring and evaluating the budget.

Governors explore and interrogate the answers to questions such as:

  • Are resources allocated in line with the organisation’s strategic priorities?
  • Does the organisation have a clear budget forecast, ideally for the next three years, which identifies spending opportunities and risks and sets how these will be mitigated?
  • Does the organisation have sufficient reserves to cover major changes such as restructuring, and any risks identified in the budget forecast?
  • Is the organisation making best use of its budget (e.g. by integrating its curriculum planning with its financial planning and using efficiency data to inform decision making)?
  • Does the organisation plan its budgets on a bottom up basis driven by curriculum planning (i.e. is the school spending its money in accordance with its priorities) or is the budget set by simply making minor adjustments to last year’s budget to ensure there is a surplus?
  • What sources of financial data and tools are used to ensure the assets and financial resources are being used efficiently?
  • How can better value for money be achieved from the budget?
  • Is the organisation complying with basic procurement rules and ensuring it gets the best deal available when buying goods and services in order to reinvest savings into teaching and learning priorities?
  • Is the organisation taking advantage of opportunities to collaborate with other schools to generate efficiencies through pooling funding where permitted, purchasing services jointly and sharing staff, functions, facilities and technology across sites?

Each year, Governors complete a statutory audit tool called the Schools Financial Value Standard. This has to be submitted to the Local Authority and it helps to provide schools with assurance that they are meeting the basic standards necessary to achieve a good level of financial health and resource management. In completing this, all governors complete a self-assessment which asks them to evaluate their performance against a range of competencies. They can rate themselves as:

1: Highly competent        2: Competent                     3: Developing                    4: Not yet developed.

These scores are then averaged over the whole Governing Board. At Granby, in our most recent assessment (March 2022), the governing board scored all 1s and 2’s. This suggests that Granby Governors are competent or highly competent in each of the financial skills required.

Granby is in a strong position in relation to financial management, enjoying a good level of competence and a high level of skills. Any gaps in knowledge are identified through the SFVS skills audit and training/CPD is put in place to address these as they occur. Governor recruitment has also been utilised to enlist governors with desirable skillsets.