A while ago, we submitted a blog about the changed emphasis of this year’s Budget Forecast Return for Academy Trusts. As the deadline for this return is rapidly approaching (30 July), we thought it might be worthwhile issuing another “word to the wise”. In short:

  • thus far, Academy Trusts have had to let The Department for Education know about their financial forecast for just the one year ahead
  • short-term focus has been viewed as contributing to the findings of recent reviews that the Academy sector is facing very real financial problems
  • the Education Skills & Funding Agency have confirmed that they will require three years of budgeting information rather than one from now on
  • the expanded Budget Forecast Return is to be submitted by 30 July 2018
  • there are proposals to name Trusts that do not meet deadlines (11% of trusts missed the 21stMay deadline for the last BFRO)

It is to be hoped that a more strategic view will make deficit budgets less likely and so make the inevitable extra work worthwhile.

All of the Academies / Trusts that drb supports met their deadline. If you think we might be able to assist with short, medium and long term planning in your school, academy or trust please contact Doug Skinner at doug.skinner@drbsas.co.uk. We have extensive experience to draw on and can offer a full range of services from an initial financial health-check to full strategic support.

If you would like to find out more about Budget Forecasting, the ESFA have created a general introduction video (below) to help explain the academy budget forecast returns process.

Video source: ESFA

Doug Skinner

Author Doug Skinner

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