Value for Money

The County High School, Leftwich

Review of Value for Money

As Accounting Officer the Principal has responsibility for ensuring that the Academy Trust delivers good value in the use of public resources. The Accounting Officer understands that Value for Money refers to the educational and wider societal outcomes achieved in return for the taxpayer resources received.

The Accounting Officer considers how the Trust's use of its resources has provided good value for money during each academic year, and reports to the Board of Trustees where value for money can be improved, including the use of benchmarking data where available. The Accounting Officer for the Academy Trust has delivered improved value for money during the year by:

Income generation

The County High School, Leftwich continued to maximise income generation through the hire of its facilities including: - the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), the Gym, the Recording Studio and the Dance Studio. The MUGA was almost fully booked throughout the year.

Governance of the Academy's Finances

As Accounting Officer, I have responsibility for reviewing the effectiveness of the system of internal control. During the year ended 31st August 2017, this review has been informed by:

  • the work of a Responsible Officer
  • the Audit Committee;
  • external audit;

The Responsible Officer is a suitably qualified external person who reviewed key financial procedures and systems and presented a report on a termly basis to the Resources' Committee.

The Academy Trust's system of internal control is based on a framework of regular management information and administrative procedures, including the segregation of duties and a system of delegation and accountability. In particular for the year 2016-2017 it included:

  • comprehensive budgeting and monitoring systems with an annual budget and periodic reports which were reviewed and agreed by the Governing Body;
  • regular reviews by the Resources' Committee of reports which indicated financial performance against the forecasts and of major purchase plans, capital works and expenditure programmes;
  • A 'Handbook of Internal Financial Procedures' which was reviewed in October 2016
  • clearly defined purchasing guidelines;
  • delegation of authority and segregation of duties;
  • identification and management of risks.

Ensuring the Trust demonstrated good value for money and efficient use of resources

All services and contracts were appraised and negotiated on a timely basis and where appropriate (i.e. economies of scale or reduced cost), 3 year contracts were entered into.
The County High School, Leftwich operated a '3 quote policy' for services to be undertaken which were above 10,000 and below the tender limit. This ensured that 'best value' was derived, taking into account suitability, efficiency, time and cost. The Senior Leadership Team applied the same principles when making informed decisions on:-

  • The allocation of resources to best support the curriculum
  • The allocation of resources to best support the improvement in the standards of the Premises