Academies Financial Handbook 2016
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a new version of the Academies Financial Handbook for the academic year beginning in September. The Handbook is the guidance which all academies and multi academy trusts should follow to demonstrate they are following good practice.
There are relatively few changes to the Handbook but there are some particularly noteworthy updates. The two most significant changes are the requirement for all academies to publish their scheme of delegation for governance and that each trust must have a 'senior executive leader' (i.e. a chief executive'. Neither of these changes will come as a surprise or cause much concern to most academies but they do reinforce the importance that the DfE places on such matters.
Other changes of significance include:
- clarifying that the register of pecuniary interests must include the interests of local governors and not just trustees;
- accounting officers' pecuniary interests must also be published irrespective of whether they are a trustee;
- academies must use Edubase to inform the DfE of changes to members, trustees, chair of trustees, local governors, chair of local governors, accounting officer and chief financial officer;
- whistle blowing procedures are now a requirement rather than a recommendation; and
- when entering into severance settlements with staff, the relevant parts of the Handbook must be complied with.
The Handbook remains a must read for all trustees of academies and the senior staff of trusts.