Revisions to the Cumbria LA Scheme for Financing Schools

Closed 11 Feb 2022

Opened 24 Jan 2022

Overview

As reported to the Cumbria Schools Forum on 18 January 2022, some revisions to the Cumbria LA Scheme for Financing Schools are required.  

Any changes that are made to the LA Scheme for Financing Schools must be consulted with all maintained schools before being approved by the Schools Forum.   

There is one directed revision from the DfE which relates to clarification of the treatment of school budget share advances for schools with their own bank accounts and a number of LA proposed additions and revisions which are summarised below:

  • Section 4.10 Loan Schemes.   LAs are allowed to include in their Schemes a form of loan arrangement that does not operate by way of a licenced deficit but to assist schools in spreading the cost over more than one year of large one-off individual items of a capital nature.  However, the current Scheme does not specify the LA’s policy.  Therefore, it is proposed to include the parameters and circumstances under which the LA will consider applications for capital loans.
  • Section 4.5 Planning for Deficit budgets and Annex J Challenge and Support Process for Schools with Deficit Budgets.  The outcome of the DfE’s consultation on financial transparency in maintained schools made it mandatory for LAs to include a provision in their Scheme that requires all schools with revenue deficits of more than 5% to submit a recovery plan to the LA.  Annex J to the Scheme sets out the LA’s policy on managing and supporting schools with deficit budgets which needs to be updated in light of this new legislation to clarify that all schools with deficit budgets must apply for licensed deficit and if their revenue deficit is more than 5% the application must be supported by a recovery plan. 
  • Annex A – Responsibilities for Repairs and Maintenance.  Updated wording to clarify that the Annex applies to PRUs as well as primary, secondary and special schools.
  • Annex H - Financial Regulations for Schools/PRUs – Appendix C - Becoming a Chequebook School – Section 6 Maternity/Adoption Leave Reimbursements.  The procedures for claiming reimbursement of teacher maternity/adoption pay has been updated to reflect the new proposed payment arrangements, in particular, requests for reimbursement for new claims received more than six months after the first day of maternity/adoption leave will not be processed.

The LA Scheme has also been updated to include the latest version of the School Financial Value Standard (SFVS).  A summary of the main proposed changes to the LA Scheme are found at Appendix 1.

Headteachers, School Business Managers and Governors are invited to comment on the proposed changes by 11 February 2022. 

The outcome of the consultation will be presented to the maintained schools forum representatives on 16 March 2022 and if there are no objections the revised Scheme will take effect from 1 April 2022.

What happens next

The outcome of the consultation will be presented to the maintained schools forum representatives on 16 March 2022 and if there are no objections the revised Scheme will take effect from 1 April 2022.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • General public

Interests

  • Children and Young People