ESFA Update local authorities: March 2, 2022

1. Action: coronavirus (COVID-19) no recourse to public funds – free school meals request form for additional pupil bonus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) no recourse to public funds: the application form for the additional bonus for free school meals is now online.

The deadline to submit your application is April 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

We have published tips to help you complete the complaint form.

You can read more advice for schools and local authorities on school meal arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

2. Reminder: Action Required by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 3 for School Reconstruction Program Nominations

If you would like a school to be considered for the program, you must register and submit applications through the online portal by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022. You will not be able to nominate schools without additional professional proof after this time.

For those who have chosen to provide additional professional evidence, you must designate your blocks and indicate that you wish to provide additional evidence by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022. The portal will remain open until Thursday, March 31, 2022 to submit evidence supporting.

Guidance on how to nominate a school for review is available on GOV.UK.

Please ensure that all necessary steps have been completed before the deadline to ensure your application(s) are considered. If you need help, please email [email protected]

3. Information: consult my financial information (VMFI) updated with the latest CFR data

We updated the View My Financial Insights (VMFI) tool for local authorities and kept schools up to date with the latest consistent financial reporting (CFR) data.

You can log in to VMFI now to view the latest data and updated metrics.

VMFI can provide users with improved analyzes of their school’s financial situation and performance and an assessment of potential areas for improving the management of school resources.

You can read more information in the VMFI user guides.

4. Information: Extension of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) workforce fund until Easter to support the costs of staff absences in schools and colleges

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workforce Fund has now been extended, providing financial support to eligible schools and colleges for costs incurred due to staff absences from Monday November 22, 2021 to Friday April 8, 2022 .

The fund is available to help schools and colleges facing significant staffing and funding pressures continue to deliver high-quality face-to-face education to all students.

More information on the COVID-19 workforce fund can be found in our guidance for schools and colleges.

The claims window will open in the spring.

5. Information: The Impact of School Resource Management Advisors

We have published an article on the impact of working with School Resource Management Advisors (SRMA) as well as a case study detailing how two schools in Hackney are expected to save £1.5m over 3 years as a result of their work with an SRMA.

The SRMA offer is free and open to any school, community or trust likely to benefit from this support, regardless of its financial situation.

6. Information: 16 to 19 Tuition Fund Allocations for the 2022 to 2023 Academic Year

We have not reported amounts for the tuition fund in 16 to 19 funding allocation statements for the 2022 to 2023 academic year, as this is part of a separate process.

The tuition fund for 16 to 19 year olds will continue through the 2023 to 2024 academic year, as confirmed in June 2021. The fund will continue to provide targeted tuition in small groups in English, math and other subjects where learning has been paused due to the pandemic and is available. to every 16 to 19 vendors.

We expect to release forecasts for the fund in March and confirm allocations in May.

If you have any further questions, please use our contact form.

7. Information: Implementation of IFRS 16 on leases – impact on school leasing activities

Below is the Department of Education’s approach to the impact of IFRS 16 on school leasing activities. Implementation for LA-operated schools will be subject to the outcome of CIPFA’s consultation on the postponement of IFRS 16 implementation which ends at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Currently, maintained schools and academies are generally free to enter into operating leases, while finance leases require the approval of the Secretary of State under the Education (Maintained Schools) Act 2002 ) and the Academies (Academies) Funding Agreement and Trust Manual. The implementation of IFRS 16 will end the distinction between operating leases and finance leases and, in effect, all leases will be classified as finance leases.

In response, the DfE has worked with the sector to develop a new approach as we want to continue to allow maintained schools and academies to use leases to support their operation without additional administrative burdens.

The new approach is to provide the Secretary of State’s consent for particular classes of leased assets (listed below). Leases for items on this list will therefore not need to be submitted to the Ministry for approval:

  • all existing leases already in place on April 1, 2022 (maintained schools) and September 1, 2022 (academies)
  • IT equipment
  • telephony
  • Catering equipment
  • furniture
  • bathroom/sanitary equipment
  • gym equipment
  • grounds maintenance equipment
  • minibuses and other vehicles for school use
  • temporary classrooms and equivalent structures

The list will be reviewed after implementation and relevant guidance and documents are updated accordingly. Leases not included in the above list will need to be submitted for consent. We believe these will largely be land and building leases, and guidance can be found on GOV.UK.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

8. Information: purchase aid for schools

The new DfE Schools Procurement Support Service now enables all publicly funded schools and trusts to access free advice and guidance on purchasing goods and services through the DfE approved frames. Schools can click on the ‘Ask for advice and guidance’ link at the bottom of each of the Find an Executive web pages to contact our sourcing team.

From the summer, schools will also be able to get additional advice on purchasing, ongoing support to help them manage a procurement process on their own, or if a school or trust needs support additionally, the service can undertake the purchasing process on its behalf. The service aims to help schools get the best value for their non-staff expenses.

For the latest on our wide range of webinars, check out the events tab on our LinkedIn Buy for Schools page.

9. Information: Join Schools Technology Day on March 17, 2022

This is your chance to join the DfE Schools Commercial Team Technology Day 2022.

The Schools Commercial team has a range of DfE approved frameworks to help schools meet their purchasing needs. This is your chance to participate in a series of webinars that will show how we can help you save money on ICT – from telecommunications to printers, from scanners to interactive whiteboards, from networks to laptops.

Remember to book a separate ticket for each individual webinar you wish to attend.

For the latest news on our wide range of webinars, check out the events tab on our page (

ten. Information: Join these Approved Frameworks webinars and learn how you could save money for your school

The Department of Education (DfE) is running webinars on how using our approved frameworks could help your school get value for money.

If you are responsible for purchasing goods and services for your schools, check out the range of informative webinars that could help you save time and money.

All sessions are free, use these Eventbrite links to join the schools sales team and take the opportunity to ask providers any questions you may have about facility management, including catering, gas and water purchasing. electricity and cybersecurity.

For the latest news on our wide range of webinars, check out the events tab on our page (

11. Information: RPA Members – Webinar on Long-Term Health Risks

As part of our risk management support, DfE, in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, is hosting a webinar on long-term health risks.

This workshop will cover:

  • those dangers in schools that can lead to long-term health effects
  • the Regulations applicable to hazards having long-term health effects

Please select the best date to read more information and register:

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