Financial compliance

All Hampshire maintained schools, regardless of whether they purchase our support, must comply with certain statutory and Hampshire County Council regulations.
Constitution

The Constitution sets out how the County Council works and how it makes decisions.

Officers code of conduct

Local government employees are expected to give the highest possible standards of service to the public, and where it is part of their duties, to provide appropriate advice to councillors and fellow employees with impartiality.

Officers code of conduct
Financial regulations

Financial regulations form the regulatory framework within which the financial affairs of the County Council operate.

Financial regulations
Contract standing orders

Contract Standing Orders (CSOs) set out the procedures that must be followed in relation to procurement and the award of contracts. CSOs provide a framework to ensure that the County Council uses its resources efficiently in making purchasing decisions to obtain best value in public services. CSOs also provide a means of safeguarding the reputation of the County Council and its staff from any implication of dishonesty or corruption.

Scheme for financing schools

The Scheme for financing schools sets out the financial relationship between the County Council and the maintained schools which it funds.

It applies to all community, nursery, special, voluntary, foundation (including trust), and foundation special schools and pupil referral units (referred to as ‘education centres’ in Hampshire) maintained by the County Council. It does not apply to academies, and neither does it apply to the few schools situated within the Hampshire boundary which are maintained by other authorities.

Coding

The Department for Education (DfE) consistent financial reporting (CFR) framework provides a standard template for schools to collect information about their income and expenditure by financial years.

Financial statements must be in line with the approved headings set out in the The Consistent Financial Reporting (England) Regulations 2012 and DfE guidance provides definitions for each CFR code set out in the regulations.

The information supports benchmarking and enables governors and local authorities to produce simple reports. The financial benchmarking website enables comparisons of school income and expenditure profiles with similar schools.

DfE consistent financial reporting (CFR) framework

Hampshire’s schools code list is a refined list of general ledger codes and schools are encouraged to only use these codes when processing transactions within their schools. The schools code list is preloaded into the financial planning software and codes have been mapped to the correct CFR code for reporting purposes.

School funding

The local authority (Hampshire County Council) produces school budget share statements each year for all local authority maintained schools, along with full guidance notes on how the budget shares have been comprised and any changes to funding for that financial year.

Also produced are indicative Pupil Premium Grant Statements for each school.

Schools Financial Value Standard

The School Financial Value Standard helps schools to manage their finances and to provide assurance to the local authority that they have secure financial management in place.

Local authority maintained schools are required to submit the SFVS annually to the authority by 31 March. Local authorities use this information to inform their programme of financial assessment and audit.

Schools that subscribe to the EFS SLA have access to advice and guidance designed to complement that given by the DfE, with a particular focus on practice within Hampshire County Council (HCC) maintained schools.

Schools Financial Value Standard
Deficit procedures

The Hampshire Scheme for Financing Schools states that schools should not plan for a deficit balance. A deficit balance is where the net balance of all the cost centres is in an overall negative position.

It is important to note that the County Council has no power to write off the deficit balance of any school’s budget and additional funding isn’t available to support schools that are in deficit. Schools must work within their allocated budget.

When the setting of a deficit budget for the current financial year seems unavoidable, the procedures are:

  • That the school should produce a plan to clear the deficit within no more than three years in deficit
  • The budget plan must be approved by governors and posted to SAP by 31 May.

When the school ends the financial year with a deficit balance, the procedures are:

  • That the school must submit a robust recovery plan to clear the deficit balance within no more than three years in deficit.
  • The budget plan must be approved by governors and posted to SAP by 31 May.
  • That the school will be required to complete quarterly deficit monitoring returns.

For further details regarding deficit procedures, deficit recovery plans and quarterly deficit monitoring returns please refer to the Procedure notes.

Deficit procedure notes

Financial year end

One of the main requirements of the year end process is to ensure that goods and services that have been received or issued during a financial year are charged or credited to that year’s accounts regardless of when they were budgeted for or paid for. The requirements are not optional and apply to all school cost centres.

Tax manual

This manual is intended to give advice on all tax issues relating to County Councils and their schools falling under IBC. It is not suitable for use by others that County Council provides services to, even where these services are supplied via the IBC Portal, and should not be relied upon by such organisations.

Tax Manual