Academy Trust Name: John Madejski Academy
Academy Trust Company Number: 5319170
Year ended 31/8/14
I accept that as Accounting Officer of John Madejski Academy I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the Academy Trust delivers good value in the use of public resources. I am aware of the guide to academy value for money statements published by the Education Funding Agency and understand that value for money refers to the educational and wider societal outcomes achieved in return for taxpayer resources received.
I set out below how I have ensured that the Academy Trust’s use of its resources has provided good value for money during the academic year.
Improving Educational Results
We have ensured that resources are directed where they are most needed to meet education requirements. The Academy has seen a steady improvement in overall educational results which saw the 2013 cohort achieve 39% 5*A-C passes including English and Maths – the best results ever for the Academy. 43% of our A-Level students achieved passes at A*-B.
The Academy has in place a strong system for tracking student progress and achievement coupled with a programme of early and appropriate intervention. We also provide additional targeted support for students such as after school, weekend and holiday classes. The Academy monitors the performance of staff and ensures that appropriate actions are taken to address any weaknesses.
Our governance arrangements include regular monitoring by the Governing Body and its Committees including the Resources Committee. These Committees meet five times per year and on each occasion receive relevant financial management reports (including budget, monthly management accounts and cash flow forecasts) and ask questions as detailed in the minutes. The Committees also receive and approve the Annual Accounts and the external auditors’ Findings Report.
The work of the Committees is further informed by a process of independent checking of financial controls which is fulfilled by the Academy’s external auditors. They undertake four visits per annum and review financial controls in key areas of expenditure and report to the Resources Committee after each visit. The Academy receives support throughout the year from its External Auditors on compliance and accounting practices.
Budget holders are responsible for ensuring value for money within their area of responsibility. Annual budgets are based on detailed department requests which are reviewed to ensure these meet the needs of the Academy and its students.
Examples of steps taken to ensure value for money when purchasing include:
- Renegotiating contracts in a timely manner to ensure the best mix of quality and cost effectiveness. Major purchases and contracts are always tendered. For example, a comprehensive tender process was undertaken to appoint the Academy’s cleaning contractors which commenced during the year.
- Entering into longer term contracts to deliver reduced costs where it is felt that this would benefit the Academy (eg IT software).
- Exploring various purchasing options both on-line and direct through suppliers to find the best value.
- Working with other local schools to share knowledge about experience of best value together with quality of service and reliability.
- The Finance Director has worked to drive down costs through better procurement and negotiation throughout 2013/14, including catering, school insurance and property costs.
- Review of contracts on an annual basis to ensure they are fit for purpose and best value.
The Academy continues to generates income from letting out the school premises. During the year programmes of support for primary school sport have been developed which has generated additional income. Facilities have been hired to trade bodies and educational groups to raise additional revenue.
The Academy ensures that any surplus monies are actively managed and invested in appropriate interest bearing accounts.
Reviewing controls and managing risks
Monthly management reports are prepared by the Finance office and are reviewed by the Principal and Resources Committee as well as budget holders.
The Governing Body considers financial risks and management through the annual review of the Risk Register. Professional advice (eg legal, HR) is sought to mitigate financial risk as appropriate.
We recognize the need to continue developing relationships with other academies and/or local schools in order to benefit from economies of scale in procuring products and services, developing staff and sharing knowledge, skill and expertise.
Signed: Nicola Maytum
John Madejski Academy, Principal and Accounting Officer
Date: 19 December 2014
The original statement has been filed with the Education Funding Agency.