Budget monitoring

The budget is the numerical representation of the school’s development/improvement plan

It also incorporates the financial implications of other plans such as the school’s asset management plan. The budget covers a specific time period and details planned expenditure and income.

Budget monitoring is an on-going process by which the school ensures that the development/improvement plan is achieved, in terms of its expenditure and income objectives.

Budget monitoring ensures that resources deployed by the school are used for their planned purposes and are properly accounted for internally and where necessary effectively reported to external bodies. This will ensure the economic, effective and efficient use of resources and aid the identification of potential (underspend) opportunities and/or (overspend) issues and allow corrective action to be taken.

The headteacher and governing body are responsible for monitoring the budget but they may delegate authority to others within the school. However, the headteacher and governing body cannot delegate their responsibility for the management of resources (income and expenditure) within their budget.

The frequency of budget monitoring is to some extent dependent on needs and requirements of the school. The budget monitoring should be at a frequency with which the governors and school are comfortable that it provides confidence that they are in control of the budget, on track to achieving the planned objectives/position and provides sufficient time for remedial actions to be taken and have an impact. For schools this would typically be at least monthly for leadership team and termly for the governing body.

The process should be continuous, building on previous months monitoring reporting, able to be performed on demand and in real time as is possible.

Under section 2.2. Provision of financial information and reports of the Scheme for Financing Schools there is a requirement for schools to submit budget monitoring reports to the local authority up to four time each financial year. The schedule for 2018-19 is

  • Month 3 (June) by 16 July 2018
  • Month 6 (September) by 15 October 2018
  • Month 9 (December) by 21 January 2019
  • Month 11 (February) by 15 March 2019

If the local authority has notified the school that in its view the school’s financial position requires more frequent review the monthly budget monitoring submission timetable is detailed in chapter 41 of the schools Financial Manual of Guidance.

If you require support, help and guidance, to produce budget monitoring reports please contact your named EFS finance adviser.