Value for money guide

Academy trusts are reminded that they are required by the Academies Financial Handbook that they must complete an annual Value for Money statement to help them self-assess what they have done to maximise the impact of the money they have spent during the academic year.

Each trust must submit a copy of the statement to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) by 31 December each year and must also publish the statement on their website by the following 31 January.

The Value for Money statement is an opportunity for accounting officers to demonstrate to parents and the wider public that the academy trust’s use of public assets and funds has provided good value for money during the year and to identify opportunities for potential improvement.

According to the EFA, value for money is all about achieving the best possible educational and wider societal outcomes through the economic, efficient and effective use of al the resources in the trust’s charge.

Moreover, making a declaration of the value for money they represent is part of the Government’s objective of making schools and colleges more accountable and giving them more control over their budget.

This is because the Department for Education (DfE) wants to reform the way schools and colleges are assessed, so all pupils, regardless of background, can make progress across a broad choice of subjects and study programmes.

The department also believes it is necessary to introduce a more transparent and efficient funding system that gives schools and colleges additional funding for the pupils who need it most.

In writing the statement, the EFA suggests that it is not looking for lengthy reports but short, specific examples of areas where the trust feels it has achieved value for money and examples of areas where it feels it could have done better.