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Value For Money Statement 2016

Academy trust name: Stone with Woodford C of E Primary

Academy trust company number: 8576916

Year ended 31 August 2016

I accept that as accounting officer of Stone-with-Woodford C of E Primary School 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 the 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.

Stone with Woodford Primary School is committed to

1. Improving educational results

  • At the end of the 2015/16 academic year results at the end of KS2 were well above the government’s floor targets for progress and attainment.
  • Rated as number 8 in Gloucestershire primary schools
  • A focus on the teaching of early phonics and a focus on literacy skills in the youngest children has raised standards in reading and writing at the end of Key Stage one and this is now ensuring that all children are demonstrating good progress across KS2
  • Progress in maths writing and reading was well above the national average
  • Pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding scored at least as well as their peers if not better.
  • All groups of children throughout the school made at least good progress, during the academic year.
  • The Academy has built on and embedded a tracking system for individual pupils in key areas and provides a range of effective interventions that track attainment and progress from EYFS to KS2. As a result our school has continued to raise achievement across the curriculum.
  • The Academy continually compares itself to other schools both locally and nationally and last year’s data continues to reflect our commitment to closing the achievement gap with all groups of children. .
  • At our school governors and staff have continued to review its quality of teaching and curriculum provision to ensure that teaching and learning is based around the needs of the school community and builds on previous learning. We have a CPD plan that reflected the needs identified to raise the quality of teaching across the school.
  • The school has continued to apply the Achievement for All principles across the school (having achieved lead school status)

2. Robust governance and oversight of Academy Trust finances

  • The Academy has benefited from the provision of a suitably qualified Business Manager, who provided advice and helped reviews key financial policies, systems and procedures, including the use of tenders and presents reports on compliance to the academy’s Head Teacher and Governing Body. This year a better contract was negotiated for the supply of electricity and photocopying
  • The Academy received support throughout the year from its External Auditors on compliance and accounting practices.
  • The Academy’s Trustees and Governors approved the budget and were mindful of the need to balance expenditure against income to ensure that the Academy Trust remains a ‘going concern’. The Governing Body also received and approved the annual accounts and the External Auditors Management Report.

3. Ensuring the operation of the Trust shows good value for money and efficient and effective use of resources.

  • Stone with Woodford C of E Primary School required all suppliers to compete on grounds of cost and quality of products. The Academy actively sought out the best products at the best prices, regardless of how much the school aims to spend.
    For any order of £1000 or over the Academy obtained three quotes. Successful companies were chosen on grounds of price, quality and previous track record. An example of this was the purchase and setting up of tablet technology with associated updates of wireless equipment.
  • The Academy was always mindful that minor improvements or savings may not always be cost effective if the administration involves substantial time or costs. Time wasted on these minor improvements and savings may also distract management from more important or valuable areas. Therefore, the school used well known, reliable suppliers for small orders (e.g. stationary, small equipment) but still keeps a watchful eye for offers or discounts.
  • The school has constantly searched for the best options when making purchases e.g. Photocopying paper, where economies of scale were had when linking with other local schools. Another example was when Inset training needs were pooled to ensure high quality training at reduced shared cost across our Cluster.
  • The Academy deployed human resources so that value for money was maximised in terms of quality of teaching and learning, adult-pupil ratio and curriculum management. The Academy staffing structure was reviewed to ensure the most appropriate provision for our pupils. However, because of our small size and the needs of our children – we have a high proportion of children who have special educational needs who do not qualify for high level funding – our staffing costs were high; this reflected our commitment to improving educational standards and results in high standards and excellent progress for all children.
  • The Academy has maintained an asset register which manages the allocation of resources in terms of costing, effectiveness and depreciation.
  • All orders have been viewed by the Headteacher and Business Manager to ensure that money has been utilised and allocated wisely.
  • The school has targeted it’s use of the Pupil Premium so that the school’s most deprived or vulnerable pupils have had a range of opportunities to enable them to make excellent progress, raise their individual levels of attainment and, have access to wider opportunities; this has result in improved educational outcomes.
  • The Academy has worked with other schools collaboratively to ensure that procurement costs are kept to a minimum (e.g. C.P.D.). The school has also shared good practice with a number of local schools which helps to drive up standards for the least cost. For example Headteachers from our Cluster have met each month to plan and organise a variety of shared opportunities for pupil, parents, staff and governors. We also shared a Finance officer and a handyman which enabled us to benefit by sharing costs of training.
  • The School benchmarked financial performance against other academy trusts to demonstrate that the Academy provides good value for money.

Name: Kim McCalmont

Academy Trust Accounting Officer

Date: 1st October 2016