Academies and schools
Helping academies benefit from new status
Lovewell Blake has been serving independent schools for many years and is now providing specialist advice to a growing number of state schools converting to academy status.
Academies have greater freedom in managing the staffing and running of the school. Direct receipt of funding from the government’s Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) gives much more autonomy on how the money is spent. However, the academy has to procure services previously provided by the local authority and comply with requirements for application of funds, governance and reporting.
Our role in assisting conversion
- We can help in assessing whether conversion to an academy is a viable option, advising on the financial differences, conducting due diligence on transferred balances and detailing reporting requirements.
- We design appropriate systems and controls to meet the requirements of the funding agreement, and select the most appropriate accounts software to meet statutory and government financial reporting needs as well as internal management reporting needs.
- We advise on accounting issues relating to property and leases; employment law, TUPE and pension arrangements; payroll and human resources; VAT and other taxation, and general governance.
Accounts and support services
Once academy status is attained, we provide a full range of accountancy and audit services:
- Preparing accounts to comply with Academies Handbook, Charities SORP, Charities Act and Companies Act
- Payroll bureau
- Advice on internal control procedures
- Governance including responsibilities of governors
- Financial projections and business plans
- Advice on computerised accounting systems; we are Sage accredited agents
- Ongoing alerts.
Expert taxation advice
Our taxation specialists advise on all issues facing academies such as VAT exemption, PAYE and benefits in kind, use of trading subsidiaries and Gift Aid.
With the unrolling of academy status to a much wider range of schools, our team has been undergoing training in how best to meet the needs of this sector.
Mark Proctor is our lead partner co-ordinating services to our academy and school clients. He spends much of his time advising charity trustees and school governors. He is a trustee of Independent Life Centre Norwich Ltd and non-executive director of the Norwich & Norwich Festival Ltd.