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Value for Money Statement

Ringmer Community College Academy Trust

Academy Trust Company Number 07678672

Year ended 31 August 2014

I accept that as Accounting Officer of Ringmer Community College Academy Trust 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 social outcomes achieved in return for the taxpayers 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.

  1. The Academy Trust is committed through its Post Ofsted Action Plan to:-

1.1. To strengthen the effectiveness of Leadership and Management

  • There is relentless focus upon progress for every student and immediate action is taken in response to data analysis about student progress.
  • The Sixth form continues to increase in size.
  • Student literacy skills improve.

1.2. Improve Progress Significantly, Especially in English and Mathematics

Key targets for 2015 are

  • 64% 5 A* – C including English and Maths
  • 75% 5 A* - C all subjects
  • 100% 5 A* - A for all level 5a/b learners
  • 85% 3 and 40% 4 levels of progress in English
  • 85% 3 and 40% 4 levels of progress in Maths

Sixth Form Targets

  • A levels 65% A*-C
  • A levels 100% A-E

1.3. Intensify actions taken to improve attendance, to reduce exclusions and to deal with the very small number of students who do not behave as well as the majority

Targets

  • Attendance figures are 95% for all year groups
  • Exclusions are below national average
  • Behaviour of the few improves to match that of all students in the college

2. Maximising income generation

The Academy explores every opportunity to generate income through hire of Academy facilities. Income is also generated from small grant applications which help to support the wider curriculum, and though larger bids to the Condition Improvement Fund. Sponsorship from local businesses and our suppliers through stakeholder links is being explored by a Trustee working with the Academy.

3. Reviewing controls and managing risks though robust governance and oversight of Academy Trust finances

The Academy operates an internal controls analysis using peer review from another academy trust. A report is submitted to the Finance and General Purposes Committee. The external auditors are Knill James who also report back to the Finance and General Purposes Committee following the annual audit and production of Annual reports. Knill James provide support through the year on compliance and accounting practices and current legislation.

Monthly budget monitoring reports are produced and reviewed by the Vice Principal Business and the Principal and any necessary remedial action taken to address any significant variances that may have an impact on the budget out-turn.

Risks associated with future funding are addressed in the risk register and reviewed regularly by Trustees.

The Finance and General Purposes Committee are aware to ensure that expenditure does not exceed income. Cash flow is reported to the board, together with a balance sheet and variance report as part of the management accounts reports. Any significant variances are highlighted in the written report submitted to the board by the Vice Principal Business.

The Academy Trust ensures that any surplus cash balances are invested in interest bearing accounts to maximise interest earning potential.

4. Ensuring the operation of the Trust demonstrates good value for money and efficient and effective use of resources

The Academy Senior Leadership Group review expenditure within each budget heading annually and make adjustments based on the effectiveness of strategies introduced in previous years, curriculum offer and any new strategies identified in the Academy Development Plan and Post Ofsted Action Plan.

The Academy regularly benchmarks financial performance against other academy trusts to demonstrate that the Trust provides good value for money. The Academy Trust works with other schools collaboratively to ensure that procurement costs are kept to a minimum. Best practice is shared between schools and networking information is shared both locally and nationally between schools.

Tender exercises are regularly undertaken to ensure that high value contracts are assessed against the marketplace on a regular basis to ensure that long term contracts (3 to 5 years) remain competitive.

For purchases above £10,000, but below the tender limit, 3 quotes are required.

The Academy maximises its resources by its environmental policies. These include energy consumption, recycling and reducing waste and procurement. For more information refer to our website http://www.ringmeracademy.org.uk/104/eco-news

5. Good Practice Identified

The Academy ran a Summer School for 8 days in the summer holidays. This was attended by approximately 14 students and focused on the arts.

Extra-curricular activities and revision classes are held regularly after school and during the school holidays.

The Academy works together in partnership with its catering contractor and sales of school meals continue to increase. Students taking a free school meal has also increased, and the breakfast offer has been increased which has proved popular with staff and students.

Taster sessions for the Sixth form are in place to encourage students to stay at the Academy and to embrace the curriculum offer in place.

Netbooks purchased continue to be used extensively and have a positive impact on learning.

Collaboration with the local primary schools ensures they have access to our facilities and good practice is shared between the schools.

Collaboration with secondary schools in purchasing ensures best value is achieved when negotiating contracts.

Student voice is encouraged and encompassed in to the ethos of the Academy

6. Areas for Development

To maximise income generation, through increased lettings of the Academy and support from stakeholders

The continue to develop and increase the farm area

To work with the local football club on securing a 3G pitch on the Academy site

To develop the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme with KS4 and KS5 students

To encourage parent input in the development of the Academy

To ensure the Post Ofsted Action Plan achieves its targets

Kathryn Stonier

Ringmer Community College Academy Trust Accounting Officer

Date: 5 December 2014