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Herts County Council logoSchools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) Guidance

Important Update to SFVS Requirements

As part of the approach to reducing information collection and reporting burdens on Schools during this challenging period, the Department for Education have this week removed the requirement for the Council to submit the CFO Annual Assurance Statement for the School’s Financial Value Standard.

As a direct consequence this means that the submission of SFVS returns by individual schools, the primary information source for this return, is also no longer a mandatory DfE requirement. The DfE have indicated that Authorities should determine at local level if still requesting the completion and receipt of returns for 2019-20 would be beneficial and reasonable.

For Hertfordshire schools, we would still recommend the completion and return of outstanding SFVS returns, but with an extended timeline for submission to the Local Authority of September 2020 (with this timeline subject to further review where required). This recognises that the SFVS provides a key opportunity for School Leadership Teams and Governors to self-assess the robustness of Governance and Internal Control arrangements, as well as providing a benchmarking tool for the purpose of supporting future budget setting exercises.

Whilst the above will not be mandatory requirement, the Local Authority may require Schools to complete an SFVS assessment (where not already submitted) as part of the creation of any future financial recovery or sustainability plans should these be required during 2020/21, this being in line with good practice.

We would like to thank the 297 Schools that have submitted their SFVS return already and appreciate that this would have been challenging in the current environment. We can re-assure you that these will be used to support the planning for the 2020/21 SFVS themed audit and the Council’s future Schools Internal Audit Plans.

Finally, it is important to highlight that the above change from the DfE only applies to the requirements for 2019/20 SFVS submissions.

Please contact sias@hertfordshire.gov.uk as soon as possible if you have any questions regarding the SFVS return, or the new submission deadline.

SFVS Returns Process

SFVS Timetable

Extra Information