Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) Guidance
Update: The SFVS Return Deadline has been changed to 30th April 2020
The Department for Education (DfE) have released a new template for annual Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) submissions for the 2019/20 financial year. As this new template includes several changes from the previous format it is important that schools familiarise themselves with the revised format and ensure that plans are in place to complete the required tasks and submit the new return to the Shared Internal Audit Service before the 30th April 2020 deadline.
The SFVS and supporting toolkits are designed to enable schools to make better informed decisions about financial planning and management, and to guide the allocation of resources. The form provides a self-assessment tool for the school to review its current arrangements against these standards and good practice. The SFVS process also provides the opportunity for Governors to formally review the financial management arrangements of the school on an annual basis. Consequently, the SFVS provides an opportunity for schools to manage their resources more efficiently and to take a more strategic approach to financial planning, leading to an increase in value for money.
Due to the extenuating circumstances currently faced by all schools, we have extended the SFVS Return submission deadline to 30th April 2020. We would like to thank schools who have already submitted their return, but for others, we recognise work to comply with Government regulations is the key priority at this time.
At present, the DfE still require all maintained schools to submit the SFVS return back to the Council. However, we have made some adjustments to the way in which the returns are approved, to ensure that this is still feasible remotely, as Governor Committees are not likely to be running.
- Where schools have suspended their Full Governing Body (FGB) or Sub-Committees and are yet to approve the SFVS return, governor comments should be sought by e-mail where committees or the FGB are still operating remotely. Where this is not the case, the SFVS form should be sent to either the Chair of Governors, Vice-Chair or Chair of the Finance Committee for review and approval (in the above order) as a minimum.
- The SFVS Return usually requires a written signature from the Chair of Governors. As we appreciate that this may no longer be possible, Schools should instead look to obtain such authorisation electronically. This should consist of an e-mail confirmation from the Chair of Governors (or in their absence the Vice-Chair or Chair of Finance) that they agree to the SFVS Return, with a copy attached, before the return is submitted to SIAS. Whilst the above e-mail is not required to be sent with the return, this should be kept on file at the School. In the above circumstances the e-mail sending the SFVS return to the SIAS inbox should be cc’d to the Chair of Governors and Headteacher.
- Given that the above advice may mean that the Governing Body, or the Headteacher may not have time to fully scrutinise the Return, we are happy to receive a provisional return, by the 30th of April, with a note included on the Return stating that it will be fully considered by the relevant Governing Body Committee when capacity allows, and a revised version submitted at a later date if required.
- Should any school be in a position where they believe they would not be able to submit the return by the 30th April, please notify SIAS firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
- SIAS will continue to monitor any additional communications provided by the DfE and update advice accordingly.
Please contact email@example.com as soon as possible if you have any questions regarding the SFVS return, or the new submission deadline.
SFVS Returns Process