Powers of Finance and General Purposes Committee

POWERS OF THE FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE

1.         POLICIES PROCEDURES AND DOCUMENTS

To keep under review the strategic objectives of the School and the School Improvement Plan To keep under review and to be responsible for advising the Governing Board on matters relating to the following policies, procedures, statements and other documents.   To monitor the implementation of these where appropriate and to ensure that they are well publicised.

1.1       Accessibility Plan

1.2       Admissions

1.3        CEIAG

1.4       Charging and Remissions

1.5       Complaints

1.6       Communication

1.7       Data Protection

1.8       Equality

1.9       E Safety

1.10     Financial Regulations (including Finance and Accounting Policies)

1.11     Food and Nutrition

1.12     Freedom of Information

1.13     Health and Safety

1.14     Incident Management Plan

1.15     Legionella

1.16     Medical

1.17     Publication Scheme

1.18     Risk Register

1.19     Safeguarding (including Child Protection)

1.20     Security

1.21     Smoke Free

1.22     Whistleblowing

2.         FINANCE

2.1       To decide upon the best means of fulfilling the Governing Board’s responsibilities to ensure good management of the School’s finances and resources, including proper planning, monitoring and probity, compliance, propriety and regularity.  To ensure the school is prudent and economical and avoids waste and extravagance and makes economic efficient and effective use of its resources.

2.2       To consider the School’s budget statement notified annually by the Department for Education, and to assess its implications for the School, in consultation with the Headteacher and in advance of the financial year.

2.3       To consider and recommend to the Governing Board the School’s budget before the start of each financial year.

2.4       To receive and determine the broad budget headings and areas of expenditure to be adopted each year including the level and use of any contingencies fund or balances, ensuring the compatibility of all such proposals and the development priorities set out in the School Improvement Plan.

2.5       To monitor  and review income and expenditure on a regular basis and ensure compliance with the overall financial plan for the School and with the financial regulations of the Department for Education, including the Academies Financial Handbook issued by the Education  and Skills Funding Agency.  

2.6       To ensure good financial management and effective internal controls including compliance with funding agreement and the statement of recommended practice for charities.

2.7       To monitor, review, and implement procedures for ensuring compliance with and the effective operation of financial regulations on a regular basis including bank account arrangements and bank mandate.

2.8       To procure the  preparation of the financial statement to form part of the annual report for filing in accordance with the Companies Act and Charity Commission requirements.  To recommend this statement to Full Governors.

2.9       To receive auditors’ reports and to decide on appropriate action in response to audit findings.

2.10     To appoint annually auditors of the School.

2.11     To keep under review the School’s private unrestricted fund and to determine issues relating to the distribution of any surplus.

2.12     To keep under review the School’s actual financial performance compared with the budgeted performance and to take remedial action as necessary including any significant changes to the budget. 

2.13     To determine all issues relating to the budget income and expenditure including budget transfers that are above the School Management Authority

2.14     To receive regular financial reports from the Business Manager including budget transfers within the School Management Authority.

2.15     To keep under review and approve if necessary all leases and similar agreements relating to the equipment used by the School.

2.16     To approve, including selection, planning and oversight of, all contracts over the delegated budget of the Headteacher and to approve the exemptions from tendering and competitive quotation.

2.17     To approve and recommend to Full Governors the Annual Report and Financial Statement.

2.18     To consider and action reports from Audit Sub Committee

2.19     To approve arrangements for VAT registration

2.20     To consider and action reports from the Responsible Officer and refer matters to the Governing Board if required.

2.21     To consider and approve annually KFPI/Benchmarking statement.

2.22     To consider and approve financial arrangements for any extended school activities.

2.23     To approve annually payroll arrangements.

2.24     To consider and action the Dear Accounting Officer letter

3.         INSURANCE

To ensure that appropriate insurances or risk pooling arrangements are in place and the cover is adequate.

4.         LETTINGS

To keep under review and approve charges and arrangements for letting parts of the School premises including buildings and the grounds.

5.         PREMISES

5.1       To procure the preparation every five years of a Condition Survey and Review this annually.

5.2       To monitor the condition of the School and to approval an annual plan for the maintenance, repair and renewal and development of the School premises and grounds.

5.3       To monitor and approve school security arrangements.

6.         HEALTH AND SAFETY

6.1       To ensure that satisfactory procedures are in force for implementing the Health and Safety Policy.

6.2       To ensure that satisfactory procedures are in force for school visits and to receive an annual report concerning school visits

6.3       To keep under review and ensure compliance with the requirements of environmental legislation.

6.4       To receive an annual report on the internal monitoring of health and safety matters.

6.5       To approve annually the incident management plan and to receive a report thereon.

6.6       To monitor compliance with National School Food Standards and review financial arrangements of the catering department annually.

7.         ADMISSIONS

7.1       To ensure that proper records are maintained relating to Admissions.

8.         GENERALLY

8.1       To receive regular presentations from middle management relating to the results and developments of their departments or their area of responsibility.   To monitor the use of resources (money, time, staffing etc) by curriculum teams.

8.2       To monitor the provision of Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).  To receive a report from the governor responsible for CEIAG annually.

8.3       To consider the needs and requirements of the School before any major contract is entered into relating to premises or any general purpose.

8.4       To approve annually Local Government Pension Scheme discretionary decision statement.

8.5       To approve annually the provisions for risk management and to receive a report thereon.

8.6       To receive annually a report from the Safeguarding Governor that will include a review of the central record of recruitment and vetting checks.

8.7       Through the School Improvement Plan (and associated updates and briefings) to monitor change and development relating to Financial and General Purposes matters.

8.8       To keep under review all Governors’ Statements of Policy that relate to Financial and General Purposes. Subject to regulations

A.  To approve draft Policies and permit the implementation of these by the Headteacher in the form of a Provisional Policy for up to six months in anticipation of adoption by the Governing Board.

B.  To approve amendments to Policies that are not of a material nature.

C.  If an urgent amendment of a material nature is required to a Policy then the Chair of Governors in consultation with the Chair of this Committee may permit the implementation of the change in the Policy by the Headteacher for up to six months in anticipation of adoption by the Governing Board

8.9       To ensure that the Headteacher and the Leadership Team carry out the proper instructions of the Committee.

8.10     To undertake tasks relating to Finance and General matters referred to the Committee by the Governing Board.   To report regularly to the Governing Board on all relevant matters and to make recommendations.   To liaise fully with all other committees as appropriate.

9.         AUDIT

9.1       The Finance and General Purposes Committee has a sub committee known as the Audit Committee.  The Audit Committee has the same membership (except for the Headteacher), chair and vice chair as the Finance and General Purposes Committee.  Members of staff although present at Audit Committee meetings to provide information and participate in discussions are not members of the committee and have no vote.

9.2       The purpose of the Audit Committee is to provide good financial management and effective internal security for the school.  It will provide independent assurance and review the risks to internal control agreeing a programme of work to address and provide assurance on risks.

9.3       The committee is authorised to obtain independent professional advice if it considers this necessary.  Except as provided for in clause 9.4 the Responsible Officer may delegate all or any of his responsibilities to the external auditor.

9.4       The Responsible Officer will each month consider the budget monitoring reports of the School (the current financial statement) and check this against the nominal budget and trial balance.

9.5       The specific duties of the committee will be to:

  • Consider and action Reports from the Responsible Officer.  Review the School’s internal and external financial statements and reports to ensure that they reflect best practice;
  • Discuss with the external auditor the nature and scope of each forthcoming audit and to ensure that the external auditor has the fullest co-operation of staff;
  • Consider all relevant reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General or the appointed external auditor, including reports on the School’s accounts, achievement of value for money and the response to any management letters;
  • Review the effectiveness of the School’s internal control system established to ensure that the aims, objectives and key performance targets of the organisation are achieved in the most economic, effective and environmentally preferable manner;
  • Ensure that the School’s audit arrangements meet, or exceed, the standards specified in the Academies Financial Handbook;
  • Consider and advise the Governing Board on the School’s annual and long-term audit programme;
  • Consider internal audit reports, including value-for-money reports and the arrangements for their implementation;
  • Review the operation of the School’s codes of practice for Governors and School staff policies
  • Review and challenge the risk register (including the risks to internal control) and to agree a programme of work that will address these risks; 
  • Use financial information to inform the Governance statement;

Provide assurance to the external auditors.