It is important that complete and accurate records of the physical assets at the school purchased from the school budget share are maintained and this is the purpose of the official inventory ("Stocks and Stores Book"). These instructions set out what is required in relation to the maintenance and inspection of inventories and disposal of surplus or damaged items. Security of physical assets is covered in Financial Instruction 13.
10.1 The Governing Body is responsible for maintaining inventories of plant, vehicles and equipment (but not furniture) purchased from the School Budget Share. All inventories, including those maintained on computers, shall be in a form approved by the Head of Finance. Where the inventory is maintained on a computer system a hard copy printout of physical assets held shall be produced at least annually. Where more than one inventory is maintained at a school a central record of all inventories held and of the person(s) responsible for their maintenance and checking should be maintained.
10.2 Items recorded should be restricted to all equipment, plant and vehicles costing £100 or more and all non-consumable items of equipment of a portable and desirable nature (e.g. digital cameras, DVD players). The information recorded should include: location, description, model, type, date of purchase, cost, serial number and source (i.e. order number).
10.3 Where assets are funded from donations and the benefactor does not specify that their ownership should vest in the Governing Body (see financial regulation 11.3), such assets should be recorded in the official inventory, which should indicate the source of provision. Governing Bodies are advised to maintain a separate inventory of equipment owned by them.
10.4 Where through the wishes of the benefactor the ownership of an asset funded by a donation vests in the Governing Body, the Authority's central payments system or school bank account must not be used to avoid VAT on the purchase of the asset.
10.5 Each Headteacher shall arrange for all inventories to be checked at least annually and for the checks to be evidenced in the inventory or on the hard copy printout by the date and the signature of the officer undertaking the examination. No article with an estimated current value exceeding £1,000, or a number of articles with a total estimated current value exceeding £1,000 shall be written off without the approval of the Head of Finance.
10.6 Surplus, obsolete or unserviceable items with an estimated current value exceeding £1,000 or a number of such items with a total current value exceeding £1,000 shall not be disposed of other than by sale by public auction, trade-in or competitive tender, without the prior approval of the Authority to some other method of disposal.
10.7 No item should be removed unless it is in accordance with the proper course of theSchool’s business needs and as such must only be used for school purposes.
a) Where inventory items are temporarily removed from school premises, under the normal course of an employee’s duties (e.g. pool mobile phones), a record should be maintained of the whereabouts of all such items. The member of staff responsible for the items should sign the record to take custody of the item and another member of staff should sign the record when the ‘borrowed’item is returned to the school.
b) Staff who have items of equipment in their personal custody on a permanent basis (e.g. laptops for home-working) should complete and sign a custody form on at least an annual basis which should be counter-signed by their line manager as approval. Staff will be expected to return all such equipment to the office on an annual basis for inspection by their line-manager. This must be evidenced on the custody form.
10.8 Where an employee ceases to be responsible for the maintenance of an inventory or custody of any given item, and therefore hands over the responsibility/item to a new member of staff, all items on the inventory should be checked and the inventory signed and dated by the out-going and incoming members of staff. The outgoing and incoming members of staff must also sign a certificate or item return and reallocation record within the inventory.