The school's Financial Plan, prepared in conjunction with the Development Plan, provides details of how the school's delegated budget and any unspent balances are to be spent. The Financial Plan includes an analysis of the annual income and expenditure budgets, sets out the financial implications of the school's policies and provides a framework within which those who are responsible at the school for making payments should operate. It also provides the Head of Finance and the Head of Children’s Services with the information they need to carry out their respective statutory responsibilities. These regulations seek to provide a framework for the preparation and notification of the Financial Plan.
3.1 Upon notification by the Authority of the school's share of the Individual Schools Budget the Headteacher shall review the Financial Plan for the relevant year and the Plan shall be approved by the Governing Body.
3.2 The school's Financial Plan shall be prepared using the format which is prescribed in the annual guidance. The Financial Plan shall be submitted to the Finance Team by the date required in the Financial Year to which the Financial Plan relates. Any changes to the Fnancial Plan which become necessary during the year shall be notified as above as soon as they have been approved, so that the Authority's accounting system may reflect the latest position and budget monitoring may be carried out more effectively. See Section 4 ‘Revision of the Financial Plan’.
3.3 It is a matter for each school Governing Body to decide upon the procedure for the establishment of the 3 Year- Financial Plan, which should be prepared in conjunction with the school's Development Plan. The Authority will endeavour to support this process through advice and information.
3.4 Each annual Financial Plan should be prepared to break even or to create a surplus balance and should take account of any reserves. It is not normally permitted to budget for a deficit. Where this is unavoidable the governing body shall submit its case to the Finance Team who, in consultation with the Schools Financial Management Adviser and the Head of Children’s Services, will determine whether a deficit should be licensed. Please see the ‘Guidance for Deficits under the Policy for Supporting good Financial Management in Buckinghamshire Schools’ on SchoolsWeb
3.5 The Finance Plan must be reasonable and it shall be verified by the Authority, which may require re-submission of the Finance Plan where these Regulations have not been complied with. In this case the Financial Plan shall be returned to the school within ten working days of its receipt by the Authority.
3.6 Any balances set aside in the Financial Plan should have regard to the school's Development Plan and should be determined having regard to the guidance issued by the Authority. Guidance on the appropriate level of school balances is set out SchoolsWeb.
3.7 Schools should be aware of the provisions in the ‘Guidance for Surplus Balances' under the policy for 'Supporting Good Financial Management in Buckinghamshire Schools' regarding excessive surplus balances.
3.8 Throughout the year Governing Bodies shall monitor income and expenditure against their delegated budgets. The Finance Team shall provide financial advice to assist school Governing Bodies in fulfilling their responsibilities. School Governing Bodies shall supply the Finance Support monitoring information as required within the Scheme.