What is the School's Financial Value Standard (SFVS)?
Schools manage many billions of pounds of public money each year. Effective financial management ensures this money is spent wisely and properly, and allows schools to optimise their resources to provide high-quality teaching and learning and so raise standards and attainment for all their pupils.
The SFVS has been designed by the Department for Education (DfE) in conjunction with schools to assist them in managing their finances and to give assurance that they have secure financial management in place.
Who is the School's Financial Standard for?
The SFVS is mandatory for all Local Authority maintained schools. They are required to complete an assessment of each school in line with the standard, once a year. Governing bodies have formal responsibility for the financial management of their schools, and therefore, the standard and associated assessment is primarily aimed at Governors.
What do schools need to do?
The assessment consists of 25 questions which governing bodies should formally discuss annually with the Headteacher and senior staff. These questions need to be then answered on a specific template as distributed by Doncaster Council's Financial Management Team.
The SFVS Self Assessment - Completing the Assessment Document
- TheDoncaster version of this template is below. This is an excel spreadsheet that allDoncaster schools should use to complete their return.
The questions which form the standard/assessment are in sections A to D on the SFVS Return tab. You will need to confirm for all questions that you have read the appropriate guidance by checking / ticking the relevant box.
Each question requires an answer of "yes", "no" or "in part". Where the answer is "yes", the comments column can be used to give details of the main evidence that the governing body has based its answer on. Where the answer is "no" or "in part", the column should be used to give a brief summary of the current position and any remedial action proposed.
In Section E, an auto generated action plan of remedial actions should have been produced from the detail entered into the comments column (see above). Governors should ensure that each action has a specified deadline and an agreed owner.
The Governing Body may delegate the consideration of the questions to a finance or other relevant Committee, but a detailed report should be provided to the full Governing Body, and the Chair of Governors must sign the completed form.
The school must send a copy of the signed statement by the 31 of March to their local authority’s Internal Audit department. Please use the contact email address at the bottom of this page to do this or follow the instructions within the SFVS Assessment Template.
The level of evidence that the Governing Body needs in order to make its assessment is not documented within the standard and the Governing Body should use its own judgement to make this decision. The important thing is that Governors are confident about the responses within their assessment of the school.
Monitoring of the SFVS Action Plan
Once the Governing Body has approved the SFVS Return and associated action plan, it is their responsibility to ensure that they receive regular updates on the implementation of the remedial actions contained in the action plan. We suggest that this is a standard item on the Governing Body agenda/Finance Committee agenda.
What is the role of Local Authorities?
Unlike FMSiS, the SVFS will not be externally assessed and Local Authorities should use the schools’ SFVS returns to inform their audit programme. Internal Audit will have access to the assessment and when they conduct an audit will check whether the self-assessment is in line with their own conclusion. Any major discrepancies between the self assessment and the audit assessment will be communicated to schools, Governors and the necessary local authority representative.
All Doncaster Council maintained schools are required to complete and submit their self assessment return to Internal Audit Services by 31st of March each year.
Supporting Guidance Notes
Contact the Financial Management team on
- tel: 01302 736725
- SFVS Anti-Fraud and Corruption Presentation (2012)
- Download (660KB - PPTX)
- Schools Anti Fraud Bribery and Corruption Strategy
- Download (435KB - DOC)
- Download (304KB - PDF)
- DMBC SFVS Evidence list with support notes
- Download (100KB - DOC)
- SFVS timetable
- Download (12KB - XLSX)
- SFVS Template
- Download (87KB - XLSX)