Audit / SFVS

Audit / SFVS

The SFVS template will download in protected view, please enable editing and click on Choose an item to access the drop down box for selecting the answers yes, no or in part.  If you are unable to access the drop down box, please manually add in your answer Yes, No or In Part.

Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)


SFVS returns for the financial year 2023-24, should be submitted by email to the School Funding Team as soon as possible and no later than 31 March 2024.

Updated guidance for the 2023-2024 schools financial value standard (SFVS) is now available. This guidance helps schools and local authorities to meet basic standards for good financial health and resource management, and to complete the SFVS checklist submission. 

Please ensure you complete both the Schools Financial Value Standard Checklist and the Template for Recording Related Party Transactions which can be found here

The self-assessment dashboard that was formerly part of the SFVS has been moved to the schools benchmarking website.

If you have any questions, please call Assistant Audit Manager Karl Pease on 07929 780092 or email


SFVS Training for School Staff and Webinar for Governors


The Internal Audit team are running two sessions to assist maintained school staff and governors in completing the SFVS document for 2024. There is a recorded webinar for governors to see at any time and an in-person session for school staff on Tuesday 16 January 2024 from 10 am -12.00 noon.

The in-person session is at Margaret McMillan Tower in central Bradford. It will be led by Bradford Council Internal Audit staff and will support school officers in understanding the expectations of the SFVS process, explaining key questions on the checklist, taking the audience through the six areas of resource management requiring attention. The session will include insight into the pitfalls and common errors made and how to avoid them. It is aimed at Business Managers, Finance Officers, and Heads, to support them in their roles of confirming that their school has effective financial management procedures and practices in place, to ensure the optimal use of resources.

The governor webinar supports governors in understanding the process and their role.  

Bookings for both sessions can be made through or email

The latest edition of InControl (Autumn 2023), the Internal Audit Newsletter for Schools can be accessed below, this edition provides further guidance on the SFVS.  


Please see InControl - Internal Audit Newsletter for schools which is available to view in the secure area of BSO.


Internal Audit – changes to the audit approach for Maintained Schools in Bradford

Due to the effects of Covid, visits to school premises weren't practicable and it was necessary to make changes to the way school audits were undertaken. Audits were conducted remotely, using the three stages described below, and this will continue for now unless circumstances allow otherwise.

Internal Audit’s changed approach to providing assurance that Council maintained schools are managing their finances effectively will be as follows;

Stage 1

Each school selected for audit will be issued with a checklist of expected controls to complete and return within three weeks of being received.  These expected controls, which are the same as those that are considered during a full school audit, enable the school to assess its current day to day Financial practices. The checklist contains a full explanation and instructions. At this point, no supporting evidence will be required for the answers recorded on the completed checklist; it will be left to the school to answer correctly (Yes or No). Before returning the checklist, it will require the signatures of both the Business Manager and Headteacher before returning. The majority of schools will not proceed beyond Stage 1.

Stage 2

A sample of schools will be selected for more detailed audit testing and those schools will be requested to provide specified documentation to enable this testing to occur.

Stage 3

Following detailed audit testing and post-audit discussion, each school that was requested to provide supporting documentation will receive an audit report giving an opinion on the effectiveness of its Financial management controls to reduce exposure to the identified risks.

If you have any questions about these changes or anything else relevant to the work of Internal Audit at schools, do not hesitate to contact Karl Pease, Assistant Audit Manager, by email at: or on his mobile: 07929 780092.

Private & Voluntary Funds - School Fund Accounts

The Scheme for Financing Schools requires that a Governing Board submits annually to the Local Authority audit certificates, or a copy of the audited accounts, in respect of all voluntary and private fund bank accounts and accounts of any trading organisation or company that is controlled by the school. 

The Authority expects, by the end of December annually, that accounts will have been audited up to either the end of the previous Financial year or the end of the previous academic year. Please submit a copy of the audited accounts or an audit certificate, as soon as these are available but by the end of December at the latest.

Please advise the date the accounts have been approved by the school's Governing Board.

Submissions should be made by email to School Funding Team


Guidance Note to schools on Auditing Private and Voluntary Funds 


Audit Guidance on card purchases

Guidance from Audit on the use of credit cards in schools (updated April 2012) plus some additional guidance for cardholders

Guidance from Audit on the use of Pre-loaded cards by schools (Jan 2014)


Guidance from Audit on on the use of online banking facilities (Jan 2015)

Online banking can give schools a mechanism for easily managing their bank accounts and provide an efficient and cost effective method of making payments to suppliers.  The systems and procedures operated by each bank do vary, however the online banking guidance document (hyperlink) provides details of the key controls which Internal Audit would expect to be in place and operating at schools, whichever online banking system is used.

Internal Audit recommend that schools who use online banking, or are considering implementing online banking in future, refer to this document to ensure that their online banking system is appropriately configured and its usage adequately controlled.

For more information click HERE to access the Online Banking Guidance document.


If you have any queries regarding this guidance, please contact Karl Pease on 07929 780092.


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