Audit / SFVS

Audit / SFVS

03/09/21 - Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) - We expect that SFVS returns will be required to be submitted by 31 March 2022 and will need to include details of Related Party Transactions.  Further details to follow when the guidance has been updated and the template for 21-22 has been released.


Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) – Are you ready to submit your 2020/21 return to the Council?

The impact of Covid-19 over the past few months meant it was not possible for Bradford Council Internal Audit to provide training in the form offered in previous years.

However, if you have any burning questions to assist you with the completion and approval of this year’s return, help is available, to provide remote advice and support.  

If we can be of assistance, please call Assistant Audit Manager Karl Pease on 07929 780092 or email him at:

In the meantime, you might wish to visit GOV.UK and familiarise yourself with the current documentation.


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

Due to the effects of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, visits to school premises have not been practicable, and it has become necessary to make changes, for now, to the way school audits are undertaken. For the foreseeable future, audits will be conducted remotely, unless circumstances require 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.

It is anticipated that Stage 1 will commence early in September 2020.

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: 07929780092.

Schools Financial Value Standard

The DfE launched the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) on 18 July 2011. This replaced the Financial Management Standard in Schools (FMSiS), which was withdrawn by the Secretary of State with effect from 15 November 2010.

Internal Audit continue to carry out audits in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 (as amended).

The DfE renewed the SFVS for 2019-20 onwards with new questions and a dashboard

New template and guidance from the DfE for schools on SFVS (applicable for 2020-21 returns)

Guidance from Audit for school on the new SFVS which includes more questions and a dashboard (updated January 2020)


Training available on the SFVS process

Bradford Council Audit Team may arrange training sessions in the Autumn Term on the SFVS process.  For more information ring Bradford Internal Audit on 01274 432249

If you have any questions on the Standard, please call Bradford Internal Audit on 01274 432249


In Control – the Internal Audit Newsletter for schools for Autumn 2018 is available to view in the secure area of BSO.


Private & Voluntary Funds - School Fund Accounts

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 01274 432249


Back to the Guidance Page


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