Audit / SFVS

Audit / SFVS


Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)


SFVS returns for the financial year 2022-23, should be submitted by email to the School Funding Team as soon as possible and no later than 31 March 2023.

Updated guidance for the 2022 to 2023 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. 

The checklist questions are the same as in the 2021 to 2022 reporting year. Section E of the guidance has been updated to detail how schools can use the Get Help Buying for Schools service and good estate management for schools advice. 

The SFVS is a Word document with an additional Excel template for recording details of all Related Party Transactions. The SFVS and the Related Party Transaction templates can be found here.  Please ensure you complete both templates or state clearly if you have no Related Party Transactions.

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

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


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. There will be a face to face session for school staff on Wednesday 18 January 10 am -12.00 noon and a webinar for governors on Tuesday 17 January from 6.00 pm - 7.15 pm.

The face to face session is currently booked for City Hall Bradford but the venue will be confirmed before the date. 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 will be 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 will also support governors in understanding the process and their role and will give governors an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues. 

Bookings for both sessions can be made through or email

The governor webinar will be recorded and made available on demand on the Skills4Bradford website. 


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: 07929 780092.

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


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.


Back to the Guidance Page


Page owned by Andrew Redding, last updated on 14/04/2023. This page has been viewed 18,148 times.