CENTRAL FINANCE TEAM
To provide a service that is easy to access and meets the needs of all our stakeholders – schools, staff, Trustees/Directors and the CEO:
- Offers expert support and guidance on all areas of finance and business management.
- Delivers high quality and accurate reporting.
- Implements and maintains rigorous financial controls.
- Supports and benefits all students and staff.
Centralised trust finance
As a Trust, we ensure:
- Appropriate financial governance and risk management arrangements are in place.
- Preparing and monitoring budgets.
- Providing information to the finance committee and academy trustees, as appropriate.
- Overseeing and supporting competitive tendering.
- Value for money, sustainable and ethical procurement.
The Trust has a team of qualified finance professionals with significant experience in working with primary, nursery, special and secondary schools.
- A transactional financial service to Trust schools.
- Liaise with schools to prepare budgets and regular financial monitoring reports.
- Offer operational and procurement support to maximise budgets.
- Ensure that the Trust remains compliant with the demands of our regulators and assists schools with assessing the financial implications of proposals.
- Ensures statutory compliance such as annual audit, VAT returns, grant audits, corporation tax, Annex G, teacher’s pension audits & P11D’s are completed in a timely manner.
- Deliver a robust internal audit process
Additionally, we are experienced in offering advice, training and consultancy in a number of areas to schools within the Trust and in our wider region:
- Training for both finance staff, teaching staff and governors.
- Financial health checks including budget and systems reviews.
- Reviews of revenue streams and identification of commercial opportunities.
- Benchmarking curriculum and other spending.
- Assistance and advice with the process of becoming an academy or a Multi Academy Trust.
Central finance support
Our team is available from 8am to 5pm all year round, every weekday to provide finance support to all Trust schools.
STRATEGIC PLANNING AND BUDGETING
Our team work with all schools to agree a 3 year balanced, in year budget. This provides confidence not only to our Trust schools but our Trust Board that the Trust is financially viable and continues to be a going concern.
Our finance team meet regularly with school leaders to ensure regular budget reforecasts are undertaken throughout the school year so resources can be maximised for our pupils.
Ordering of goods & services
We have a Trust wide purchase ordering system so all orders are raised, approved and submitted electronically to all our suppliers.
We support all Trust schools with their individual supplier relationships as well as utilising the size of our buying power as a Trust by negotiating Trust deals.
Whenever possible we try to consolidate the procurement approach across the Trust to bring efficiencies and economies of scale.
Where spend meets Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) thresholds, we ensure the guidance is followed.
We work closely with our HR team and payroll provider to deliver for all schools:
- Monthly Payroll processing.
- Pensions administration & compliance.
- HMRC & Government compliance & reporting.
- Payroll financial control compliance, reporting & risk management.
- Salary sacrifice schemes such as Cyclescheme.
Staff Absence Insurance
We run our own internal staff absence insurance scheme to support all Trust schools to support supply costs when backfilling an absence. This allows us to retain funds in the Trust to reinvest in our pupils and staff.
In pandemic situations, we have proven the central finance function is able to work remotely with all suppliers being paid promptly and schools supported.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT US
LAT has a very impressive Central Team. Functions of finance, HR, premises and ICT could not be more highly thought of by schools, and each member of staff demonstrated not only high levels of competence in their role, but also absolute buy-in to LAT, understanding fully how their role impacted on pupil outcomes.
The CFO/DCFO have also implemented a staff absence policy that has made significant savings on absence insurance costs and identified further savings in the procurement of a Management Information System.
We consider the processes in the governance and financial management of the Trust to be strong and above average.