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The Marlborough Science Academy

Value for Money Statement

Academy trust name: The Marlborough Science Academy
Academy trust company number: 08003969
Year ended: 31 August 2016

Please click here to download the 2015/16 Trustees' Report and Financial Statements
Please click here to download the Articles of Association
Please click here to download the Funding Agreement
Please click here to download the Memorandum of Association

Introduction
I accept that as Accounting Officer of The Marlborough Science Academy, I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the Academy delivers good value in the use of public resources. I am aware of the Guide to Academy Value for Money Statements published by the Education Funding Agency and understand that value for money refers to the educational and wider societal outcomes achieved in return for the taxpayer resources received.

I set out below how I have ensured that the Academy Trust’s use of its resources has provided good value for money during the academic year.

Improving educational results for our students remains our key priority. The Academy has taken the following steps to support school improvement for our students and to raise their attainment and aspirations. The Academy is committed to supporting our students in reaching their full potential through academic achievement, extra-curricular opportunities and extended learning to develop the whole person to help prepare them for their next stage of education.

Targeted improvement: The Academy has a robust tracking system for monitoring achievement and is continually looking at how data can inform staff in order for them to support and extend the learning of the students. We use RAISEONLINE and FFT to measure the progress of students paying particular regard to their achievement on entry and levels of progress secured.

The Academy has developed and has fully embedded tracking systems for individual students that track levels from Key Stage 2 through to Post 16. This tracking system also enables early identification of students who are not achieving their full potential so that interventions can be put in place to meet their minimum target grades.

Focus on individual students: The Academy offers students a student support service and specialist learning provision. Students benefit from one to one mentoring, small group work, holiday revision classes, after school catch up/revision classes and an in-school counselling service.

The Academy rewards excellence and encourages positive behaviour. We celebrate achievement and encourage students to try new activities to develop their confidence and leadership skills.

As a Secondary Academy we provide the full range of National Curriculum subjects for Key Stages 3, 4 & 5. We operate a 3 year GCSE course so students make their option choices in the spring term of their year 8. We also offer vocational choices and a cadet programme (held after school).

Collaboration: The Academy works with its’ local educational partners to share delivery or good practice, and to drive up standards. At Post 16 we operate within a Consortium with four other local schools to ensure that all students’ needs are catered for with regards to subject choice.

The Academy also works closely with its’ feeder Primary schools to ensure that transition from year 6 is as smooth as possible, and to put in place any specific individual requirements for students joining us in year 7.

Quantifying improvements: The Governors’ Curriculum Committee meets six times a year to ensure that the quality of provision for students at the Academy is clearly addressing improvement plan issues so that the Academy is evidently moving towards delivering outstanding quality in all areas of provision. Student attendance is monitored daily and reported to the senior team on a weekly basis. This is also reported to the Governing Body.

Financial governance and oversight: The Academy’s Governing Body has strong oversight of the financial management of the budget. The Academy Finance & Resources (F & R) Committee meet regularly to review the financial position, to receive reports and to challenge decisions. Our external auditors review our financial processes as part of the year end procedures and report on this to the Governing Body. The levels of delegation on spending proposals ensure we take the necessary steps to achieve best value. These delegations are reviewed annually by the Governing Body.

There is a Governor who acts as Responsible Officer for the Academy, and visits termly to check that internal processes are being correctly followed. The report produced following this visit is presented to the F & R Committee.

The Full Governing Body approves the budget each year and is mindful of the need to balance expenditure against income to ensure the Academy remains a ‘going concern’. The Governing Body also receives and approves the Annual Accounts and External Auditors Management Report.

Better purchasing: The Academy regularly benchmarks financial performance against other academy trusts, to demonstrate that the Trust provides good value for money with the data it can access. The Director of Finances & Resources (D of F & R) is part of both a local and national forum, where suppliers are regularly discussed and procurement practice is shared.

The Academy has a cycle of review for its on-going services from external organisations to ensure those services continue to meet the needs of the school, are the best available to us at that time, and offer good value for money. The Contracts Register held by the D of F & R is reviewed by the F & R Committee annually.

Tender exercises are regularly undertaken to ensure that high value contracts are assessed against the marketplace on a regular basis to ensure that long term contracts (3 to 5 years) remain competitive.

Reviewing controls and managing risk: Monthly budget monitoring reports are produced by the D of F & R. These reports are discussed with the Headteacher and any remedial action taken to address any significant variances that may have an impact on the budget out-turn.

The Academy has arranged that where possible, all surplus cash balances are invested in interest bearing accounts to maximise interest earning potential.

Reviewing operation to maximise use of resources: The Academy Leadership Team review expenditure and make adjustments based on the effectiveness of strategies introduced in previous years, curriculum offer, and any new strategies identified in the Academy Development Plan.

Lessons learned: The Academy has reached the end of its second year of operations and we have continued to learn the options open to us and the autonomy and flexibilities we have. Our continued curriculum development to support high student achievement remains our top priority. We will be focusing on how best to resource our Development Plan.

Signed:

Anne F Thomson

Annie Thomson, Academy Trust Accounting Officer