The Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Mrs Eileen Milner, has today (26th August 2020) written to all Accounting Officers and Chairs of Trustees advising them of an extension to the deadlines for many of the key financial submissions for academies.
As you are aware, all academy trusts must usually submit their Audited Financial Statements for the year ending 31st August to the ESFA by 31st December the same year, (which in practical terms means before the Christmas break). You may be pleased to hear that for 2020, this submission deadline has been extended by one month to 31st January 2021, which in reality grants Academies almost an extra 6 weeks in which to prepare and submit their Audited Financial Statements. Equally, the Academies Accounts Return, which would normally be due by 19th January 2021 is now not required to be submitted until 23rd February 2021 at the latest.
These extensions should come as welcome relief for many schools, who are still struggling to plan for a safe and secure opening for the new academic year.
By way of reminder, the new deadlines for the forthcoming financial submissions are:
- Land and Building Collection Tool – 17th December 2020
- Audited Financial Statements – 31st January 2021
- Academies Accounts Return – 23rd February 2021
- Budget Forecast Return Outturn – 18th May 2021
- Budget Forecast Return Three Year – 27th July 2021.
As a result of the one month extension to the Accounts submission, the Financial Statements should now be published on the trust’s website no later than 28th February 2021.
We should note that Mrs Milner has asked that all trusts still try and meet the 31st December deadline, if possible, and emphasises that this extension is a one-off…although we can all hope that it will stay in the future, unlike COVID!
A full copy of the letter can be found here.
If you have any questions in relation to the above or require further information, please contact a member of the team below.