We have guided numerous schools through the Academy conversion process, and have provided impartial advice with regard to the advantages and disadvantage of conversion to many more. Should you choose to convert to an Academy, we will guide you through all of the requirements of conversion, ensuring that statutory requirements are met, and aid you in setting up systems to ensure a smooth transition and continued running of your new academy.
SAS offers the services of an experienced consultant to share with you the advantages and disadvantages of becoming and Academy and to identify and assist with decisions that need to be taken during the conversion process. This usually takes place at a face to face meeting and is offered without any further commitment from your School. We can also explore with you the different types of Academy models available and the most appropriate Governance arrangements for your organisation.
SAS can help you through the process from consultation with staff, parents and other appropriate bodies to the selection of an external auditor. Included in this service is advice on when and how to Conversion and Management appoint your legal advisers – without whom the process can grind to a halt.
We offer, and recommend, that we meet your staff to discuss the implications of converting to an Academy, with or without Governors or members of the Leadership Team.
If questions are not forthcoming, our consultants prompt participation to help clarify any pre-conceived ideas about what conversion means. This is clearly aimed at making the conversion as straight forward as possible and can help Governors in their consideration of any potential changes to terms and conditions of service such as amending the date when increments for support staff are awarded, the ongoing implications of job evaluation changes, and determining how the Academy will deal with continuous service for new employees.
SAS offer impartial advice on support services and system options available; we are able to facilitate demonstrations of different budget and accounting software packages developed for Academies, and have negotiated discounts on software packages. This area of our service includes preparing specifications, obtaining and evaluating quotations for services such as premises, employee, employers, and governors liability insurance cover to finding a payroll provider or to the opening of an Academy bank account.
SAS also offer other support services including HR and have a strategic partnership with a payroll provider. SAS have developed a reputation for their rigorous approach to checking and verifying the data used to produce an Academy’s annual funding letter.
What appear to be small data differences can lead to significant variances in funding which then have to be explained to the YPLA and rectified. Annual funding differences that include some six figure numbers have been identified by SAS staff which has resulted in amended funding letters being issued.
SAS can help you prepare for managing cash flow, to prepare a five year financial plan, and to be ready for the different budget and year end financial reporting requirements of Academies. In particular, SAS can offer specific advice on how to deal with Academy Trust assets in the financial statements, the benefits associated with the early preparation of an asset register, and the valuation of the Academy’s land, buildings and equipment.
The conversion to an Academy also involves the need to prepare a number of new policies and procedures, and a need to review and amend existing policies. SAS’s experience of other Academies can make this element of the conversion much easier.
SAS are in regular contact with firms who act as external auditors for Academies and are able to guide you through the process of appointing an auditor who will offer value for money.
SAS can help you understand and manage the new, and potentially daunting, pension fund responsibilities of Academies. This can include consideration of different employer contribution options or how to deal with a year end pension fund deficit.
SAS are able to link this type of guidance and advice to more general advice on the preparation of year end financial statements or how to deal with in-year cumulative pension fund deficits.
SAS have been involved in the planning and delivery of a number of traditional and convertor Academies and are able to offer impartial advice on and at any stage of the conversion process. So, whatever questions you may have, remember we are here to help you every step of the way!
Kevin was extremely useful during our conversion to Academy. Kevin has a good working knowledge of academies. We found him to be very efficient and flexible, responding to our needs and tailoring his support to accommodate us.
Chris Abbott, Headteacher, South Hunsley School and Sixth Form College
There are consultants; and then there is Kevin. You would be hard pressed to find someone with as much knowledge and experience of how schools and school finances work, available to recall in an instant, but delivered in a supportive way, so that you learn from him at the same time as your challenge is solved. If you want to be able to see the wood from the trees, find the needle in the haystack, or sort the wheat from the chaff, Kevin's your man.
J Robin Harrison, Business Manager, Rushcliffe School
Kevin was ace! He dropped in to see us on his own time and was influential in helping us make our way through the initial Academy fog. He went out of his way to give us great advice and moved with the changes as they happened to both him and us. They were interesting times and he was a fabulous guide.
Ray Woodward, Head Teacher, Swanland Primary School Academy Trust
Login to visit our policy administration system.Administer my policy
Login here to find out the many benefits and offers you receive.Login to my well being benefits ×