Value for Money Statement
Academy trust name: Reach Academy Feltham
Academy trust company number: 07634106
Year ended 31 August 2014
I accept that as accounting officer of Reach Academy Feltham I am responsible and accountable for ensuring that the academy trust 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
Reach Academy Feltham had its first Ofsted Inspection in March 2014. We are delighted that the Academy was judged ‘outstanding’ in every category. The Academy is the first all-through Free School to be awarded this grade.
The report states that:
– “Pupils receive an outstanding education at Reach Academy Feltham.”
– “Throughout the academy, pupils make excellent progress in reading, writing and mathematics.”
– “Pupils’ outstanding achievement is secured as a result of the exceptional teaching pupils receive. Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and use this to plan and deliver learning opportunities that maximise learning.”
– “The support for reading and literacy across the academy, including in the Early Years Foundation Stage, is excellent.”
– “There is a positive learning atmosphere throughout the academy. Pupils display excellent attitudes to learning. Throughout the academy, there is…a sense of excitement generated by pupils enjoying their learning.”
– “The academy is an exceptionally calm and purposeful environment in which to learn and flourish socially, personally and academically.
– “Pupils’ attitudes to learning, in and out of lessons, are exceptional. Outstanding behaviour characterises all lessons.
– “The Principal and Secondary Headteacher are exceptional leaders.”
Through the effective use of resources we have achieved the following in the past year:
Progress and Attainment in Reception
– Pupils in Reception performed exceptionally well this year. 83% of our pupils achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’, indicating that they are ready for the next stage of their education, compared to 52% nationally in 2013.
– In each of the 17 areas of learning, 98% of pupils made at least expected levels of progress throughout
the year and overall average progress was 60% more than is expected in a single year.
– In Reading, a priority for the end of Reception, 97% of pupils met the Early Learning Goal and 35% exceeded it. In Number, 90% met the Early Learning Goal and 10% exceeded it.
Progress and Attainment in Year 1
– This year 90% of pupils passed the phonics screen, as compared to 69% nationally in 2013. Our target for Year 1 is for pupils to be working within Level 2 across Reading, Writing and Maths, though national expectations are for pupils to be working at a Level 1b.
– There is a gap in attainment between the cohort figures and those for our most vulnerable pupils and we will work hard in 2014 to address this. It should be noted that over 90% of both groups are working at a Level 1b, the National Expected level across Maths, Reading and Writing.
Progress and Attainment in Year 7
– Progress in English and mathematics in year 7 is exceptional. With a range of prior attainment from level 2c to level 5a, pupils have, on average made almost twice the national expectation of progress for one year of education.
– Attainment standards are also very high. Average attainment on entry was a 4b in both English and maths; average attainment at the end of year 7 is a 5a in both subjects.
– In English, 94% exceeded nationally expected progress, while in maths 90% exceeded this benchmark.
– Average progress in English is 3.57 sub-levels, and in Maths is 3.44 sub-levels, far ahead of national expectations.
Progress and Attainment in Year 8
– Pupils in year 8 have made excellent progress in a broadening curriculum in year 8. In English, 75% of pupils have made expected progress, with 49% exceeding national expectations. In Maths, 77% of pupils have met progress expectations, and 52% exceeded them. We are pleased that pupils in Year 8 have made more progress in English than they did in their first year in the school.
– Average progress in English is 2.84 sub-levels, and in Maths is 2.27, well ahead of national expectations of 1.8.
– Pupils’ attainment in year 8 is very good. Average entry at KS2 was a 4b in both English and mathematics. Average attainment in both subjects is now a 6c.
Our extended day enables pupils to receive additional small group and 1:1 tuition which ensure that all pupils, including the most vulnerable, are able to make progress.
The school is now oversubscribed and we recruited two full cohorts to join the school in September 2013, and the school is quickly developing an excellent reputation.
We ensure that pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum and provide a breadth of opportunities for pupils, including residential trips for Secondary pupils and theatre and other visits for pupils in Primary.
Financial Governance & Oversight
– Management accounts are prepared on a monthly basis for the Senior Leadership Team – these are also periodically taken to, and discussed at, the Finance & Resources Committee, which occur at least termly.
– The school has been awarded a second ‘unqualified’ opinion from our auditors, which demonstrates that the school has robust processes and controls in place.
– The budget-building process starts early in the year and is refined as more information on likely income and expenditure becomes clearer. This is worked on by the Senior Leadership Team and shared with governors via the Finance and Resources Committee for challenge, before being approved at full governing body.
– Contracts are monitored for cost-effectiveness and suitability; with renegotiations and terminations if required. An example of this would be with our mobile phone contract. Because were aware we would be moving into our new school building, and it would have a functioning phone system. As a result of the freeing-up of additional resources we were able to re-invest in additional handsets for new staff, at a reduced overall cost than was being charged previously.
– Plans are in place to open-up our new building for community use and revenue raising possibilities. We will have reduced rates for local community groups in order to fulfil our vision of being an integrated community-presence in the Feltham area.
– Cashflow forecasts are used to predict likely cash requirements and to allow us to invest any surplus cash, in order to maximise interest receivable from High Street institutions, whilst assessing any risks in doing this.
– It is our intention to take-part in benchmarking clubs with our peers to try and identify any areas of divergence in expenditure to enable any actions to be taken to safeguard VFM, if required.
– The school’s policy in relation to tendering requires that a variety of quotes are sought for any significant expenditure, depending on value, and that a robust tendering process is in place. For instance, the school ran a large procurement process in relation to the provision of its school meals, with a long-term contract to allow a true working partnership to develop. In this case, we used a combination of quality and cost to award the contract. We did not award to the cheapest bidder, but the quality was so high that we felt it was worth the cost as it supports the school strategy of having excellent school meals, which underpins the whole learning process.
Academy Trust Accounting Officer