Monitoring school/trust finance: an overview

Financial oversight is one of the governing board's core functions. Get to grips with what your board's key responsibilities are, and learn what financial oversight means in practice, so you can monitor effectively.

Last reviewed on 18 September 2023
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  1. Your board's key financial responsibilities and obligations
  2. How to monitor: financial oversight in practice

Overseeing the financial performance of your school is part of the 'board purpose' in the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH) (paragraph 1.10). 

Once you understand the basics of the governing board's purpose, the article below provides a more detailed overview of how to monitor finance effectively for your school or trust.

Your board's key financial responsibilities and obligations

The primary financial responsibility sits at trust level, with the board of trustees – and the main financial requirements are set out in part 2 of the Academy Trust Handbook.

Maintain robust oversight of the academy trust Take full responsibility for the trust's financial affairs and use resources efficiently to maximise pupil outcomes Have sound internal control, risk management and assurance processes Prepare and monitor financial plans to make sure the trust remains financially sustainable Make sure there's rigour and scrutiny in budget management Approve a balanced budget Challenge pupil number estimates Be able to

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