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Finance & resources

Budget setting in academy trusts

Learn about the fundamentals of budget setting and the typical process trust boards undertake.

tools-resources using a pen for inputting numbers into calculator

Academy trust boards are required to approve and submit to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) a balanced budget that runs from the 1 September to the 31 August each year.

Trust boards and senior leaders should agree a timetable for approving and submitting the budget that allows sufficient scrutiny to be carried out by the board and relevant committees. Agreement on the timetable should also be sought with any local academy committees and academy leaders involved in the process.

Our guide is designed to help trustees understand the fundamentals of budget setting. It outlines a typical process for approving an academy trust budget.

The guide covers:

  • how academy trusts are funded
  • creating a budget setting timetable
  • reviewing the trust’s current financial position
  • preparing the draft budget
  • questions to ask about the draft budget
  • scrutinising and approving the budget

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