Have you received a letter from the Department for Education this month asking you to agree to a visit from a School Resource Management Advisor (SRMA) as an additional element of CIF funding? If not, you should expect one.
The letter states that “accepting our offer of SRMA support will trigger your next tranche of CIF funding”, the implication being that if you don’t accept the offer the funding will be withheld. The purpose of the visit is to support your trust to make best use of available resource to provide an outstanding education to your pupils. Whilst there is no cost to the visit, it is expected to last 2 to 3 days, with a follow up 6 months later to see which of the recommendations from the resulting report have been implemented. We have already had one contact describe it as “an Ofsted visit of the finance department”, with the associated stress being quoted as a concern.
As an academy trust you potentially already have two paid professional advisors in external and internal auditors offering recommendations. How should the recommendations of the SRMA be viewed alongside those of the appointed advisors?
It also raises the question of whether trustees should be considering the “offer” of such visits as a factor in making the decision to apply for a CIF bid.
For further information about undertaking due diligence exercises please contact Andrew McLaren on 0161 832 4901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org