Further updates to this page in line with the Financial Handbook 2016 ,effective from September 2016, will be made shortly.
Scope of Responsibility
As Trustees, we acknowledge we have overall responsibility for ensuring that Y-OUR Co‑operative Academies Trust has an effective and appropriate system of control, financial and otherwise. However such a system is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve business objectives, and can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss.
The Board of Trustees has delegated the day‑to‑day responsibility to the Principal of The John Curwen Co‑operative Primary Academy, as Accounting Officer to the Trust, for ensuring financial controls conform with the requirements of both propriety and good financial management and in accordance with the requirements and responsibilities assigned to it in the funding agreement between Y-OUR Co‑operative Academies Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. The Trustees have put in place mechanisms for reporting any material weaknesses of breakdown in internal control.
The information on governance included here supplements that described in the Trustees’ report and in the Trustees’ responsibilities statement. The Board of Trustees has formally met 2 times during the period. Attendance during the period at meetings of the Board of Trustees was as follows:
Trust Board Attendance
The Trustees can confirm that it is their intention to carry out a formal review of their skills and detailed knowledge that they bring to the Y-OUR board early in the spring term of 2015/2016 to identify and evaluate training needs to enable them to robustly meet their commitment to discharge their duties and responsibilities as Trustees. It is also noted that this exercise has been successfully completed by the Local Governing Board of the academy and the necessary action has been taken to meet the members of the LGB’s training and developmental needs required to also discharge their responsibilities.
The Purpose of the System of Internal Control
The system of internal control is designed to manage risk to a reasonable level rather than to eliminate all risk of failure to achieve policies, aims and objectives; it can therefore only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance of effectiveness. The system of internal control is based on an ongoing process designed to identify and prioritise the risks to the achievement of Y-OUR Academies policies, aims and objectives, to evaluate the likelihood of those risks being realised and the impact should they be realised, and to manage them efficiently, effectively and economically. The system of internal control has been in place in Y-OUR Co‑operative Academies Trust for the period 1st April to 31st August 2015 the date of approval of the annual report and financial statements.
Capacity to Handle Risk
The Board of Trustees has set up an Audit committee which will review the key risks to which the Academy is exposed together with the operating, financial and compliance controls that have been implemented to mitigate those risks. The audit committee comprises of two key members of Trust Board along with the Trust Business Manager and the Principal. The audit committee will report to the Trust Board. There have been no meetings to date but will have at least three meetings a year from the 2015/2016 financial and academic year.
The Risk and Control Framework
The Academy’s system of internal financial control is based on a framework of regular management information and administrative procedures including the segregation of duties and a system of delegation and accountability. In particular, it includes:
comprehensive budgeting and monitoring systems with an annual budget and periodic financial reports which are reviewed and agreed by the Board of Trustees;
regular reviews by the Finance Committee of reports which indicate financial performance against the forecasts and of major purchase plans, capital works and expenditure programmes;
setting targets to measure financial and other performance;
clearly defined purchasing (asset purchase or capital investment) guidelines.
delegation of authority and segregation of duties;
identification and management of risks.
The Board of Trustees appointed Mazars LLP to conduct the Internal Audit review. This shall remain on-going process unless otherwise stated.
The reviewer’s role includes giving advice on financial matters and performing a range of checks on the Academy’s financial systems. On an annual basis, the reviewer reports to the Board of Trustees on the operation of the systems of control and on the discharge of the Board of Trustees’ financial responsibilities.
All the issues (minor points) relating to this review have been identified and actioned.
Review of Effectiveness
As Accounting Officer to the Trust, the Principal of The John Curwen Co‑operative Primary Academy, has responsibility for reviewing the effectiveness of the system of internal control. During the period in question the review has been informed by:
the work of the peer reviewer;
the work of the external auditors;
the financial management and governance self‑assessment process;
the work of the executive managers within the Academy who have responsibility for the development and maintenance of the internal control framework.
The Accounting Officer to the Trust has been advised of the implications of the result of their review of the system of internal control by the Local Governing Body and a plan to address weaknesses and ensure continuous improvement of the system is in place.
It can be confirmed that the internal control statement has been received from the external reviewer to cover the period including and up to 31 August 2015.