FS4S Services for Academies

At FS4S we understand the additional responsibilities that you hold for your employees and your finances as well as the different opportunities that being an academy or a multi academy trust brings.

FS4S prides itself in being able to offer a full suite of business services to academies and multi academy trusts that includes finance support, payroll and HR services. Our unique ability to be able to do this and operate locally means that we can support you in identifying your needs, fully recognising the issues and providing a range of commercially focused solutions. We offer a personal and friendly service delivered by qualified and experienced staff with a proactive, pragmatic approach.

We have been successfully supporting academies since 2010 through a wide range of service options that are tailored to meet the individual needs of each academy. This might be regular weekly finance support visits or an Internal Review service; full payroll provision or a payroll help-line for in-house payroll; and advice and generation of new HR policies to our 48 hour turn-around contracts administration.

We can also offer training programmes for trustees and staff on all aspects of academy finance and HR that will be prepared especially to meet your individual circumstances, delivered to you on site.

Whether you are newly converting to an academy or have been an academy for some years we have the expert knowledge to provide advice and take you through the processes that meet with the Academies Financial Handbook and your responsibilities under employment law.

Academy and Free School Finance Services

  • Closure of local authority accounts
  • Closure and audit/independent examination of school funds
  • Cost calculations for converting or new academies/ free schools
  • Setting up chart of accounts
  • Preparation of a three year budget plan including use of our bespoke template
  • Budget planning and “what-if” scenarios
  • Preparation of Education & Skills Funding Agency budget forecast
  • Preparation of finance procedure manuals and policies
  • Year end procedures to production of trial balance
  • Accruals/prepayments/depreciation
  • Regular finance system checks
  • Implementation of ESFA procedures and regulations
  • Training of staff and governors
  • Benchmarking
  • Support to implement the outcome of audits
  • Responsible Officer Checklist service

Academy and Free School HR Consultancy

FS4S offers a HR Consultancy service that covers a wide spectrum of issues advising at strategic and operational level. Our HR team will work in partnership with your Leadership team and Governors to fully support you and your Human Resources Management needs in the following areas:

  • Employee Relations – matters including individual case work for Disciplinary, Grievance, Capability and Performance Management cases, initial guidance on TUPE matters and Tribunal cases and consultation with recognised Trade Unions (where applicable)
  • Employment terms and conditions - guidance and interpretation of legislation on employment matters and changes to employment and education legislation
  • Change Management (restructuring and redundancy exercises) – advice on policy and process, supporting with consultation and selection processes
  • Absence Management – support and guidance to leadership teams in dealing with absence management cases, attendance at formal meetings supporting managers, access to Occupational Health Services through a local external provider
  • Resourcing and retention – advising on recruitment, redeployment and secondment
  • Policy and procedure support – interpretation of existing policy and process and advice with the generation of new policies.

Academy and Free School HR Administration Service

FS4S offers an operational HR Administration service to schools and academies for staff during their employment life cycle, delivering transactional services in conjunction with our payroll team. This includes a full range of administrative and maintenance services from new hire through to termination of employment as follows:

  • New starter/hire administration
  • Advice on the maintenance of employee records
  • Contracts administration
  • Confirmation of actions undertaken by the payroll team (for those who use our payroll service such as joiners, leavers, changes, maternity, paternity, adoption, flexible working)
  • Advice on terms and conditions of employment for schools employees
  • Reporting e.g. joiners, leavers, absence monitoring
  • Access to Occupational Health Services and DBS disclosures (through partner organisations)

Academy and Free School Payroll Services

The payroll service we provide supports academies irrespective of whether the client is in the secondary, primary or special sector.

FS4S is a BACS approved bureau which means that we receive a 3-yearly independent assessment of our business practices, standards, procedures and controls covering 5 key areas of our operation:

  • Bureau organisation & financial information;
  • Physical security;
  • Computer operations;
  • Applications & system support;
  • BACS processing and operations

We successfully passed the last BACS assessment in 2013.

FS4S offers a full payroll service to academies which includes the processing of all payroll information, all HMRC submissions, payment of staff by direct BACS credit and the disbursement of all 3rd party monies and reports.

The payroll software that we operate is RTI compliant and geared to facilitate the operation of multiple job posts and aggregated National Insurance. Academies are provided with a suite of monthly payroll reports and information which includes a pre-payroll report approximately 10 days prior to payday (thus minimising payday queries), payslips prior to payday and full payroll information following payday which includes the specific accounting journals required for each months payroll. Every client academy has access to a secure data link with us so payroll information can be sent and received safely and promptly.