Service Level Agreement (SLA) 2020-2021

10. School Finance 20-21

Support Packages will run from 1st September 2020 to 31st March 2021 (7-months) in order to bring billing in line with the school’s fiscal year.  Thereafter Support Packages will be annual and will run from 1st April until 31st March.

We have an experienced team who can support schools in all areas of schools finance. (A different team support schools requiring interim bursars).

This team falls under the Finance Director for Education, as part of our commitment to provide effective support and good value for schools, recognising the financial pressures schools are under.

The Finance packages are based on credits, where you have the option to use these in a totally flexible way.  The more credits you need the better value for money you will get.

 

Level

Credits

Cost

Effective cost per 100 credits

Additional 50 credits

Platinum

875

£630.00

£72.00

£48

Gold

585

£473.00

£81.00

£48

Silver

350

£315.00

£90.00

£48

Bronze *

200

£197.00

£98.50

£48

No package

50 (min value)

£61.00

£122.00

£61.00

*Any school choosing not to buy a package before the start of the year; will be charged at the standard undiscounted rate for any credits used.

*Any school which utilises credit over their package will be issued addition charges in  March 2021

Service

Charge Units

Cost in Credits

Effective cost

(No Package)

Effective cost (Bronze)

Effective cost (Silver)

Effective cost (Gold)

Effective cost (Platinum)

Salary Modeller Tool

Per School

120

£146.40

£118.00

£108.00

£97.20

£86.40

Salary Modeller Tool + Workshop (20 Credit Saving)

Per School + First Delegate

200

£244.00

£196.67

£180.00

£162.00

£144.00

Telephone Call

Per 10 Minutes

10

£73.20 / hour

£59.00 / hour

£54.00 / hour

£48.60 / hour

£43.20 / hour

*Telephone calls will incur a minimum of a 10 credit charge and calls will be rounded to the nearest 10 mins after that (14 minutes = 10 credits, 18 minutes = 20 credits).

If you require cut off or have to break the call and have to call us back to complete the conversation that day we will add these together to ensure the charge is fair.

Visit to School

Minimum 2 Hour visit

150

£183.00 for two hours

£147.50 for two hours

£135.00 for two hours

£121.50 for two hours

£108.00 for two hours

Per 10 Minutes over 2 Hours

10

£73.20

per hour

£59.00 per hour

£54.00 per hour

£48.60 per hour

£43.20

per hour

*Our school visit work is for a minimum of two hours, to cover travel time costs, but longer visits are charged at a lower rate per hour after that.

Training Course/ Workshop

Half Day (First Delegate)

100

£122.00

£98.50

£90.00

£81.00

£72.00

Half Day (Additional Delegate)

50

£61.00

£49.17

£45.00

£40.50

£36.00

Full Day (First Delegate)

200

£244.00

£196.67

£180.00

£162.00

£144.00

Full Day (Additional Delegate)

100

£122.00

£98.33

£90.00

£81.00

£72.00

Our computer based training packages allow for additional delegates (sharing the same computer/desk) to attend at a significant discount. Our full day courses include lunch and half and full day courses also include refreshments.

Contract duration is 1st September 2020 to 31st March 2021 and if you choose a package before the start of the year, we will automatically upgrade you to the best value package/combination depending on how many credits you have used at the year-end (March 2021). You don’t have to worry about which combination is the best value; you will always get the best value for the credits you have used. All we ask is that you commit to a package before the start of the year so we can plan our resources.

Should a school not wish to purchase a package, services are charged at £61.00 per 50 credits (minimum to cover administration costs as well as support). This may be the most appropriate option for schools rarely needing support but needing the odd telephone call or wanting to attend a single event. The higher unit costs reflect the relatively high cost of administration for the services provided.

To be as fair as possible to schools, telephone calls will incur a minimum of a 10 credit charge, but calls will be rounded to the nearest 10 mins after that, e.g. 14 minutes would cost 10 credits, 18 minutes would cost 20 credits. If you get cut off or have to break the call for the usual school office interruption and have to call us back to complete the conversation that day, we will even add the time to the previous call so you don’t get charged the minimum time more than once for the same conversation.

Our computer-based training packages allow for additional delegates (sharing the same computer/desk) to attend at a significant discount. Our full-day courses include lunch and a half and full-day courses also include refreshments.

Our school visit work is for a minimum of two hours, to cover travel time costs, but longer visits are charged at a lower rate per hour after that.

Cheque book school package

Full reconciliation service for Cheque Book Schools is subject to this one-off annual fee

  • BCC Finance to complete the 3 way reconciliation between your bank, local system (FMS) and SAP based on the information provided to us. This will be completed every term and the school will receive an electronic copy of this as per the timetable.
  • The monthly VAT return should be completed to facilitate the correct reconciliation.
  • Any amendments identified during the reconciliation will be notified to the school for correction.
  • BCC to upload the VAT return into SAP.
  • Please ensure that your monthly 2 way recs are emailed in as a pdf file to schoolfinance@buckscc.gov.uk  along with your monthly VAT submittals and supporting documents.

£875

Cheque book school ‘doing own’ package

BCC Finance administration work for 3 way reconciliations for Cheque Book Schools is subject to this one-off annual fee

  • School to complete their own 3 way reconciliations between bank, local system (FMS) and SAP based on the information they have and we provide for SAP. The school will complete this every term and send an electronic copy to finance as per the timetable.
  • Please ensure that your monthly 2 way recs are emailed in as a pdf file to schoolfinance@buckscc.gov.uk  along with your monthly VAT submittals and supporting documents.

£190

Late VAT Submittal surcharge

 

£25 per occurrence

Purchasing Cards

  • Application and administration cost per card

£50 per card

External Payroll for cheque book schools

  • Where your school utilising another payroll provision other than BCC and operate via a cheque book. An annual fee covers the fund transfer and administrative duties performed by our Finance Team.

£50

Creditor service

Schools not operating a local bank account process their invoices via SIMS FMS and interface into the Authority’s finance system (SAP). The electronic file and the original invoices are received by the Finance team who will ensure all payments are processed.

This service incorporates the following:

  • New Vendor setup (including writing to a vendor)
  • Invoice processing and payment via BACS or Cheque. Invoices will be processed by the due date, provided they have been submitted correctly via the interface.
  • Resolving interface upload errors (IDOC clearing).
  • Invoice storage/archiving.
  • Processing of Returned or Recalled BACS payments.
  • Initiating BACS payment traces.

Cancelling/reissuing cheques.

  • Payment of foreign currency invoices.
  • Provision of Remittance Advice to vendor sent either by e-mail, fax or post.

Administration of one-off duplicate payments made in error and referral back to school (excluding duplicate batch upload error)

£1.50 per invoice/ credit note

 

Processing invoices/credit notes by file transfer to SAP interface.

 

Debtor service

For schools not operating a local bank account, we offer the following:

  • A pre-arranged, regular agreement for the processing of cheques sent to the Local Authority for banking and allocation. Cheques will be banked within 2 working days of receipt.
  • For income banked locally by a school, the amount will be posted to the general ledger code once the FMS Control Listing has been received.
  • In exceptional circumstances where it is not possible for schools to bank cheques themselves locally, cheques can be posted to the Local Authority for banking and allocation. Cheques will be banked within 2 working days of receipt.
  • Administration of bounced cheques and referral back to school.
  • General banking queries.
  • Letters on behalf of schools giving Council’s bank details.

£1.25 per cheque

 

Cheques sent to the Local Authority for banking.

 

BCC responsibilities

The Chief Finance Officer has statutory duties in relation to the financial administration and stewardship of the Council and lays down the financial requirements for maintained schools in the Local Management Handbook. The Finance Service carries out the statutory responsibilities on behalf of the Head of Finance. In addition to providing services to meet the statutory responsibilities, the Finance Service offers a range of additional financial management and support services to maintained schools and academies. For maintained schools this includes: providing finance support packages, managing issues relating to the County Council’s and Schools bank accounts, managing all aspects of payments and receipts for non-cheque book schools, ensuring that they are made on time and allocated correctly, assurance services and finance training support.

We aim to provide a professional service and support to schools through advice and monitoring.

Performance Indicators

  • Fixes see Measures of Service Performance
  • Customer satisfaction feedback

School responsibilities

  • Provide a named contact at the school.
  • Provide all necessary and relevant information in order for BCC to provide services.
  • Contact the Finance Service Desk as the first point of contact.
  • To use the published timetable to meet deadlines so that BCC can provide services appropriately and reliably. If deadlines are not adhered to and as a result Finance has to chase a call charge will be made to the school.

Buckinghamshire County Council reserve the right to amend service offerings as described in the brochure.  These amendments will only be addressed in the event circumstances force changes to how we deliver our service going forward.

BCC commits to providing sufficient notice, transition period and effective date to any new arrangements that may be required. We will keep you informed and will be happy to discuss such changes and affects accordingly.

Sufficient notice may vary dependent on service offering, please see relevant service descriptors for further information.

Measuring Performance

We currently gauge the performance levels of services by reporting on relevant KPI’s stated within the Service Descriptors, available to customers on a per request basis. Customer feedback is the most valuable source to BCC in driving consistent service improvement. Please see our below methods and communication in the table below.

Option

Description

Survey feedback and actions report

We ask that you complete our bi-monthly automated survey.  Please do take the time to give us information will help us to steer developments and conduct checks on services to ensure constantly delivery to the individual service descriptions.

We will release reports of what actions resulted from the feedback supplied.

Schools Support Forums and Focus Groups

We invite you to participate in these meetings to hear updates on our service performance overall and longer-term development plans.

We see your feedback as being the most effective source to pin point what service improvement ideas should be pursued and rank urgency accordingly.

We will always aim to resolve any issues that might arise regarding service delivery. Please contact the Schools Accountancy Support team initially or the appropriate escalation contact as listed below. In the unlikely event that a dispute cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you would need to raise a formal complaint.

All complaints are taken seriously and the Council will work with you to try to resolve your complaint to a satisfactory conclusion.

Option

Contacts

Immediate escalation

 

 

If you are not satisfied with the response you have received following the normal support process

 

(outside formal BCC complaints process)

Contact the Commercial Team at tradedservices@buckinghamshire.gov.uk and provide details of your concerns and any supporting material.

 

 

Alternatively, you can liaise with the Team Manager directly via Schools Accountancy Support Team or call 01296 382222 (Option 3)

 

 

Rukminder Makin

Business Development Head of Service

Rukminder.makin@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

The formal Bucks CC complaint escalation process

The Council’s Customer Complaints and Information Team (CCIT). CCIT will acknowledge the complaint within 10 days of receipt.

 

The CCIT will then contact the Service Director with a request for information/investigation.

 

The CCIT will respond within 28 days.

 

Mailbox: complimentsandcomplaints@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

 

 

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Last updated: 2 March 2020

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