CIPFA consultation: accounting for schools in local authorities


CIPFA is running a short consultation on the The Accounting Treatment of Local Authority Maintained Schools in England and Wales a report by the Joint HM Treasury and CIPFA/LASAAC Public Sector Accounting for Schools Working Group – and on various accounting consequences, until 4 April 2014.

In 2012 CIPFA ran a consultation suggesting that voluntary controlled, voluntary aided and foundation schools should no longer be consolidated into local authority accounts.  Following objections to this approach, a joint working group of HM Treasury and CIPFA/LASAAC was established in May 2013 and ran until February 2013.  This working group came to the conclusion that VC, VA and foundation schools should after all still be consolidated into LA accounts. 

It is important that this consultation receives a good response, so we are drawing it to the attention of our finance contacts in all local authorities.  The consultation asks seven questions, which are on page 5 of the invitation to comment.

In effect, endorsement of the report and a positive response to Questions 1 to 4 would mean that local authorities continued to account for the recurrent expenditure of schools in the way they do now.  However, the report also seeks to bring more consistency to the treatment of non-current assets (Questions 5 and 6).  The current CIPFA guidance on leasing says nothing about the assets of schools, and if consistency is to be secured it may well be that additional guidance is required.  Question 6 asks for comment on this issue.

Consultation downloads include: