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ESFA Update academies: 23 March 2022

1. Reminder: academies to check the status of their business rates payments process

From 1 April 2022, ESFA will centrally pay business rates for those academies whose billing authority is implementing the new national non-domestic rates (NNDR) payment process. This means academies in those areas should not pay the 2022 to 2023 business rates bill to the billing authority.

You can check the NNDR payment process your billing authority is implementing. We recommend you check this before making payment to avoid any confusion and duplicate payments.

If your billing authority is continuing with the existing NNDR payment arrangements, academies should continue to pay the rates bill for 2022 to 2023 directly to the billing authority and reclaim this from ESFA using the online form.

two. Reminder: call for academies to submit historic business rates claims for unclaimed years

From 1 April 2022 academies will not be able to claim historic NNDR for previously unclaimed years. From this date ESFA will not process or reimburse academies for historical claims for unclaimed years.

Academies have until 31 March 2022 to submit outstanding claims from the 2015 to 2016 financial year, via the NNDR portal.

This will only apply to years from 2015 to 2016 up until 2021 to 2022 which have not already been claimed for. Academies will continue to be able to claim for historic adjustments to claims already made from 1 April 2017 onwards through the NNDR portal until 31 January 2023.

You can read more information about the changes to the payment process of schools’ business rates.

3. Information: using the academies chart of accounts

We are hosting monthly MS Teams sessions for questions about the academies chart of accounts and automation process.

The sessions are at 11am on the third Wednesday of each month with the next one on 20 April 2022. You can find the list of sessions and how to join on the academies chart of accounts and automation GOV.UK page.

Four. Information: teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pensions employer contribution grant

We’ve clarified the arrangements for teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pensions employer contribution grant in 2022 to 2023 for schools and academies.

5. Information: are you a school business professional in a special school, alternative provision or hospital school?

Would you welcome the opportunity to meet other practitioners working in similar contexts, who understand the challenges you face?

Supported by the Department for Education (DfE) and open to all school business professionals (SBPs) working in special and alternative provision throughout England, the National Network of Special Schools (NNoSS) is a network whose members understand and can help with the unique challenges faced within special schools.

For more information and details of how to join, visit the NNoSS website.

6. Information: practical risk assessment workshop for RPA members

As part of its risk management support, the DfE, in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, is hosting a webinar on Asbestos Management. This workshop will focus on:

  • the legal requirement for undertaking health and safety risk assessments
  • a practical risk assessment that will go through the entire process, from the identification of hazards through to risk rating systems and the identification of control measures

Please select one of the dates below for further information and to register:

7. Information: questionnaire on managing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)

Responsible bodies (RBs) have been emailed with a questionnaire asking about the measures they are taking to identify, monitor and manage reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their schools. Further information about RAAC is available from DfE guidance published in February 2021.

The questionnaire can be accessed via the DfE Capital Portal. If you wish to respond on behalf of your responsible body and do not already have a portal account, please email with your name, organisation, email address and job title.

The deadline for responses is Thursday 14 April 2022.

8. Information: Bett Show 2022, 23 to 25 March

DfE is once again delighted to be featured at Bett as it returns to ExCeL London this week.

Bett is the global community for education technology and this flagship UK event welcomes educators, leaders and innovators together to showcase the future of technology in education.

DfE is launching the first technology standards for schools and colleges, to help them understand their digital environment and what core technology to have in place.

Discover the full agenda including sessions from DfE, and keep up with latest with #Bett2022 on Twitter.

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