Skip to main content

Search results

Showing 91 - 100 of 156 results. Order by:

Improving school performance: A guide for school governors

In collaboration with the National Governors Association, the National Audit Office has updated its well-received guide for school governors. The guide was first published in May 2006 alongside our value for money report on Improving poorly performing schools. It is intended to help both new and experienced primary and secondary school governors, as well as school leaders, identify and tackle the issues important to their schools’ organisation and performance.

Published:
1 May 2009
Report cover showing child balancing coins

Financial Management in the Department for Children, Schools and Families

“The Department has made progress in integrating financial management with its strategic and corporate planning. There is room for a better understanding of costs attributable to each of the Department’s strategic objectives. The Department could usefully consult further with delivery organisations such as local authorities to see what might be done here. It also needs to improve its management of financial risks, and to use the introduction of new finance systems to improve financial reporting and forecasting.”

In 2007-08 the Department’s expenditure totalled £48.9 billion and around £40 billion (82 per cent of the Department’s spending) was spent on schools or services to support schools.

The Department has built up a large capital underspend, which is around £2.4 billion at the end of March 2009. In 2007-08 the balance increased by £654 million to £1.9 billion and 2008-09 figures will show that this increased to around £2.4 billion by the end of March 2009.

Schools build up surpluses when they do not spend their full budgets and carry over the balances to future years. An excessive surplus is defined by the Department as being greater than five per cent of annual budget for secondary schools and greater than eight per cent for nursery, primary and special schools. At 31 March 2008 nearly 40 per cent of schools had excessive cumulative surpluses and 22 per cent had held an excessive cumulative surplus for at least the last three years.

Accruals accounting is an accounting convention under which transactions are recognised as the underlying economic events occur, irrespective of the timing of cash receipts and payments related to these transactions. Under accruals accounting, expenditure incurred or income earned, but not yet paid or received, are included in the accounts in the period when they were incurred or earned. This differs from cash accounting where income and expenditure are recognised when the cash is received or paid respectively.

Published:
30 Apr 2009
Report cover showing new technology at work in government.

Innovation across central government

“Despite the large sums of money being invested in encouraging innovation, central government isn’t making the most of the opportunities to improve the delivery of public services. Innovation within service delivery is vital and government must be sure that it encourages staff to contribute, listens to the people who use its services and measures what it is getting for the investment made.”

Published:
26 Mar 2009
Report cover showing policeman at desk

The National Offender Management Information System

“The initiative to introduce a single offender management database has been expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. These problems could have been avoided if the National Offender Management Service had established realistic budget, timescales and governance for the project at the start and followed basic project management principles in its implementation. In delivering the new reduced programme, NOMS need to focus on better financial controls and more effective management oversight.”

Published:
12 Mar 2009
Report cover, showing modern school interior

The Building Schools for the Future Programme: Renewing the secondary school estate

“Building Schools for the Future is a highly ambitious £55 billion programme. Converting that ambition to reality requires robust planning, close cost control and making a success of complex long-term partnerships. Partnerships for Schools and the Department were too optimistic in their early plans though programme management has since improved. But it remains a real challenge, in difficult market conditions, to deliver the 250 schools a year that will be needed, to include all schools by 2020 as currently planned.”

Published:
12 Feb 2009
Report cover showing school children counting coins

Department for Children, Schools and Families – Mathematics performance in primary schools: Getting the best results

“Helping children to master basic mathematics is a central part of their primary education and in 2007 pupils in their final year achieved the best set of results so far in the national tests. In recent years, however, the rate of improvement in primary mathematics has slowed and almost a quarter of pupils are still not equipped with the understanding of mathematics they need to study the subject further, or to tackle subjects such as science once they start secondary school. The Department needs to improve how teachers assess pupils’ progress throughout the primary years, so that they can support every child to do their best in mathematics.”

Published:
19 Nov 2008
Report cover showing a modern further education building

Renewing the physical infrastructure of English further education colleges

“The capital programme for further education is enabling colleges and the Learning and Skills Council to achieve together what neither could have achieved on their own, and is delivering high quality buildings. The sector has taken on a higher level of debt, and therefore of risk, but the cost should be manageable. If the second half of the programme can maintain the success achieved in the first, further education will be well placed to offer enhanced value for money.”

Published:
11 Jul 2008
Report cover showing military using computers

Ministry of Defence: The Defence Information Infrastructure

“It was always going to be a demanding task for the Ministry of Defence to replace its diverse information technology with a single, high quality system. The MoD started with a clear vision of what it wanted to achieve and acted to address known risks. But the Programme has run into difficulties and further concerted action will be needed to increase the rate of roll out of terminals and to deliver the remaining software.”

Published:
4 Jul 2008