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  • Writer's pictureIan Buss

As we wait for Boris's funding promised, We can create our own Financial Banking Efficiency

With Boris Johnson pledging £4.6bn of increased funding by 2022-23 (tes), Multi School Trusts, that I am meeting with, tell me it can't come soon enough.

One area that Multi School Trusts often let continue, without reviewing the risk and efficiency, is their Banking arrangements. As Single Academies have grown to form Multi School Trusts and small Multi School Trusts have grown, their banking arrangements have often remained unchanged resulting in real operational inefficiencies and genuinely risking FNTIs being issued.

When a Multi School Trust operates multiple bank accounts, it opens the Trust up to risk. Significant risk. A large number of Trusts give significant autonomy to their schools as they wish to continue to allow them to run their own bank account and be responsible for their own payments. The problem with this is that a huge number of these Trusts unintentionally allow complete operational control at school level (effectively opening up the potential for schools to apply for unapproved banking products and 'hide' accounts and transactions from the Trust).

As the Multi School Trust is a single legal entity (despite what many schools feel), there is a requirement for the Trust (the responsible officer) to have oversight and control.

For those Multi Trusts that want to continue to operate bank accounts for each school, you will be pleased to know that you can gain operational control centrally whilst continuing to allow the schools to have payment autonomy. This is often an excellent way to remove the 'control risk' as an interim measure to a longer term plan to reduce the overall number of accounts.

For those Trusts wishing to remove this risk, control (and therefore mandates) need to be split into:

1) an operational mandate (giving a small number of individuals in the central team the power to fundamentally change products, structure and access to banking across the trust)

2) a payment mandate (giving individuals across the schools the ability to view / view & create payments / view, create & approve payments)

Depending on your bank, these payment mandates can be set up electronically allowing the Trust to manage its own payment mandates removing the need for future paper mandate variations!

If you would like more information or even just a chat through how your Multi School Trust is set up, please contact me on

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