I can’t hear anything now? Can the host just check audio for us all?
Sqrry cant hear anything either
Someone will be in touch to help Val
Thanks.. sorted now
Hi Helen, maybe exit and rejoin and select join with audio or copy can paste the link into a different web browser
I’m OK too :)
Great thank you
you have to be a host to share a screen
Do use this chat box for any questions for Julian.
Hi Julian are you going to test the new July return template with sixth form colleges as well as FE colleges? thanks
Is it possible to share what is going on in terms of FE colleges FD being involved in development of these templates. This was a huge issue with IFMC when a few FDs got involved and not enough testing was done before it was released.
Any other questions for Julian?
are the lending banks consistent with respect to covenants?
Will the Government step in if a college gets into financial trouble?
Will the cashflow template be like the one used last year as opposed to detailed one used as part of IFMC?
The degree of uncertainty makes forecasting so difficult, do you have any advice for Governors in supporting their FD and Accounting Officer (Principle) in pulling meaningful forecast together by June?!
What are Julian's thoughts on the importance of supporting colleges as part of national economic recovery?
for 16-18 funding and if recruitment for 20/21 is down will any penalties be delayed to 22/23 and take 20/21 and 21/22 recruitment into account
Natwest have told us they will take a 'sensible approach' to our breach and as long as the breach is solely down to Covid they will waive
Hi I am Chair of South Essex College on the Integrated Financial Model we had a meeting with the National Audit Office (NAO) who I believe met the Chair and FD of a number of colleges. They were interested in college finances but also we showed them in detail the model and the challenge of completing it.
HE sector is under pressure and being encouraged by Select Committee to work with neighbouring FE Colleges. What does that imply? Thoughts?
The Government announced significant capital funding in 2021(?) would be available. Is there any sense that this will still be the case? We are growing fast and are running out of space for 16-18 year olds.
Going concern for external auditors is likely to be an issue in signing off year end accounts. Is there likely to be guidance on the approach to take?
Here's an omnibus answer to the questions
Pressed return too soon
Julian, Is there any sector wide info on what colleges staffing costs to income ratios currently look like and how this might be affected?
your message about scenario analysis is sensible. Do you think the July return will require scenarios or just a base case
Appreciate the 2021 capital isn't of the most pressing importance right now but its clearly important that this doesn't get 'lost' in the inevitable squeeze to come. Very keen too that colleges can invest this in long-overdue equipment replacement if we wish and not necessarily on yet more shiny new buildings (that, dare I say it, may in time become rather surplus to requirements.....!)
(1) The new July return will be tested by at least 2 colleges but it's much much simpler than the IFMC (2) On the question about what colleges should include in their forecasts, everyone will be budgeting with considerable uncertainty. AoC will publish advice which we'll continue to update through June/July (3) in terms of ratios, ESFA has been slow to publish data - we're still waiting for 2018-9 data and benchmarks at a point where colleges are getting ready to prepare 2020-1 budgets (4) Colleges have customised loan covenants with banks - 90% have loans with just Barclays and Lloyds. Genuinely difficult to generalise but important each college knows where it stands if it has lending (5) Govt rebuffed the Universities UK bid for £2 billion in support in 2020-1 because it is refusing to make any new commitments far in advance on top of existing budgets). Whatever happens with universities, AoC will keep pushing for college case - including college HE
on scenario analysis, ESFA current plan is to ask for a single cashflow but nothing to stop a college producing scenarios
Going concern - AoC is meeting ESFA and the audit firms in early June to discuss year end financial statements. A message from Lloyds is that some auditors will require a covenant waiver letter to be dated before year end (31 July 2020) or they might insist on reclassifying loan term loan to current liabilities
on capital and the buildings-vs-equipment issue, the Treasury have allocated the money to improve the condition of college buildings (£1.5 billion in England over 5 years, with a slow start £130 million in 2021-2). AoC has asked for the money to be brought forward and said there may be new priorities. Not had an answer yet on this point but I think we'll need to collectively work out how much colleges are spending on reopening-related capital costs and keep pushing for government support to cover these
Could speakers comment on the extent to which they are assuming distance learning or blended learning to continue throughout 2020/21 and its implications.
David Wheeler question on 16-18 funding. ESFA has says that they'll take a pragmatic approach to setting 2021-2 allocations ("use alternative data" if 2019-20 data is abnormal) but haven't said anything about 2022-3 (if 2020-1 enrolments or activity is down). It's an issue we need to keep raising
Yes please Simon - the dashboard would be great.
It would be very interesting to see the dashboard
Yes please Simon Perryman. We would be very grateful to review your redacted model.
Yes please Simon on the model thank-you
We are assuming that distance/blended learning have the sam teacher time requirement as classroom. So have somewhat deferred the decision on exactly what that mix will be.
Would be good to see the dashboard
I’d be keen to see the dashboard please!
so would I.
Yes please Simon, it would be good to see the dashboard
agreed dashboard a great help for governors
FE commissioner team is working with College Finance Director's Group on model management accounts. If anyone thinks they have good ones, please get in touch.
Can the dashboard be sent out with Julian's slides? That would be really helpful.
We’ll get that sent to everyone 👍
Also keen to see the dashboard.
Simon. Dashboard ; Further to that; a curriculum / quality equivalent would also be helpful
Great to hear from Jat and Karen about their mature approach to controls and risk management. However - they have stable leadership teams and mature board with track record and historically good relationships with key stakeholders. Do we think that the ‘way through’ this is by individual autonomous colleges improving their practice or do we need a more interventionist, collaborative ‘system level’ approach to building back resilience?
I would welcome a copy of Barnsley college Dashboard
We have set up a small TAFG to help support the FD to present the critical information to Corporation relating to COVID19 financial implications. This pre-scrutinises data with the FD to ensure the information to full Corporation is prioritised and clear so ALL governors can engage effectively with the financial situation of the college.
I think it would be useful to share an example of a proven successful dashboard with the rest of us.
Happy to circulate through AOC
To add to Jat Sharma’s input in our communications strategy, we had a very good input at our Governors meeting yesterday from our Student Union Governor
On Karen's point I think we're going to need to go through the ESFA (and other) rulebooks to make sure that their expectations reflect the new reality of how colleges teach and how students will be learning.
Apologies but I have to leave now. This has been very useful, thank you.
I know that today;s webinar is on finance but I think that although on line learning will play a much bigger role one complaint that employers often make is the lack of communication skills particularly face to face contact and 'social skills' difficult to do well on line.
Just a thought to build on the comments about how difficult it is to plan for 20/21, our Board is encouraging the Exec team that it may help to picture the optimum model in 2021/22 and then look at what they will plan to do in 20/21 "future-back"
Hugest "thank yous" to Shane for chairing this so well and especially to all participants for some great contributions. Have a great weekend everybody!
Good to hear Karen, zooming is exhausting, so learner fatigue and wellbeing will be critical to consider in planning.
Yes I fully echo that Nick
Agreed that sharing the best practice dashboard would be very helpful
Well chaired/hosted, Shane :)
Great ideas, great panel
Many thanks really helpful
Thanks to all the speakers!
fortnightly 2nd, 16th, 30th - to discuss budgets - 10am Tuesday
nice job everyone, very informative. Thank you.
thank you some interesting discussions there.
I enjoyed the event and learnt a lot Roland Anderson
Thank you everyone
The comments re blended learning are very useful, as a governor the focus on significant ‘blended learning’ provision is imperative. Governors need ways of scrutinising the quality of provision in the new ‘hybrid world’ of face to face and on -line learning and the possible financial impact of the new curriculum models moving forward. Thanks Val Bailey
j fiona macmillan
thank you all very very helpful
Thank you to everybody. Have a lovely bank hol.
Thank you - a very useful webinar