Schools Briefing – Autumn 2023

November 2023

Welcome to our Schools Briefing, where we provide updates and insights on accounting, tax, reporting and governance for school bursars and governors.

With another school year well underway, we look at some of the current political and environmental factors that could potentially impact the sector. Our first guest author, Simon Bulleyment, Director at Sibrossa Ltd, tackles one of the most prominent concerns for schools currently – cyber security. In his article, Simon addresses the risks and shares various examples of malicious attacks that schools may fall victim to, including fraud and ransom. He shares a number of considerations schools should consider to best future proof their systems against cyber-attacks, and provides several useful sources to seek guidance from.

Nick Bustin, Director, gives an update on Employment Tax to include challenges that may be faced from off-payroll working arrangements. He expands on the HMRC campaign letter, what it means for individuals within schools, and provides a helpful list of what HMRC are looking for, concluding with recommendations and how he can help you with a proposed response.

With the continuing political uncertainly around Government, our second guest author Sam Macdonald, Partner at Farrer & Co, delves into what it might mean for schools by an incoming Labour rule. Sam gives his opinion on the impact of the removal of charitable status, taxation on parents, and if there will be any social mobility enhancements should Government change.

Jane Askew, Partner, looks into the recently published Charity Commission guidance for trustees on investing charity money. The advice focuses on supporting trustees to better invest their charity’s money into assets like shares, bonds and managed funds. With current higher interest rates now available, the guidance is recommended reading for all governors, and particularly members of finance and investment committees.

Finally, Alacoque Marvin, Employment Law Partner at Wrigleys Solicitors, explores the Supreme Court ruling on holiday pay, what is included in holiday pay, and what might be considered “a series of deductions”. Alacoque concludes with advice for independent schools on conducting a review of the potential risk of claims for arrears of holiday pay.

I hope you enjoy this edition and find these articles of interest.
Do feel free to let the authors, me or your regular contact know if you have any questions concerning the matters discussed.

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Lee Stokes

Partner, Head of Care & Community
+44 20 7969 5656
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