Welcome to our end of the year report

As another academic year draws to a close, it brings an opportunity to look back at events of the last year and to look forward to the challenges and opportunities that a new year brings.

We have adopted a similar theme – some reminders about things that have been covered in earlier editions such as the changes relating to gift aid paid by a trading subsidiary together with some actions that you can take now to prepare for the forthcoming financial reporting regime which will affect all schools. We also take a look at governance - so often weaknesses in this area lead to poor performance and potentially failure in schools.

As we approach the summer holiday break thoughts inevitably turn to sunny climes and international travel. Schools themselves increasingly look to work internationally not only through recruitment of overseas students but also to their own international expansion to capitalise on the brand power of a British Education. In this report we look at some of the tax considerations schools should consider before leaping into an overseas project. Many schools that work internationally will have worked with my colleagues within our RSM international network which now operates in 140 countries throughout the world. As part of our commitment to deliver a seamless service globally, all firms in the network including RSM will be adopting the RSM name with effect from 26 October 2015.

Closer to home, following the election we await the first budget by a Conservative government for many years. As the debate about affordability of independent school fees gathers pace, the anticipated continuing low interest rates provide some respite for those parents for whom independent school fees are a real struggle. There has been a firm commitment by Nikki Morgan to reduce the barriers to state schools converting to academy status.

This will lead to further significant growth in the academy sector and, as many will be struggling state schools; this can only lead to a drive for greater collaboration between the independent and academy sectors.

And finally a look forward to the autumn and beyond when we will be commencing our series of seminars specifically designed for independent schools. This is in addition to the programme that we run for charities - many of those sessions will apply equally to independent schools. These will be held in London in September, January and May starting with tax and VAT.

To download the summer edition of our independent schools report, click here.