Independent assurance for schools and academies

We offer a range of services to ensure you meet the responsibilities set out in the Academies Financial Handbook. You can rely on the expertise of our professionals who understand codes of ethics, standards and best practice.

Data protection officer (DPO)

We act as the DPO for over 500 schools across the country. Our service ensures you can manage your obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Find out more through our partners at North Yorkshire Education Services.

Internal audit

From 2020, government guidance changed, meaning that your school’s external auditor cannot undertake internal audit activities as well.

Veritau’s internal audit service will help you control your school’s finances, reducing the costs associated with hiring an in-house auditor. This is an important element of ensuring internal scrutiny.

Counter fraud

We offer an annual fraud and whistleblowing service for schools focusing on prevention, detection and deterrence. If you have concerns about fraud, we also offer a specialist investigation service.

Risk management

Risk management is an essential component of good governance and contributes to your overall assurance framework. We offer specialist risk management services for schools, including policy development, training, reviewing frameworks, running workshops, and providing advice and support.

 

Are schools and academies required to have an internal audit?

Yes, although the arrangements will vary between schools. Maintained schools will be covered by their local authority’s internal audit provision. Academy schools are required to arrange a programme of internal audit (otherwise called internal scrutiny). Academy schools can choose from a number of options:

  • Employ an in-house internal auditor
  • Buy-in an internal audit service from a suitable provider
  • Appoint a non-employed trustee
  • Arrange a peer review by a chief finance officer from another trust

Whichever option is chosen, the staff conducting the work should be suitably qualified and experienced.

Download the Academies Financial Handbook below

Do schools and academies need a data protection officer?

GDPR requires that all public authorities, including schools, appoint a data protection officer (DPO).

They can be based in-house, shared with others or bought in as a service. Your DPO must act independently and with objectivity and is there to:

  • Inform and advise on data protection requirements
  • Support you to monitor internal compliance
  • Assist you with Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)
  • Demonstrate accountability
  • Act as a single point of contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office

How does fraud occur in schools?

At Veritau, we help prevent fraud by training your staff on fraud awareness, cybercrime and emerging threats facing schools. Our independent whistleblowing service makes it easier for members of staff to report their concerns.

Regular alerts and reminders help staff to detect fraud if your organisation is targeted by fraudsters. We can also help deter fraud by assisting your school to put strong controls and processes in place.

Experts in delivering schools services

Speak to a member of our team to see how we can help. At Veritau we have specialists with experience delivering assurance services in the education sector.

Ian Morton, Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Ian Morton

Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Ian has worked in audit for over 30 years. He leads on the education and children’s social care sectors, and our national park clients. Ian works closely with many different public sector organisations and has wide-ranging experience across local authorities.

[email protected]

01904 551044

Kelly Holmes, Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator

Kelly Holmes

Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator

Kelly holds both Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status and a qualification in investigative practice from CIPFA. She has many years of experience as a fraud investigator and leads on complex internal and whistleblowing investigations. Kelly also has experience working in a busy HR team and is ACAS trained on conducting internal investigations.

[email protected]

01904 552911

Andy Nutting, Information Governance Manager

Andy Nutting

Information Governance Manager

Andy has over 20 years’ experience working in information governance within local government. He specialises in the development and implementation of bespoke information strategy, policy and processes. Andy has a professional interest in making information open and transparent, and enhancing ethical considerations around data.

[email protected]

01904 552752

Connor Munro, Audit Manager

Connor Munro

Audit Manager

Connor has experience of internal audit within both the public and private sector, delivering complex and varied work. He is the audit lead for Scarborough Borough Council, Ryedale District Council and Richmondshire District Council and also leads on our risk management services. Connor is currently studying for a qualification in Internal Audit Leadership.

[email protected]

01904 553512

Case study

Supporting schools with data protection during Covid-19

Our data protection officer team had to adapt the service quickly during Covid-19. Rapid response was essential and the team worked flexibly to support schools during lockdown.

Read this case study

Get in touch

We work with our partners at North Yorkshire Education Services in delivering services to schools and academies. Visit their website for more information and to get in touch. Alternatively, you can contact Veritau directly to speak to an assurance expert.