A new system is to be launched on 1 September 2014 with the intention of reducing insurance costs for academies and free schools.
Academies and free schools have traditionally paid more for insurance than maintained schools, as they do not benefit from the same economies of scale as local authorities when taking out insurance.
In a letter sent to schools on 14 February, Sue Baldwin, Director of Academies and Maintained Schools Group at the Education Funding Agency, says: “We have decided to introduce a voluntary risk pooling scheme for academies and free schools with effect from 1 September 2014.
“All academies and free schools will be eligible to join the new scheme. In the first year, the cost will be a flat fee of £25 per pupil for all academies and free schools. If you are already paying less for appropriate insurance, it may be possible to charge less than £25 per pupil if you decide to join the scheme.
“The insurance supplement of £20 per pupil being paid in 2013/14 will be withdrawn from 2014/15, because the new scheme will provide an option of insurance at a price that does not require this top-up. We will reimburse the cost of insurance above £25 per pupil under current contracts until they expire.”
She adds: “You will still be free to secure your own insurance should you wish to do so.”
Further guidance issued with the letter says that the scheme will include, as a minimum, insurance for premises, employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance and cover for school trips within the UK in connection with the school curriculum.
Existing academies and free schools will be able to join the scheme as their current insurance cover expires, with new academies and free schools coming on board from 1 September.
Cost-effective insurance is only one aspect of the issues academies and free schools need to consider in maximising the value of their resources. The team at Nicklin can provide comprehensive advice to support academies and free schools in obtaining maximum benefit from their greater financial freedom and budgetary control. For more information, please contact us.