Internal Audit is ‘an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve a school's operations. It helps a school accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes’.
Therefore, Internal Audit supports the Headteacher and Governing Body by recommending improvements that help strengthen the school's operating arrangements, protect its assets as well as assist in ensuring the efficient and effective use of its resources.
Internal Audit for maintained schools
Standard Audit: The purpose of this audit is to provide assurance over the robustness of the school's business processes which includes financial, management and governance control, as well as proactive fraud work in high risk activities.
It will also involve:
assessing compliance with any national standards covering financial and/or governance processes
checking whether previous recommendations made have been implemented properly
Schools will be periodically selected for a full audit based on an assessment of risk. They will only be given a few weeks notice of such a visit.
Targeted Audits: These cover any aspect of the school’s business and can be undertaken at the request of the school or initiated by Internal Audit.
Ad Hoc Investigations: The Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Services will undertake investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption bribery and theft.
Reporting: Schools will be asked to agree a report with an action plan for all work undertaken. Once finalised, this will be shared with relevant senior officers and members of the Council. A high level summary of the themes will also be reported to the Council’s Audit Committee.
Thematic Reviews: The purpose of this type of audit is to select an activity undertaken by all schools, e.g. procurement, and then assess whether good practice is complied with. Schools will be required to participate in these exercises if requested to. A summary report of themes arising from this work will be produced and shared with all schools.
All schools will be asked to:
When undertaking any work, schools will be required to enable internal auditors or counter fraud staff to:
Premises: Enter, at any reasonable time, any premises or land owned, leased or controlled by the school
Documents: Examine all records, documents, correspondence or information held by the school’s employees, governors or other third parties, pertinent to the work
Explanations: Obtain such information and explanations from any of the school’s employees or governors, as necessary concerning their work, to enable them to fulfil their duties
Property: Require any of the school’s employees (and by arrangement any partner employees or contractors) to produce for examination, school assets (including cash) under their control