Attachment: Our recommendations

Results of the 2017 school audits

We recommend that the Ministry of Education:

  1. provide further guidance and consider providing training to schools on preparing a statement of cash flows.
  2. for the 2018 audit of school payroll:
    • make resources available to meet the agreed timetable, including enough time for the Ministry’s internal quality assurance processes;
    • keep a record of actions agreed at payroll stakeholder meetings; and
    • continue to encourage schools to prepare draft financial statements as soon as they receive the payroll information, and provide those draft financial statements to their auditor as soon as possible.
  3. reinforce its guidance to schools on preparing and publishing their annual report, and consider how it can confirm that schools are reporting to their communities by publishing their annual reports online, in a timely manner.
  4. ensure that schools are complying with their property planning requirements by having an up-to-date cyclical maintenance plan. The Ministry’s review of a school’s 10-year property plan should include a review of the cyclical maintenance plan, to ensure that it is reasonable and consistent with the school’s condition assessment and any planned capital works.
  5. support kura by:
    • monitoring how effectively kura follow its guidance and, if necessary, provide more targeted guidance; and
    • continuing to engage with those kura that have audits outstanding to help facilitate the completion of those audits.
  6. consider providing guidance to schools on the suitability of funding transport services for students who live outside the immediate area of the school.
  7. provide guidance to schools to help them:
    • consider whether to lease or buy equipment; and
    • ensure that they get value for money if they decide to lease, including how to access All-of-Government contracts.
  8. consider the adequacy of the guidance available to schools on schools managing laptop schemes for their students, including through a third party.
  9. give schools practical guidance on how to assess the extent of private benefit for a sensitive payment to a Principal, and how it evidences this assessment, so the school complies with the Ministry’s circular.