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Academies Update: Changes to the BFRO

Academies Update: Changes to the BFRO

Gemma Roger

Its BFRO season.  We take a look at what’s changed.

The 2019 collection for Budget Forecast Return Outturn (BFRO) information runs from April to May 2019.   Submission opens on 9 April 2019, and academies are required to provide up to date financial information for the 2018/19 financial year to the ESFA by 21 May 2019. (Note – this date differs from that given on the ESFA Academies Planning Calendar)

An Excel workbook (and open document alternative) is now available on the ESFA website. Although not compulsory, the spreadsheet is a useful tool in the preparation of the BFRO. Final submission must be made through the online form on the GOV.UK website at the following link:

The workbook has been revised this year to more closely mirror the online form; online submission itself is now via the IDAMS platform (the platform used to submit the Annual Return) – it is worth checking your IDAMS has the BFR tab visible when you log in.

On submission of the BFRO, you will no longer receive an email confirmation and PDF copy – it is therefore advisable that you screenshot and save the submission screen and a PDF copy of the return for your files.

Other changes to lookout for this year are the introduction of the BFR3Y – A separate submission including a three year forecast. This is due for all academies on 30 July 2019. A “New Academy BFR” form required for new Academy Openers has also been introduced to replace the tab that was previously completed as part of the standard BFR. For further guidance please see the website:  or contact your local Moore adviser.