Welcome to the FD Forum Group

The FD forum provides a platform for professionals within the Academies sector to post questions, raise issues and share best practice. It is a place where members are secure in the knowledge that no question is too silly or issue not important enough. Every member at some point, some time has been in the same position.

If you do have any questions, please firstly check through our FAQs and then if you still require assistance, please get in touch.

Who can apply for membership?

Academy staff members within Finance, HR and Premises. Principals and teaching staff are not eligible for membership.

How do I apply to join the Forum?

Please CLICK HERE  and fill out the application form.  If your application is approved you will then be sent an invoice to cover your annual subscription. You will then be added as a member to the Forum and will receive an email notification with your login details.

How do I receive Forum/Thread notifications?

You can subscribe at the top of each Forum to receive email notices of new posts on the individual Forums.  You will then be notified by email when someone posts on your forum.  If you don’t wish to receive these notifications you unsubscribe at the top of each forum.

You can also subscribe for updates to individual posts.  If you wish to receive a notification via email that there has been a response to a post tick the box ‘Notify me of follow-up replies via email’.  Please remember that this will be to the email address used at the sign-up stage.  Please could you also add office@thefdforum.co.uk to your contacts/address book.

If you still do not receive notifications, despite following the above steps and have also confirmed that the email address used for these Forums is correct, please check in your junk folders or with your Academy’s IT department to ensure these emails are not being caught by your Academy’s spam filters.  

As you will now be notified of new posts as they happen, you may wish to collect these emails into one folder for future reference.  If you would like help on managing your emails this way in your inbox, please contact your Academy’s IT department who should be able to show you how to do this.

Can I receive a regular digest of Forum topics?

Yes, you can.  If you visit “Your Forum Account” tab, under the heading “Forum Notifications” you can opt into a regular digest of Forum Topics – either daily, weekly or monthly – by ticking the box marked “Enable Forum Digests”.  

Please note, however, that under the option of “Full” Forum Digests  (rather than “Condensed”), links to the replies are provided – not the full content of the replies.

How do I manage or turn off my email or digest notifications?

Digest Only

From the home screen

Click on Forum Access located top right of the screen

Use the drop-down to Your Forum Account

Click on Forum Notifications

Ensure Enable Forum Digests is ticked

You can specify the Digest Frequency using the drop-down menu (daily, weekly, monthly)

To receive just the Digest, untick the box next to Get notified of new topics/replies as soon as they are created

Click on the Save Preferences box

The new setting will be completed



No Emails or Digest

From the home screen

Click on Forum Access located top right of the screen

Use the drop-down to Your Forum Account

Click on Forum Notifications

Ensure Enable Forum Digests is not ticked

Click on Forum Access located top right of the screen

Use the drop-down to Forum Login

Click on the relevant Forum icon

Click on unsubscribe located bottom right of the banner head

The new setting will be completed

Responding to a Post

This can be done directly on the website via the reply box within the post or by the link at the bottom of the email notification you have received.

IMPORTANT – your reply to the post will only be added that particular post if you are actually logged into the forum. If you just hit “reply” to the email – nothing will happen.

Why am I not receiving email updates on the Forums?

Have you signed up for to access to this new site? Do you have a Username and Password? If you were a member of the Google Groups but have not registered with this new system, please contact us to request access.

Have you subscribed to the new Forums?  (See above)

If you still not receiving notifications, despite following the above steps and have also confirmed that the email address used for these Forums is correct, please check in your junk folders or with your Academy’s IT department to ensure these emails are not being caught by spam filters.  The notifications are sent from office@thefdforum.co.uk.

You may also need to ensure that your POP protocol is turned on.

How do I create a new topic?

Click on the relevant forum icon and this will take you to the Forum. You can add a new topic to the Forum by either clicking on the “Create New Topic” link at the top of the Forum or scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Enter the Topic Title and Keywords if you think this will be helpful to others searching for similar.

Post your question within the text box and click Submit. You are also able to upload documents at this stage (maximum file size 950 KB each). If these documents are accessible on via a link, please could we advise you to use that in the first instance.

How can I see an overivew of topics?

If you are viewing topics for a period of time, you may need to refresh your browser to see the latest updates. Topics are shown in the order in which they were added. This means that you can review the week’s posts by viewing the Forum.


Has your Post not appeared on the Forum?

Please contact the administrator on admin@thefdforum.co.uk as the system may require it to be approved.

What is My Forum Account?

This system is accessed here.  Log in with the username and password you set up on initial registration.  If you have any problems accessing the members’ area or would like access to additional Forums please contact admin@thefdforum.co.uk.

How do I amend my "Nickname"?

Please can you ensure that you include the name of your Academy within your username and that you do not use your email address. You can amend this by going to “Your Forum Account“, click on Forum Profile and the Edit on the left-hand side of the screen. Change your Nickname and then choose the Display Name.

What if I have forgotten my password?

Click on the link underneath the login and you will receive an email with details of how to reset your password. If you don’t receive this email, please check in your spam/junk folder to check that it’s not there. If you still have not received the reset email, then please contact us and we will manually reset your password with a temporary one so that you can log in.  Please note that the password reset is time-limited.

What happens if my email address changes?

You can amend your information or change your email address from your Account Page HERE.  You should NOT change your registered email from your Academy email address to a personal address.

What happens at Renewal?

On your annual renewal date, an invoice will automatically be sent out.  If a Purchase Order is required a request for this will be sent out 14 days before the renewal date.  If you no longer wish to be a member of the Forum, please let us know so that we can keep our records up to date.

What happens if I leave the Academy?

Please let us know and we can transfer the account into a new name.  The annual fee is per academy staff member not per Academy.  Please do not replace your academy email with your personal one or your new academy email address. 

If you would like to continue to be part of the FD Forum, please let us have your new contact details and we will send out your new login information.

How can I cancel my membership?

A renewal notification will go out the month prior to renewal and at this point membership can be cancelled.  If you wish membership to be cancelled during the membership period there is no refund of the membership fee but membership can be transferred over at no extra charge.

If you wish to cancel membership please let us know quoting the member and Academy/Trust name.

Why did we set up the DfE Academies Reporting Forum?

Set up at the request of the DfE, the purpose of this group is not to replace academy questions but to deal with specific enquiries and problems relating to online forms taking pressure away from the academy questions email.

Why have you closed the Google Groups?

The decision to move to the new forum system was made as it became apparent that Google Groups was not able to support the growth of the group and had limitations. We took on board comments we had previously received from members, was aware that we had a duty of care to make sure the system was as secure as it could be but also wanted to retain the accessibility of the previous group.

After extensive research, the format that is being used now is the one most like the original Google Groups but obviously not exact.

I was a member of the Google Groups so why can’t I login into the new Forums?

Even if you had access to the now-closed Google Groups, you need to apply for access to the new Forums. You need to fill in the form on the Contact Us page and in due course, you will be notified by email of your Username and password login.


Confidentiality of the group is the key to its foundation to enable members to discuss issues and raise concerns freely. Anyone who forwards on information or divulges details of our members will have their membership terminated with immediate effect.