• Be ready to challenge 'inappropriate' use of money, academy chiefs told

    Academy leaders must be prepared to call out inappropriate behaviour within their organisations, especially if it involves public money, the government’s top school funding boss has said. Eileen Milner, the head of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), has written to the heads of single and multi academy trusts, to remind them that as

    17.16 Sep. 18th, 2018 | News

  • London secondary school hit with financial notice to improve over failure to balance budget

    A secondary school in Richmond upon Thames has been handed a financial notice to improve by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), after failing to set a balanced budget for 2017-18. The school, rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted after an inspection in January, has also failed to “establish strong internal financial controls”, according to

    16.03 Sep. 14th, 2018 | News

  • 'Inadequate' academy faces termination of funding over standards

    An academy in Central Bedfordshire faces having its funding withdrawn and being rebrokered to a new sponsor after it was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. The Sandye Place Academy Trust has been issued with a termination warning notice by the Department for Education (DfE). It means that if the trust does not meet certain conditions, it

    13.10 Jul. 6th, 2018 | News

  • Financial warning for the academy trust that sent leaders to New Zealand

    An academy trust that spent over £12,000 on a trip abroad for two of its leaders has been handed a financial notice to improve by the government. Silver Birch Academy Trust now has to run most of its spending decisions past the government and must make changes to the way it is run to avoid

    16.02 Jun. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • Booze and backroom deals are under the accounting spotlight

    The ESFA’s annual academies accounts direction document is usually fairly dry, but this year there are few more important things for trusts to look out for, writes Phillip Reynolds The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have released the academies accounts direction (AAD) 2017 to 2018 – a nattily named document that offers guidance on

    5.00 Jun. 25th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Academy trust bosses' New Zealand trip questioned by the ESFA

    A review of financial management and governance at the London-based Silver Birch Academy Trust has revealed serious failings, including a trip to the other side of the world for senior leaders that cost almost twice as much as the going rate. The trust, which runs four primary schools in Walthamstow, Chingford and Redbridge, was visited

    16.27 Jun. 15th, 2018 | News

  • Troubled UCAT trust to shed four schools after finances warning

    Four schools run by the troubled University of Chester Academies Trust (UCAT) will be rebrokered to new sponsors following the intervention of a government schools commissioner. Christine Quinn, the regional schools commissioner for the West Midlands, has “agreed with the trust to initially rebroker four schools” in order to “release capacity”, according to a parliamentary written

    12.07 May. 25th, 2018 | News

  • University of Chester Academies Trust warned over £3m deficit

    The University of Chester Academies Trust (UCAT) has been told to get its finances in order after racking up a £3 million deficit. The shortfall in the chain’s latest financial forecast breaks the terms of its funding agreement, which insists it returns a balanced budget. This has led to an official financial notice to improve

    16.45 May. 11th, 2018 | News

  • Academy trusts with multiple staff on £100k+ told to justify pay

    The government has written to all multi-academy trusts that are paying a salary of £100,000 to £150,000 to multiple employees, to ask them to justify why they are setting wages at these levels. Letters from Eileen Milner, the chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, will go out to the chairs of trustees at

    16.26 Apr. 10th, 2018 | News

  • Devon's Bay Education Trust hit with financial notice to improve

    A Devon-based multi academy trust has been handed a financial notice to improve by the Education and Skills Funding agency. Bay Education Trust has had many of its spending powers suspended, and has been warned it faces closure if it does not address concerns about its financial management. The notice was issued because the trust had

    16.11 Mar. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • Matrix Academy Trust ordered to review governance after ESFA investigation

    The Matrix Academy Trust has been ordered to review its governance arrangements and financial management after a government review found it could not justify costly staff trips and had not ensured separation of powers between its members and directors. The investigation was prompted by “anonymous allegations” made against it in October 2016, relating to “potentially

    16.40 Oct. 6th, 2017 | News