Academy bosses must face ‘fit and proper persons’ test to stop abuse of funds

The TES is reporting the government spending watchdog has said academy chains should be forced to put in place “fit and proper persons” tests to vet chief executives as the government has “no way of knowing” if they can be trusted and has called for better oversight of spending from the EFA…

In a “damning” report examining the role of the Education Funding Agency, the Public Accounts Committee said the body was too reliant on whistleblowers to point out when abuse of public funds was taking place.

As a result, the EFA, which is part of the Department for Education, is often too late to intervene when it comes to improper use of taxpayers’ cash, the report states…

The chain has since been stripped of 10 of its schools over concerns around standards.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the PAC, said the EFA had “not yet got to grips” with effective oversight of how money is spent on academies and free schools.

“It does not properly analyse the data it does have to identify risks and, as a result, interventions in at-risk schools can come too late, as in the case of the E-Act Academy Trust,” Mrs Hodge said.

“The agency has no way of knowing whether academy chief executives and trustees are ‘fit-and-proper persons’.

“In a very devolved system, as in the case of academies, a lot of trust is invested in the organisation, chief executive, principal and trustees for managing public money. However the department does not have a process for vetting those appointed as academy trustees or chief executives,” she added…

Pretty strong criticism of the EFA from Margaret Hodge here – what do you think of her comments and what implications do you think they will have? Please let us know and give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Academies.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Interview:
    “Are you going to misuse school funds?”
    “Right, you’re in”
    DfE have bitten off more than they can chew

  2. 5N_Afzal

    SchoolsImprove What about MS? Things go wring there too. Lots if horror stories there too. What is “fit& proper”? Who deterines& how?

  3. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove ah now Gove realises he can’t afford ‘complete autonomy’ to any Tom, Dick, Toby Young or Harry.

  4. edujdw

    .SchoolsImprove until now we didn’t have such a test? Why not? The DfE is being negligent just handing over schools to anyone, no checks.

  5. MrJDexter

    .SchoolsImprove Who are these academy CEO types? I thought EFA money went on educating children…oh hang on

  6. MrJDexter

    edujdw SchoolsImprove I’m sure back in the golden age of Ed’cn which Gove wants us to go back to, that we didnt have costly CEO’s

  7. edujdw

    MrJDexter SchoolsImprove no, we didn’t as a generation we didn’t do so badly did we? The marketisation of education is abhorrent.

  8. MrJDexter

    edujdw SchoolsImprove I suppose we had LEA Dir of Ed but they had statesman stateswoman personality and style and wisdom.

  9. MrJDexter

    edujdw SchoolsImprove No but they were to people like my Mum and Dad and that kept them welll and truly in order – just ordinary citizens

  10. MrJDexter

    edujdw SchoolsImprove & my teachers chose what to teach and how to teach and we all raised heads occasionally to do odd exam #nostalgia

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