Tes reports that academy trusts will have to give the Department for Education budget forecasts for the next three years to provide reassurance that they are “planning ahead”.
In January, DfE permanent secretary Jonathan Slater told the Commons Public Accounts Committee that he expected more academy trusts to go into deficit.
In the same month, an annual review of academy financial accounts by accountants Kreston Reeves warned that the sector could be “on the verge of insolvency” within two or three years unless the government gave it extra support.
Academy trusts currently only have to let the DfE know about their financial forecast one year ahead.
Today, a letter from Mr Lauener’s successor, Eileen Milner, confirms that the agency is going ahead with the requirement, although she acknowledges that it will create “additional work for trusts”.
Academy trusts will be asked to provide details of income and expenditure, as well as some capital spending and “non-cash elements”.
Ms Milner adds: “Whilst this inevitably creates additional work for trusts, it is essential that trusts are planning ahead. We anticipate that in most cases the data required will be readily available from trusts’ own internal plans.”
Ms Milner also highlights plans to crack down on academy trusts that do not submit their financial information in time.
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