England’s academy trusts ‘run up debts of £25m’

The BBC is reporting new figures it has obtained that show debts run up by 113 academy trusts in England amount to almost £25m.

The numbers raise “serious concerns about the accountability” of the system, said Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

More than half of England’s secondary schools are run by self-governing academy trusts.

The government said financial oversight of academies was “more robust than in council-run schools”.

The DfE’s Education Funding Agency investigated one academy trust, Lilac Sky Schools, over its financial governance.

It runs nine primary schools in Kent and East Sussex. The most recent accounts show a deficit of £665,972.

And last year one of its schools was threatened with closure because of poor academic performance.

More at: England’s academy trusts ‘run up debts of £25m’

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  1. The ‘outstanding achievement coaches’ at Lilac Sky Academies all wore something lilac, said a parent.  It’s all about branding – not much to do with education.

  2. No mention in Trevor Averre Beeson’s hyping up his trust’s achievement of the Tabor Academy which was dumped by Lilac Sky after being judged Inadequate.

  3. “All academies operate under a strict system of financial oversight and accountability, more robust than in council-run schools. Where issues are identified we can and do take direct action.’
    Then why isn’t financial dodginess in some academy trusts not revealed until whistleblowers report it?  Their accounts had been signed off.

  4. gov2

    “The government said financial oversight of academies was “more robust than in council-run schools”.”

    What?  The government is still lying about academies?  Surely that was only supposed to be the posh boys who don’t know the price of milk.

  5. Governor

    113 trusts, £25m debt gives an average £221,239 per trust.  With Lilac’s 9 current schools that is an average £24,582 per school.  Lilac’s actual debt is significantly higher and the trust is being challenged by the EFA.

    Whilst that means other trusts will have debt that is significantly less than that average, what are the statistics for maintained schools?  I’ve worked with one school which alone had an in-year deficit exceeding more than £1m. Where was the transparency? Or challenge?

    I don’t deny there are those who forget they are accountable for public monies; that applies as much to maintained schools as it does to academies. Individuals need to be held to account wherever they are.

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