New poll: Do you think councils should be allowed to monitor academy budgets?

The Local Government Association is asking the Education Secretary to put in place controls for local authorities to monitor the budgets of academy schools.

Do you agree? Vote in our new poll…

Do you think councils should be allowed to monitor academy budgets?

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Categories: Academies and polls.

Comments

  1. WRlh

    Too many councils have poor record of allowing huge deficits to build up and weak auditing. Academies have paid for auditors – ensure that they do their job properly when auditing public money!

  2. @WRlh He who pays the piper calls the tune.  Much financial mismanagement in academies was signed off by auditors.  It was only when whistleblowers revealed dodgy spending at some academy trusts that the EFA began investigating.  
    That said, the EFA allows related party transactions as long as they’re (nominally) ‘at cost’ and declared in accounts.  But the National Audit Office (NAO) said it would be difficult to prove these were ‘at cost’, ex-PAC chair Margaret Hodge wanted them banned, and a recent court case revealed how for-profit companies behind academy trusts could siphon taxpayers’ money from education into shareholders’ pockets.   http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/08/how-to-profit-from-running-an-academy-under-dfe-radar
    Auditors don’t have to judge whether academy spending is value-for-money so inappropriate spending (eg nearly £5k for a desk) and inflated salaries for senior staff can be passed without comment.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2014/10/the-academy-head-the-4500-desk-and-the-170k-salary
    If that isn’t enough, the NAO said the complicated structures behind some academy trusts increased the perception of wrongdoing.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2014/11/complex-structures-could-increase-perception-of-wrongdoing-warns-chief-auditor-in-durand-academy-report  That’s because it makes it more difficult to follow the money.

  3. Alan OSullivan Janet2 Thanks.  As a scathing critic of recent education policy especially since 2010, my chances of being Education Secretary are about nil.
    But it’s nice to be considered.

Let us know what you think...