The Department for Education (DfE) has published a consolidated annual report and accounts for the academies sector.

The report relates to the year ended 31 August 2017 and includes the financial results for all the academies in England.

Included in the report is an overview of the main financial and academic results, a corporate governance report and the financial statements.

Executive pay

Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the School System, states in the report that more can be done in ensuring that academies are deploying appropriate controls over their expenditure, particularly as regards executive pay and related party transactions.

Trusts will continue to be challenged where executive pay is not managed in a “transparent, proportionate and justifiable manner”.

Related party transactions

For related party transactions, Lord Agnew states that the DfE is introducing more robust arrangements from April 2019 to ensure that these are “transparent and receive sufficient oversight”.

Academies will have to declare all related party transactions to the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in advance, and to seek ESFA approval for those that exceed £20,000 either individually or cumulatively.

Key figures in the report

Cash in the sector at 31 August 2017 stood at £3.5bn, up from £3.2bn. This equated to £509k per school or £922 per pupil, which is around 2 months of operating expenditure or 17.5%. (17.3%)

The number of trusts in a cumulative revenue deficit was 185 or 5.9%, compared to previously 167 or 5.6% – excluding capital and pensions.

Page 48 of the report states that the value of reported fraud for the year ended July 2017 was £778,894 (2016 £1,014,525). Amount recovered was £429,681 (2016 £605,615).

By comparison, the value of fraud reported to the Department by local authorities relating to LA-controlled schools was £1.1 million for the 2016/17 academic year.

The level of reserves in LA schools at march 2017 which was £1,839m. This is £372 per pupil (one third of an academy).

Kreston Benchmark report

This may be useful for benchmarking your own academy trust, however be mindful that the information in the report relates to the 2017 academic year.

The Kreston Academies Benchmark Report 2018 is currently available and also relates to the 2017 academic year, with the 2019 report being released in January 2019.

If you have any questions please speak to a member of our Academies Team.


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