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News - 7 May 2014

The Education Funding Agency report highlights concerns

The Education Funding Agency report has found "highly unusual" financial practices following their investigation into the Education Fellowship Trust.

It questions governors' expenses of £45,000, a trip to New York and unadvertised jobs for family members.

The chief executive has since stepped down and the report notes that the new chief is "committed to improving the performance of the academies".

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS:
“The Education Funding Agency is the agency delivering public funding to academies. They carried out a review of financial management and governance at the Education Fellowship Trust, up to August 2013, and found a series of concerns about the trust which paid its chairman £90,000 per year, including "transactions with companies in which the chairman has a controlling interest".”

The trust, with a turnover of £10m per year, was found to have committed "significant breaches of the Companies Act 2006, Charity Commission regulations and the Academies Financial Handbook".

The report highlights particular spending concerns, including expenses of £45,000 by two trustees and warned of "very high levels of private car usage, travel and subsistence and accommodation costs".

It also raised concerns about the appointment of support staff. The report highlights particular spending concerns, including expenses of £45,000 by two trustees and warned of "very high levels of private car usage, travel and subsistence and accommodation costs".

The report also notes that the trust had operated with only five trustees.

The Education Funding Agency says that the new chief executive is "committed to putting in place appropriate governance structures and controls and felt that the review will act as a catalyst for considerable change within the trust".

There have been calls for greater oversight of academies and academy providers.

The government has introduced school commissioners to monitor academies and Labour is proposing directors of school standards who would have oversight of all state-funded schools in their local areas.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business
 

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