EXCLUSIVE: Over 90 academies change hands in five months to June 2017. Cost to taxpayer unknown
Over 90 academies have changed hands between the first of January and the first of June, Freedom of Information shows.
The rebrokered academies include nine academies given up by Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT) where accounts for the year ending 31 August 2016 revealed serious financial mismanagement. Department for Education (DfE) accounts subsequently showed that £500k loss incurred by LSSAT had been written off. Presumably this was to make it easier to rebroker former LSSAT academies as prospective trusts may be reluctant to take over academies with deficits.
This again raises the cost to the taxpayer. The DfE appears to be postponing the costs of academy transfers indefinitely. DfE accounts show £119m was spent by the DfE on both converting and rebrokering academies in the financial year 2016/17. But that doesn’t show how much was just for academy transfers. And, as Schools Week found, it appeared the DfE was trying to bury transfer costs.
This is not good enough. Taxpayers have a right to know how much transferring each academy from one trust to another is costing them.
UPDATE 22 August 2017 16.45: The original headline was 'EXCLUSIVE: Over 90 academies change hands. Cost to taxpayer unknown.' This has been changed to show the timescale.