Academies should seek ESFA approval for related-party transactions, say MPs
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have long been concerned about related-party transactions between academy trusts and companies linked to trustees or their families. Former PAC chair Margaret Hodge wanted them banned.
In a damning report on how the Department for Education (DfE) monitors academies, PAC recommends that academies should seek approval from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for related-party transactions. Current rules around these transactions are ‘too week’, said MPs.
Further recommendations, described in full in Schools Week, are:
- Trust performance should be analysed by geographic area
- The DfE should take action when academy trust CEOs are paid more than £150k
- The DfE must improve how it intervenes in failing trusts: uncertainty and ‘lack of up-to-date information’ didn’t inspire confidence in monitoring by ESFA
- The DfE needs to be better at protecting academy funds and assets if a trust fails
- The DfE must collect more data on asbestos in all school.
TYPO CORRECTION: The original artical said 'Trust performance should be analysed by geographic behaviour'. It should have been 'geographic area'. This has been corrected.