EXCLUSIVE: £51k grant to support Chatham Girls’ Grammar finances
Transferred to University of Kent trust with ‘inherited deficit’
Chatham Grammar Schools for Girls (CGSG) was given a £51k grant to support its financial recovery in the financial year 2016/17, Freedom of Information shows.
CGSG had deficit of over £2m
Accounts* for CGSG for year ending 31 August 2016 show the academy’s restricted fund deficit was over £2m. The Education Funding Agency** had agreed support, the accounts said.
The accounts’ auditor said:
‘Governors have concluded that the Academy Trust is not a going concern following the decision to transfer its operations to an alternative multi-academy trust’.
Deficit forecast in 2015/16
The academy’s governors had forecast a deficit in its accounts for 2015/16. Falling pupil numbers contributed to this shortfall, the accounts said. This is surprising. We are often told grammar schools are so popular they are many times oversubscribed. Not in the case of CGSG apparently.
Governors said they’d already been in discussion with EFA which had ‘indicated’ it would support CGSG ‘through this deficit period’.
Rebrokerage took longer than expected
When Ofsted did a short inspection of CGSG in January 2018, shortly after the academy was transferred to the University of Kent Academies Trust (UniKAT formerly Brompton Academy) in September 2017 as a sponsored academy, inspectors noted:
‘The formation of the multi-academy trust, including addressing the school’s significant financial deficit, had taken much longer than expected.’
A full inspection in May 2018 praised UniKAT for taking ‘decisive action to tackle previously declining standards.’
UniKAT confident deficit reduction plan for CGSG will work
UniKAT accounts for year ending 31 August 2017 said CGSG transferred with an inherited deficit but was confident the deficit reduction plan agreed with ESFA** will return the academy to surplus
CGSG also received interest free loan
CGSG also received an interest free loan of £36k from EFA repayable by 1 September 2022. It’s not known whether this repayment plan has been incorporated in the deficit reduction plan agreed between UniKAT and ESFA**.
This is the fifth article in a series about academies given grants by EFA to support financial recovery in financial year 2016/17. The first four are:
Fourteen academies bailed out.
*Accounts downloadable from Companies House.
**The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is now the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).