93 academy trusts failed to send their accounts for year ending 31 August 2018 to the Department for Education (DfE) by the deadline of 31 December 2018, Freedom of Information response shows. This is 60 fewer than in 2017, when 153 trusts failed to submit their financial statements promptly.
The 93 include some multi-academy trusts which have become well known in the last couple of years:
Adventure Learning Academy Trust and its connected MAT, Bright Tribe. These were the subject of a critical Panorama programme.
Perry Beeches The Academy Trust has been stripped of all of its academies. This is the second year the trust hasn’t submitted its accounts on time.
Steiner Academy Frome has been sent two Financial Notices to Improve. The most recent, dated 21 February 2019, was triggered by non-compliance with the 2018 accounts deadline.It appears Steiner Academy Frome is the only trust sent an FNtI following its inability to submit accounts by the end of December last year. The free school was sent a warning letter to terminate its funding at the end of January 2019 following an inadequate inspection rating.
The SchoolsCompany Trust has been stripped of its academies. One, The Goodwin Academy, had twice been bailed out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to the tune of nearly £1m. SchoolsCompany did not meet the accounts submission deadline in 2017.
Among the rest, Astrea Academy Trust has admitted it was unable to submit its accounts on time because of ‘detailed and technical reconciliation’ which needed to take place for schools it has recently taken over. These may include some transferred from the failed Wakefield City Academies Trust.
Chetwynde School Limited runs Chetwynde School, a former fee-paying school which became a state-funded free school in September 2014. It has been under a Financial Notice to Improve since 2016. It was also late submitting its accounts in 2017.
Overdue accounts are sometimes from trusts whose academies closed or transferred during the last full academic year. Trusts in this category in 2017/18 include:
Discovery Learning Limited which operated Discovery School, a 14-19 Newcastle free school opened in 2014. Costing nearly £9m to build*, it closed at the end of the 2018 summer term following two inadequate judgements.
Manchester Creative Studio, a 14-19 studio school opened in 2014, closed in 2018 after being judged inadequate. This is the second year its accounts have not been submitted by the deadline.
Four further trusts failed to send in their accounts by both the 2017 and 2018 deadlines: Bradfield School, Parmiter’s School, South Bank Academies and The Swinton High School Academy Trust.
Names of the 93 trusts can be found here.