Turner Schools owes ESFA £1+m repayable up to ten years

Janet Downs's picture
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Turner Schools, which runs four academies in Kent, owes the Education and Skills Funding Agency over one million pounds, the trust’s most recent accounts reveal.

The accounts, which only just met today’s deadline for publication on its website, list the ‘loans and advances from the ESFA’ as follows:

£84,000 over four years – one year remaining

£173,000 over five years – two years remaining

£1,100,000 over ten years – nine years remaining.

The amount which Turner Schools has received in advances from ESFA appears to be rising.  This raises the question why Turner Schools was allowed to establish a free school in Folkestone in competition with Folkestone Academy, also run by Turner Schools.  The establishment of the free school caused a ‘sharp fall in intake’ at Folkestone Academy, Kent Independent Education Advice reported last January.

The impact assessment for Turner Free School has yet to be published.  Delays in publishing these are unacceptable.

The accounts also show two of Turner Schools’ four academies are in deficit: Morehall Primary (£105k) and Turner Free School (£58k).

For more news about Turner Schools, whose CEO Jo Saxton used to be CEO of Future Academies, the academy trust set up by former schools minister Lord Nash, see here, here and here for LSN stories and Kent Independent Education Advice for more detailed information.

EXTRA: The Department for Education turned down my initial request for details of loans to academy trusts in financial year 2018/19.  I will resubmit the request now that academy trust accounts have been published (or should have been) and the information, therefore, should be already in the public domain (or should be unless academy trusts hide these advances under a general heading).

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