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News - 23 November 2012

National Audit Office report on the cost of Academy Schools

In May 2010 there were 203 academies, which are publicly funded independent state schools directly accountable to the DfE and outside local authority control. The programme was started by the Labour government as a way to transform struggling schools.

After the election the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announced plans to allow all schools in England to convert to academy status. By September 2012 some 2,309 schools had converted, representing a growth of 1,037%, and 48% of secondary pupils were attending academies.

This massive increase in schools converting to academy status has meant a £1bn in extra costs, which the Department for Education (DfE) met the expense from its overall budget.

According to the report, the department had budgeted £7.3bn to set up and run academies in the two years from April 2010 to March 2012. The government said it made "no apology for spending money on a programme that is proven to drive up standards".

Peter Ham Chief Auditor and Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS comments:
“The £1bn includes £350m paid to local authorities for temporary continued funding of places at non-academy schools, effectively double funding places while academies were being set up.”

If you need any help and advice with Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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