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News - 17 September 2014

Loopholes in Academy regulations.

A report carried out for the Education Select Committee said "questionable practices" were being signed off, and that financial checks and balances are too weak.
 

However, the report stressed that cases of deliberate fraud were rare.
 

The research - carried out by the University of London's Institute of Education - found that while regulation had improved since 2010, problems were still occurring, including potential conflicts of interest.
 

They quote examples of this including an academy head teacher who had spent £50,000 on a one-day training course run by a friend, and of the chairman of a multi-academy trust, who was also a lawyer specialising in education, who used his company to provide all legal services for the trust.
 

The chairman of the committee, Graham Stuart said that most academies were "working hard in challenging conditions to raise standards", and that "greed, nepotism, and self-serving behaviour of a few" should not bring "the academies movement in general into disrepute".
 

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments: “The study backed the findings of a Commons Public Accounts Committee report in April 2013, which suggested introducing a "fit and proper persons test" at individual academy and academy trust level.”
 

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "As the report recognises, the vast majority of academy trusts are focused on raising standards of education - often in our most challenging areas.
 

If you need any help and advice with Academy or Free Schools, 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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Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals

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