Education: Academies (Financial Management)

On Monday 19 January Graeme asking Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education, the following questions:

Graeme Morrice MP

What recent representations she has received on the financial management of academies; and if she will make a statement.

Nicky Morgan MP

The financial accountability system for academies is more rigorous than for maintained schools, and my Department has recently received audited financial statements from academy trusts for the period to 31 August 2014. Within financial statements, trusts must set out how they have managed their finances throughout the year. Financial statements are subject to independent scrutiny by auditors. My staff are reviewing financial statements to determine whether there are any issues that we need to investigate.

Graeme Morrice MP

Happy birthday, Mr Speaker. I hope you have many in the Chair.

I thank the Secretary of State for her answer, but will she commit to including financial information in the performance data relating to academies—a commitment that her predecessor failed to honour—so that we can make accurate comparisons with all schools?

Nicky Morgan MP

The financial statements are both audited and published, and of course academies, as companies, are also subject to Companies House reporting, as well as to working with the Education Funding Agency. It is therefore clear that academies’ financial statements are already open for scrutiny, and the Department takes a close interest in the figures that are published.