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DfE to publish naughty list of academies that fail to file financial statements on time

New chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency outlines 'firmer stance' on non-compliance

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New chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency outlines 'firmer stance' on non-compliance

The Department for Education will publish a list of academy trusts that fail to submit financial returns on time.

In her first letter to all academy leaders since taking over as chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Eileen Milner said the organisation was “taking a firmer stance on non-compliance”.

Her letter, published today, says that 95 per cent of academy trusts had submitted their 2015-16 financial statements by the 31 December 2016 deadline.

She added: “However, in spite of the improved return rates, our data shows there are still a number of trusts who do not comply with return requirements.

“In the interest of fairness to those trusts who consistently submit returns on time, we are therefore now taking a firmer stance on non-compliance with the submission date set out.”

Academies' returns

The first list of academy trusts that were late, or did not submit, two or more of their annual financial returns will be published in September 2018, and every following September.

She said: “It is essential that we receive returns on time in order for the ESFA to maintain its assurance to Parliament through the Sector Annual Report and Accounts (SARA).

“Missing or late returns have a detrimental impact on the accuracy of reporting and also our ability to provide timely support to trusts with potential financial issues.”

In July, the annual accounts of the ESFA’s predecessor body, the Education Funding Agency, revealed that 719 academy trusts submitted their financial returns late – and, as of June 2017, eight sets of statements were still outstanding.

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