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Oak Trees Multi-academy Trust: Finance

Question for Department for Education

UIN 235269, tabled on 21 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to reports that Egremont Primary School in Wallasey will be making 18 members of staff redundant, what assessment he has made of the financial stability of the Oak Trees Multi Academy Trust in Wirral.

Answered on

26 March 2019

The department is building a supportive schools’ culture in which Regional Schools Commissioners work with multi academy trusts to drive school improvement. As part of this, the department will offer schools the support they need, in line with the ‘Schools Causing Concern’ guidance.

The department does not currently have concerns about the financial position of the Oak Trees Multi Academy Trust as evidenced in the trust’s annual accounts return.

Academy trusts are expected to manage their resources and financial position effectively. Their status as companies, charities and public sector bodies, means they have a more rigorous tri‑partite framework and are held up to greater scrutiny. There is a clear framework of accountability for academy trusts regulated by the Education & Skills Funding Agency through trusts’ funding agreements and the Academies Financial Handbook. This can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-financial-handbook.

There is effective oversight and compliance based on proportionate risk assessment and robust intervention when concerns arise. In addition, all academy trusts must have an annual external audit of their annual accounts by a registered statutory auditor. This external scrutiny provides the department with a high level of confidence that oversight is professional and consistent.

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