Department For Education: Managing The Expansion Of The Academies Programme
HC 787, Forty-first Report of Session 2012-13 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Department For Education: Managing The Expansion Of The Academies Programme (HC 787)' examines how the Department for Education is accountable for the financial freedoms of Academies, which fall outside local authority control.
By September 2012 the number of open Academies had increased tenfold, from 203 to 2,309. Academies are the Department's chosen vehicle for school reform, but increasing schools' autonomy and removing them from local authority control gives the Department responsibility for ensuring value for money.
The Department has incurred significant costs from the complex and inefficient system it has used for funding the Academies Programme, and its oversight of academies has had to play catch-up with the rapid growth in academy numbers. In the two years from April 2010 to March 2012, the Department spent £8.3 billion on Academies; £1 billion of this was an additional cost to the Department not originally budgeted for this purpose, some of which was not recovered from local authorities.
The Department must improve the efficiency of its funding mechanisms and stop the growth in other costs. Furthermore, the Department has yet to establish effective school-level financial accountability for academies operating within chains.
What will determine whether the Department ultimately achieves value for money is academies' impact on educational performance relative to the investment from the taxpayer.
If the Department is to be held properly to account for its spending on academies, it must insist that every Academy Trust provides it with data showing school-level expenditure, including per-pupil costs, and with a level of detail comparable to that available for maintained schools.
|Format||Paperback||Published||23 Apr 2013|
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