Increasing the internal scrutiny of academy trusts

13 November 2019

Information paper produced jointly with Cooper Parry.

The Academies Financial Handbook for 2019 (‘AFH 2019’) came into force on 1 September 2019. Each
year, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (‘ESFA’) update the handbook to ensure effective financial
management within the academy sector.

The latest edition has significantly strengthened the requirement for independent assurance to be sought by
trustees to ensure that financial controls and risk management procedures are operating effectively within their
academy trust. This assurance has now become known as “internal scrutiny” and it applies to all academy

This guidance highlights the process and steps that academy trusts and boards should take to ensure effective
and stringent financial controls and risk management procedures are in place in their organisations. Whilst
the new AFH appears to add more regularity burden to an already stretched sector, if employed correctly, the
scrutiny undertaken can add significant value to trusts and provide real assurance to trustees that key risks are
being mitigated effectively.

Download the paper in full. 

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