Financial transparency of LA maintained schools and academy trusts

ASCL response to the Government consultation on financial transparency of LA maintained schools and academy trusts. 
Key points
We support transparent and robust accountability. However, the demands of the processes and measures involved must be proportionate to the level of risk involved.

The vast majority of schools, both academy and maintained, are extremely well run and observe high standards of financial probity. ASCL continues to be concerned about the increasingly onerous level of bureaucratic oversight to which academy schools are subjected. We are concerned that some of the proposals in this consultation threaten to subject schools in the maintained sector to a similarly disproportionate approach.

It is difficult to see how additional regulatory burden is not going to result in already scarce resources being diverted away from the classroom, either directly at school level or indirectly at LA level. We welcome DfE’s acknowledgement of the risk of additional burden and their commitment to assessing benefits against burden (see Paragraph 2.4 of the consultation document). 

Maintained schools are already subject to local authority controls and monitoring. It is our view that these should normally be regarded as sufficient unless there is clear evidence to the contrary. 

Full response to consultation