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Academies and financial accounts

(10 Posts)
Reincarnatedpig Sat 15-Feb-14 11:19:47

One of my children attends a converter academy. I would like to see the accounts as there are many rumours of financial extravagance. Does anybody know what I should ask for - I am particularly interested in seeing what would be the "profit and loss" account in company accounts for example. Do I have any right to see the full accounts under FOI?

(Not Tiffin Girls btw)

reddidi Sat 15-Feb-14 12:10:07

Academies are registered charities and their accounts are contained within an Annual Report and Accounts which must be published for each year ending 31 August within ten months of that date and are then available on the Charity Commission web site. Schools will often make them available on their web sites.

But that the accounts when published may be quite out of date, and only contain information at a summary level so if you have a specific concern e.g. "how much does the school spend on flowers in reception" you can ask that under the Freedom of Information Act.

supadupapupascupa Sat 15-Feb-14 12:12:12

could you not apply to be a part of the governors? if you are interested in that much detail it would suggest you might have skills that could be useful?

prh47bridge Sat 15-Feb-14 12:16:32

I'm afraid Reddidi's answer is wrong. Academies are charities but they are not registered so you won't find their accounts on the Charity Commission website. They are, however, companies so you will find their accounts on the Companies House website but there is a small fee to pay if you want to see them.

Yes, you can ask for the accounts as an FoI request. I would ask to see the annual report and accounts as submitted to Companies House.

Reincarnatedpig Sat 15-Feb-14 12:17:38

Ha! No, they don't want the likes if me. They even closed down the PTA. They seem to be wasting an extraordinary amount of money and I also want to know how much they are making out of uniform sales etc.

Redidi - thank you for your information.

Reincarnatedpig Sat 15-Feb-14 12:21:00

Thanks PHR47bridge. I have access to the companies house website but I imagine the accounts would be in abbreviated form. It became an academy last September so the accounts are also not due for a while. I will consider FOI.

prh47bridge Sat 15-Feb-14 12:53:27

If the accounts filed at Companies House are abbreviated it may be that is all you will get. However, I would be very surprised if they are abbreviated. They can only use abbreviated accounts if at least two of the following are true:

- turnover less than £6.5M
- balance sheet less than £3.26M
- less than 50 employees

They would have to be a very small secondary school to qualify.

However, if they only became an academy 5 months ago they won't have filed accounts yet.

reddidi Sat 15-Feb-14 16:13:58

"I'm afraid Reddidi's answer is wrong. Academies are charities but they are not registered so you won't find their accounts on the Charity Commission website."

Ooo, thanks for that - I didn't realise this had changed (some time ago blush). I suppose it makes sense that DfE is responsible for all aspects of regulating academies including as charities.

I was about to say it is a shame that the information which would otherwise be freely available on the Charity Commission website is therefore harder to get but I see that the DfE has added the latest accounts to its [http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/index.html online schools information] so there is no need to pay the £1 to CH unless you really want to smile.

reddidi Sat 15-Feb-14 16:20:39

I'll try that last paragraph again...

I was about to say it is a shame that the information which would otherwise be freely available on the Charity Commission website is therefore harder to get but I see that the DfE has added the latest accounts to its online schools information so there is no need to pay the £1 to CH unless you really want to smile.

reddidi Sat 15-Feb-14 16:26:33

"I also want to know how much they are making out of uniform sales etc."

You won't get this information from information that is required to be included in published accounts so don't bother waiting: you need a FoI request. Beware though that they will only tell you what profit (if any) the school is making from uniform sales, not what profit the uniform provider is making. You can also ask who the uniform provider is and how they were selected.

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