Nearly £8m was awarded in grant funding (aka transfer fees) to academies which changed hands in financial year 2018/19, government data reveals.
Nearly £6m (£5,971,400) was paid out during the financial year 2018/19 to trusts taking over other academies in the financial year. Nearly £2m (£1,849,000) had already been awarded in the previous financial year (2017/18) for academies which didn’t transfer until financial year 2018/19.
Financial years and academic years don't coincide which can make it difficult to keep track of education spending*. Academies base their finances on academic years; the Department for Education uses financial years.
In addition, £570k was awarded in grant funding for academies which had transferred in financial years, 2016/17 and 2017/18. This suggests grant funding isn’t a one-off payment but can continue over time.
The total amount in grant funding for academies transferred since 2013/14 is £31,312,100.
*This has caused problems. In 2016, the National Audit Office expressed concerns about the different accounting year ends between academies and the DfE. The DfE now publishes a separate consolidated annual report and accounts for the academies sector. The last one, for academic year ending 31 August 2017, was published in November 2018. The next one, for academic year ending 31 August 2018, will presumably be published in November this year.