Delayed publication of funding warning letters suggests inconsistency at ESFA

Janet Downs's picture
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Five letters warning academy trusts that their funding may be stopped following inadequate judgements were published yesterday. I reported on three of them: AET, Buckler’s Mead and Collective Vision.  Two further letters* were released later: a pre-termination warning notice to The David Ross Education Trust re Wold Academy in Hull and a termination letter to Advance Trust re Newbridge Short Stay Secondary.

Four of the five were issued in October or November last year.  One to Buckler’s Mead was issued on 8 January.  

On 2 December, Khalsa Academies Trust was sent a ‘minded to terminate’ letter re Khalsa Secondary Academy.  It was released almost immediately.

The speed with which the Buckler’s Mead and Khalsa letters were released and the delay affecting the others suggests inconsistency at the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), the part of the Department for Education which oversees academies.  It could be, of course, that Regional Schools Commissioners don’t send copies to ESFA as speedily as they should.

Whatever the reason, it raises the question whether there are any more such letters in the pipeline.  RSCs and ESFA need to apply a consistent policy regarding the publication of financial warning letters.

*See Schools Week

 CORRECTION 25 January 13.04.  Headline changed from 'Delayed publication of financial warning letters...' to 'Delayed publication of funding warning letters'.  This was to avoid confusion between these letters and financial notices to improve.

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