£1.6m discrepancy re Goodwin Academy debt is not resolved, FoI confirms

Janet Downs's picture
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There is a discrepancy of £1.6m between what the Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) says it must repay the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) following its takeover of Goodwin Academy and what SchoolsCompany Trust says TSAT has agreed to accept.

I submitted a Freedom of Information request to discover how much liability TSAT had accepted.  

I have now received a belated reply.  This shows ESFA has not yet made up its mind.   Here is the response in full:   

‘£2.6m debt attributed to Goodwin Academy was transferred to Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) when the academy transferred on 1 September 2018. The cash liability for TSAT is £1m as per note 19 in the trust’s 2018/19 accounts.’

‘Whether further funds are available to be repaid has yet to be established, so we do not know yet how much, if any, of SchoolCompany Trust’s outstanding debt we may need to consider for write off. When this is clarified it will of course be detailed in future trust accounts return.’

We will have to wait, then, until after December 2020 to read TSAT’s accounts and discover how much more TSAT has agreed to pay or whether ESFA decides to write off the £1.6m.  This would be in addition to the £3m which ESFA has already written off. 

SchoolsCompany Trust accounts for year ending 31 August 2019 have not been submitted to ESFA by the deadline of 30 December 2019.  A formal investigation into the trust was already ongoing in November 2018 but has not yet been finished.

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