The investigation into the collapsed academy trust, SchoolsCompany, is still not finished, Freedom of Information has confirmed.
In November 2018, a Department for Education spokesperson told Schools Week that ‘The Education and Skills Funding Agency has launched a formal investigation in the SchoolsCompany Trust, which is currently on going.’
In January 2020, well over a year later, I asked the DfE if the investigation was complete and when it would be published.
I received a reply a few days after receiving a letter telling me the ‘substantive reply will be delayed’. It said:
‘The ESFA investigation into the Trust’s financial management has not finished. We cannot speculate when this complex investigation will conclude and therefore when the report will be published. However, once completed we will publish the findings on gov.uk.’
If ESFA can’t complete and publish these investigations in a timely fashion, then this suggests ESFA staff are overstretched, particularly as the number of such investigations are rising. Or that ESFA is dragging its feet hoping that we will forget.
But we won’t.