Academies Benchmark Report 2018 – released

Published by Peter Manser on 1 February 2018

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We are delighted to announce the release of Kreston UK’s seventh annual benchmarking report – Academies Benchmark Report 2018. The report is based on findings from over 750 academies .

The last 12 months has continued to see a significant change in the sector’s leadership. Following the general election and recent reshuffle we have yet another new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, a new Under Secretary of State for the School System in Lord Agnew, and new members joining the 8 headteacher boards. Any change in strategic direction will mean more uncertainty for all schools which hold the keys to the success of the future generation.

Our Academies Benchmark Report 2018 is based on those Academies that prepared financial statements for the period ended 31 August 2017 and which were audited by member firms of Kreston UK.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Centralised multi academy trusts (MATs) perform significantly better, typically generating surpluses. They are better able to negotiate MAT wide supplier contracts, have greater ability to generate additional income, and appear better at negotiating settlements from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and from local authorities
  • 55% of academies recorded a deficit in the last fiscal year
  • Trusts continue to struggle to generate additional income, in part because of a lack of investment in trusts’ estate facilities
  • As negotiations with ESFA and local authorities take on increased importance, trusts are seeking better qualified chief financial officers and with increased salary costs to match. The role of the CFO/Business Manager continues to evolve from pre-academy days
  • Trusts are having to offer teaching posts at more senior levels with greater Teaching and Learning Responsibilities to attract staff. This may leave trusts with a pool of staff that may well be over-qualified for the role and again with salaries to match

Kreston Reeves is one of the leading members of the Kreston UK Charities and Education Group which is a network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in the UK that share a common interest and specialisation in the charity and education sector. The Group advises over 1,500 charities across a wide variety of sectors, including over 600 schools, and numerous other education related organisations.

Peter Manser, Head of Academies and Education comments; “The Kreston UK Charities and Education group work very closely together to share experiences, knowledge, expertise and technical resources, to ensure clients benefit from a comprehensive range of Academy specialist advice, services and resources.

Our benchmarking report will assist anyone who wants to understand more about how their academy trust is performing. The group is passionate about the academy sector and hope that the contents of this year’s report help you to identify areas in which you can improve your academy trust”.

We are also able to offer a personalised Benchmarking service incorporating the results of your Academy, and if you would be interested in learning more please contact

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