Academies Benchmark Report 2020 – released

Published by Peter Manser on 30 January 2020

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We are delighted to announce the release of Kreston UK’s 2020 Academies Benchmark Report. To request your complimentary copy of the report, please click here.

The Academies Benchmark Report 2020 is based on those Academies that prepared financial statements for the period ended 31 August 2019 and which were audited by member firms of Kreston UK.

This year the report includes over 360 Trusts representing nearly 1500 schools, an increase of 50% on the 2019 report.

Key highlights from the Academies Benchmark Report include:

  • Nearly half of all multi-academy trusts (44%) have at least one school in their group that is struggling financially.
  • Regionally, variations continue to persist with funding per pupil in a MAT on average around £1,500 higher in a school in the East Midlands (£7,552) than the North East (£6,008).
  • Problem schools – MATs supporting a school that’s struggling financially are 23% worse off, and the schools within these MATs are 60% worse off than those in groups without a problem school.
  • Staff costs have remained steady at 72% of total costs.
  • MATs continue to grow, with 38% expecting growth of more than one school over the next 12 months.

Kreston Reeves is one of the leading members of the Kreston UK Academies Group which is a network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in the UK that share a common interest and specialisation in the academies and education sector.

Peter Manser, Head of Academies and Education at Kreston Reeves comments;

“Financial health is a key indicator of the future viability of any organisation.  The Kreston annual Benchmarking report has repeatedly highlighted the importance of recognising early indicators of financial issues and taking appropriate action swiftly.  The results of our 2020 Benchmarking continues to reinforce the importance of good financial hygiene. Our Benchmarking Report is a key tool to assist all interested parties to understand in context how their Academy Trust is performing financially.

Kreston Reeves’ group of Academy specialists are passionate about the sector and thrive on helping to make a difference and we are convinced the 2020 Benchmarking report will enhance the debate.”

Phil Reynolds, a specialist in Academies and Education at Kreston Reeves, added;

“The transfer market of schools continues to bring challenges to all. It is clear from this year’s results that even MATs which have been run well do tend to struggle when a “problem school” joins. This only emphasises the need for detailed and concise due diligence to be undertaken by acquiring Trusts. Whilst it is important that “problem schools” find the perfect home from an educational perspective, our results show that the financial perspective cannot be underestimated either. Financial uncertainty continues for the sector and budgeting for “unknowns” is near impossible with a lack of guaranteed known funding rates and staffing costs – this only emphasises the need for acquiring MATs to not take risks which could ultimately bring the entire Trust’s financial position into question.”

For your copy of the 2020 Academies Benchmark Report please click here.

A webinar will be made available in the coming days with an overview of the 2020 benchmark report.

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 us.

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