Academies and education

We understand the issues facing clients in the education sector. Our specialist team is dedicated to advising academies, schools and education sector clients.

Members of our specialist team include partners and staff who are governors and charity trustees in their own right. Their personal experience and professional expertise working with academies and educational institutions will help guide you through the regulations without fuss.

How we can help

Private and public education

With many educational establishments facing similar financial issues, our clients benefit from our experience in advising others. For example, one major expenditure borne by educational institutions is that of wages, salaries and, increasingly, pensions: an effective framework of financial systems and controls is vital in each of these areas.


As registered auditors we act as both internal and external auditors for independent schools and academies under the guidelines set by the Secretary of State, Department for Education and Education Funding Agency.

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The introduction of academy status provides the school management team with the opportunity to take greater control over finances. This additional responsibility requires support from qualified professionals.

Our experience working with schools converting to academy status supports and informs those considering making the change. Insights include specialist advice on fundraising, payroll, internal and external auditVAT and the tax issues typically facing academies.

Our experts are also experienced in Free Schools and the Free School application process. Simon Webber, Partner, is a founding member of Chichester Free School and served as the finance Governor for four years, having been part of the project team that secured their funding agreement. Simon therefore has first-hand experience of the many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome on the journey to opening a new school.

Helping throughout the academy conversion process

Currently applying

Uncertain about the regulations and the environment you are entering? Our team will be able to offer you personal and practical guidance.

Newly formed

Your new financial and governance obligations may prove unfamiliar to you. Whether it’s guiding people on their new responsibilities, advising on regulatory matters, or providing accounting, audit (both external and internal) and VAT advice, you can rely on our help to comply.

Well established

For good governance, you will be regularly reviewing your audit provision. Further change brings new challenges, and you may want advice to improve the effectiveness of your finance and back-office functions; potential or planned expansion; and developing or building properties.

Academies Benchmark Report 2020

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.

Key highlights from the 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.

To request your complimentary copy of the Report, click download in Related resources below.


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Related resources

Academies Benchmark Report 2020

PDF 28.53 MB Academies Benchmark Report 2020

The 2020 Academies Benchmark Report includes over 360 Trusts representing nearly 1500 schools...



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Important dates for academies – 2019/20

PDF 483k Important dates for academies – 2019/20



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