To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 128 of her Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14, HC 745, what the reasons are for the increase in the cost of other office services since the previous financial year.
The Department for Education reported £1,179 million for ‘other office expenditure’ in its 2013-14 accounts, an increase of £672.6 million compared to 2012-13. The expenditure disclosed relates exclusively to the Department’s academy trusts and is sourced from the academy trusts’ own accounts.
The increase arises for two reasons, the first being the growth in academy numbers since 2012-13 (an increase of 1082 academies since March 2013 to 3905 in March 2014).
Secondly, academy trust costs are reported slightly differently in the Department’s 2012-13 and 2013-14 accounts. This is not unusual; we have only consolidated accounts for two years and we are working at improving the transparency of expenditure. For example, some costs reported under the caption ‘other expenditure’ in 2012-13 have now been included under the heading ‘other office expenditure’ in 2013-14.