Department for Education written question – answered on 15th November 2018.

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Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department’s policy is on (a) the provision for schools of (a) financial and (b) other information on a multi-academy trust that they are due to join and (b) whether having been provided with that information those schools should have the opportunity to review their decision; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department makes a range of information publicly available for schools and other interested parties. Information on the finances of the multi-academy trust (MAT) they intend to join is available through the schools financial benchmarking tool, found here:

Information on the people involved in the governance of the trust is available, from either the trust’s own website, or the Get Information about Schools website here:

The department encourages Governing Bodies to consider this information before applying to become an academy.

In addition, where a school is applying for an academy order to become an academy and join a trust, the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) will consider the financial health of the school and the MAT the school is joining as part of a robust assessment of the ability of the MAT to run the school. The Governing Body of a maintained school can decide not to proceed with conversion before an academy funding agreement is entered into.

There are different arrangements when a school is directed to become an academy. In this situation, the RSC, with advice from their Headteacher Board, identifies an approved sponsor to run the school. The finances of the school, MAT and the MATs ability to run and improve the school are key elements that inform the decision. The sponsor is however under a duty to communicate their plans to improve the school to parents.

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