To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish details of the financial turnaround plan agreed between his Department, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), including (a) how much public money provided by the ESFA has been earmarked to fund AET staff redundancy costs, (b) whether interest is being charged on any grants or loans to AET, (c) the loan repayment schedule for any such grants or loans, (d) financial savings AET is forecast to make while the plan is implemented and (e) whether the plan includes arrangements for outsourcing any AET staff.
Where trusts face financial difficulty, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) may provide additional funding to protect the education of children. Interest is not charged on the revenue funding provided to trusts by the ESFA for these purposes.
The ESFA has agreed to provide up to £16.1 million in recoverable and non-recoverable deficit funding to support the turnaround plan of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), covering 2017-18 to 2020-21. AET is the largest academy trust in the country, responsible for over 60 academies. To date, we have provided £4.5 million, of which £3.06 million has been earmarked for restructuring costs, which will include redundancy payments. A repayment schedule for the recoverable funding has been agreed with AET and is due to commence in the 2019-20 academic year, subject to their ability to pay.
The ESFA is continuing to work with AET as it reviews the scope for financial efficiency; these plans are still under development. The Department is not aware of any plans for outsourcing AET staff.