Academies: Disclosure of Information

Department for Education written question – answered on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of whistleblowing policies throughout academy trusts.

Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to help ensure staff working for academy trusts can raise concerns about schools' governance.

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

​The department requires a high level of accountability and transparency of academy trusts. Academy trust accountability is founded on a clear framework communicated and regulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), through trusts’ funding agreement and the Academies Financial Handbook.

The Academies Financial Handbook requires that all academy trusts have appropriate whistleblowing procedures in place. Academy trusts must also ensure that all concerns raised with them by whistleblowers are responded to properly and fairly. Whistleblowers can also report allegations of fraud or financial irregularity to the ESFA. The ESFA has published guidance about how to report such allegations, the actions the ESFA will take when it receives an allegation and the rights of whistleblowers.

The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-esfa-handles-allegations-of-suspected-fraud-or-financial-irregularity/how-esfa-handles-allegations-of-suspected-fraud-or-financial-irregularity.

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