NAO on DfE Financial Statements

21 December 2016

Commenting on a report published by the National Audit Office on the Department for Education’s group financial statements, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary at the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The fact that this warning comes as no surprise speaks to the underlying problems that continue to plague the Government’s chaotically implemented academy programme. The Coalition and the Conservative Governments have done nothing to increase financial accountability in the schools sector; in fact they have done precisely the opposite.

“Ironically, the Government claims to have devolved responsibility for education, but the fact is it has created a centralised and bureaucratic system which means it now has direct control over funding for thousands of academy trusts. Yet it has simply failed to develop the systems required for effective financial oversight.

“Even the Government’s proposed solution to the accounting conundrum that it has created (the Sector Annual Report and Accounts known as SARA) is given short shrift in this highly critical report.

“Funding and accountability delivered through the democratically accountable local authority system provides better checks and balances, is more transparent and more effective.”

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