Financial management review of academy chain reveals ‘significant failings’

Financial management review of academy chain reveals ‘significant failings’

An Education Standards Funding Agency review into academy chain The Enquire Learning Trust has found that four senior leaders were being paid “off payroll” through limited companies.

The ‘leadership services’ purchased from Enquire Ltd totalled nearly £1 million over five years, according to the review.

A formal financial management and governance review of the ELT central operations was undertaken between 13 and 17 March 2017 which identified a number of significant failings and weaknesses, including:

The trust not following AFH guidance regarding adequacy of accountability, oversight and challenge at the trust; the financial information presented to the board of trustees lacks detail and does not give the overall financial position of the trust, and; the financial control over purchasing by the central team, including the use of trust credit cards, is inadequate.

The trust currently has 27 primary academies across 3 regional hubs based in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West. Originally based in Durham, the trust central office relocated to Wakefield in September 2013.

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