DfE challenged to improve academy accounts transparency

Neil Carmichael, chair of the Education Select Committee, has challenged the Department for Education (DfE) to improve the financial management of academies.

A letter, written by Carmichael, was sent to Jonathan Slater, the Department's Permanent Secretary and Accounting Officer, and follows the Educations Committee’s evidence session that took place on 25 October.

It advises that MPs on the Education Committee ‘remain to be convinced’ that revised arrangements will provide an ’adequate level of transparency and accountability’ and says that the DfE ‘must do more to demonstrate its commitment to accountability of around £18 billion pounds’ worth of public money.’

It outlines a number ways to improve accountability, advising that the the DfE should consider applying the same level of disclosure to academy trustees as applied to members of the Civil Service.

Carmichael stresses that ‘the publicly-funded nature of academies means that transparency over the the renumeration of trustees is essential for public confidence’ and suggests that greater details should be provided of cases where individual trustees receive over £150,000.

He also notifies Slater that a further public session will likely take place in the new year to ’take stock of the Department’s progress’.

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