Financial accounts reveal how much academy chains charge the schools they sponsor

PUBLISHED: 10:11 07 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 February 2015

Ian Cleland, chief executive of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Cleland, chief executive of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Most academy groups provide services to their schools, such a finance, legal and school improvement, usually funded by ‘top slicing’ part of each school’s government grant.

Multi-academy trusts have to state in their accounts how much they charge the schools they sponsor. The following figures are those stated in the 2013-14 financial accounts. Some are figures for schools that joined the trust part-way through the year, so do not reflect a full 12-month charge.

Academy Transformation Trust

In 2013-14, this national chain with academies in the region charged £150,000 to secondary schools, and £40,000 to primary schools, but is reviewing this.

Its accounts said is it “looking to adopt a policy that links with the reserve strategy and allows the trust to allocate funds on a priority basis. The trustees believe that this will maximise the performance of the trust”.

Diamond Academy: £40,000

The Nicholas Hamond Academy: £150,000

Admirals Academy: £45,000

Iceni Academy: £162,000

Norwich Road Academy: £50,000

Cliff Park Schools Trust

The trust is made up of Cliff Park infant and junior schools. Its accounts say the general annual grant for each academy is pooled, and the trust “therefore charges each academy for these services effectively at cost”.

CWA Academy Trust

This trust, which is sponsored by the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn, did not provide any central services in 2013-14.

Its accounts said some financial services, human resources support, educational support services will be provided centrally on 2014-15, and “it is likely that this range of services will extend during the year”.

Diocese of Norwich Multi-Academy Trust

The Norwich diocese charges £75 per pupil for ‘good’ and better schools, £95 for schools with a ‘requires improvement’ rating, and £110 for those in special measures.

It had initially charged 2.5pc for good and outstanding schools, and 5pc for schools judged to require improvement or in special measures.

Moorlands Primary Academy: £42,049

Ditchingham Primary Academy: £5,517

Flitcham Primary Academy: £725

The Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust

Ely charges a flat percentage of their month’s government grant funding, with the percentage varying “depending on the level of assistance thought to be required for the following year”.

Duchy of Lancaster, Methwold: £4,114

Weeting: £12,823

St Martin at Shouldham: £2,112

The Norman, Northwold: £2,982

Evolution Trust

This trust sponsors Costessey Infant and Junior Schools, and since 2013-14 Filby Primary joined it.

Its accounts said: “No central services were provided by the trust to its academies during the year and no central charges arose.”

Inspiration Trust

Inspiration charges 4pc, but its accounts said this is then varied depending on the amount of input they need, the quality of their infrastructure, and ability to pay.

Great Yarmouth Primary Academy: £77,021

Norwich Primary Academy: £83,678

Cromer Academy: £50,000

Hethersett Academy: £114,000

Jane Austen College: £12,000

Lynn Grove Academies Trust

The trust sponsors Woodlands Primary Academy, and charged a flat percentage of income at 3pc, compared to 3.5pc the year before.

Woodlands Primary Academy: £32,309

North Norfolk Academies Trust

This trust is based at Sheringham High School, and Stalham High School joined after the financial year 2013-14.

The accounts said: “No other academies joined the multi-academy trust until the year end, hence no central services were provided by the academy trust to its academies during the period and no central charges arose.”

Ormiston Academies Trust

This national chain with a number of schools in our region charges its schools a “partnership fee” for services that include school improvement, governance, human resources, marketing, finance and information technology.

For each of the last three years it charged a flat rate of £140,000 per high school, but new schools are now charged a flat fee of £60,000 per high school and £25,000 per primary, plus a variable charge of up to 3.5pc depending on their Ofsted ranking and needs.

Ormiston Denes Academy: £140,000

Ormiston Herman Academy: £43,000

Ormiston Venture Academy: £140,000

Cliff Park Ormiston Academy: £147,000

Ormiston Victory Academy: £140,000

Right for Success

This academy trust is based at Eaton Hall School, and sponsors Stalham Academy and Cavell Primary Academy in Norwich.

Its accounts said: “No central services were provided by the academy to its academies during the year and no central charges arose.”

Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group

The TEN Group includes City College Norwich, City Academy Norwich and the Norfolk University Technical College.

It sponsors Wayland Academy, Fakenham Academy, Attleborough Academy and Wayland Junior Academy through Norfolk Academies.

The accounts for Norfolk Academies said: “No central services were provided by the trust to its academies during the period and no central charges arose.”

West Norfolk Academies Trust

This trust is sponsored by Springwood High, and its schools in 2013-14 were St Clement’s High and Snettisham Primary.

Two further primary schools will join the trust in this financial year: West Lynn Primary and Clenchwarton Primary.

The accounts said: “No central services were provided by the academy trust to its academies during the year and no central charges arose.”


  • I wonder if something similar to the Academiy conversion process for schools could be seen as a model for the privatisation of the NHS .... I mean who would have believed 10 years ago that so many of our schools would be outside the control of the local authority in 2015?

    Report this comment

    LR Series 2A

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

  • and they think that local authorities retain too much money. Academies = scandals

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 7, 2015

  • 3 posts from 2 Davids, each as boring as each other. Surely if you're going to troll then at least use slightly different names.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 7, 2015

  • Actually the worrying things is 'does anyone really care?'. We have the edp reporting but locally the results will still be that Norfolk is 'blue'. Education is pants, Nhs ditto, welfare..... Let's not go there, and the rich get richer. Yet those that vote seem to tick the little box that sends a privelidged private educated never done days work in their life Tory fly in to represent us. Is there any hope?

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 7, 2015

  • I've been saying for at least the last 12 months that the academy system has been subverted by David Cameron's Conservative-led Govt to create a get-rich-quick scheme for Tory donors. Nice that the EDP has finally taken notice. Of course what this article does not delve into is the vast amounts squandered by each Trust on procuring 'services' from other business that are either owned by sponsors directly, or by their family members or cronies. This explains why David Cameron is happy for academies to receive funding per pupil that is disproportionately in excess of the pittance given to LEA-run schools. On the surface it appears like favouritism to ensure the success of academisation of schools as a flagship Tory policy, but this is merely a front. In truth, as recent exam results, Ofsted inspections, and insider tip-off scandals are revealing, the real reason for all the extra cash is to fund donations to the Conservative Party from the public purse via corrupt academy sponsors, many of whom are 6 or 7 figure donors to the Tories and who don't give a stuff about educating children in the state sector.

    Report this comment

    David CameronisaIiar

    Saturday, February 7, 2015

  • Well is this, or is this not, clear evidence that these chains make a reasonable bucket of money from education. Fail to provide a decent standard and the money then just gets passed to another 'sponsor' with its nose in the trough. This latest headline, following the report on pay of academy heads etc., surely is enough to make people realise education isn't safe with these Tory toffs.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 7, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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