As specialists in the education sector we act for the many different types of academies – MAT, SAT, free schools and UTC’s.

We are fully conversant with Companies Act, Charities Acts and ESFA regulations relating to academies and have a detailed understanding of the impacts and requirements to meet them.

This expertise has been accumulated by working with academies for over 16 years. Originally this was for sponsored academies (under the Labour administration), then working with originally ‘outstanding’ and then ‘good’ schools as they converted to academy trusts. We also work with UTC’s which gives us a breadth of experience of the sector.

Our academy team is led by three partners, who have years of experience dealing with Academies and Trusts of all sizes.

Kreston Network.

We are part of the Kreston network and Chris Beaumont is co-author of the Kreston UK Academies Benchmark Report

This year the report includes data from over 2300 schools and indicates that:

Whilst the financial year started with significant additional costs, including pay increases and the energy crisis, additional funding meant that fewer schools reported an in year deficit.

The report indicated that financial health varies widely from Trust to Trust. Trusts dealt with and continue to face challenges around economic political and societal factors facing the sector.

Overall growth in MAT’s slowed down as trusts addressed financial challenges, both internally and externally.

Academy specialists, Kevin Shotton and Chris Beaumont have produced an overview of the report, which you can view below. 

As part of the Kreston academies group we can access a wealth of data and expertise to support our clients.


What is your greatest challenge currently?

Whatever your academy challenges are, we have the knowledge and experience to be able to offer you the support and guidance needed to meet your objectives.

The new Academies Financial Handbook has made a number of changes to strengthen internal scrutiny within the sector.

From September 2020, your school’s external auditor will no longer be able to undertake internal audit activities as well. Designed to provide a clear separation of responsibilities, the new legislation should help to minimise possible threats to audit objectivity and independence, helping to improve overall audit assurance.


External audit & Internal audit.

We can provide external audit services which are more financially based or internal audit services which focus on your day-to-day operations and where our expertise and experience can really benefit your organisation.

Whilst these now need to be conducted by different organisations, ideally these organisations should have a working relationship to ensure their work is coordinated and resources are used efficiently.


How can we help your financial governance?

The frameworks around financial governance in the Academy sector are complex.  The Academies Financial Handbook (AFH) is central to financial governance but there are significant other company and charity regulations to consider.

We are experts in all aspects of financial governance and our experience has taught us that every trust is different and requires individual support. A risk register should be in place which we can review with you and help design programmes that address the higher risk areas.



We build long term relationships with our academies to allow us to act as a trusted, third party adviser, offering guidance to the Trustees and senior leadership team.

We offer training in the form of meetings, events, webinars and regular newsletter and updates.

We attend Board meetings when more complex issues are discussed to provide technical support as required.

We can also offer bespoke training, if required.



We regularly send emails to our clients providing updates on changes we become aware of from:

  • ESFA – either their regular bulletins or from attendance at meetings they organise
  • Schools North East
  • Kreston Network
  • DfE
  • RSC


We have observed the demands placed on academies grow more onerous over the years. We are here to help our clients navigate these complex regulations.

What do our clients have to say about us? See our Education testimonials here!

Our team specialises in two main areas of education. Please select your area of interest:

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