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Local authorities to have more time to calculate academy surpluses?

3 October 2013

The DfE have released a consultation paper on its rules around the transfer of school surpluses to academies on conversion to academy status. The consultation on the changes lasts for 6 weeks with the new laws being pencilled in to come into effect on 1 January 2014.

Whilst the changes to the Academy Conversions (Transfer of School Surpluses) Regulations are minimal, the new measures proposed include a plan to extend the time a local authority (LA) has to determine the surplus from three to four months. The rights for an academy to appeal the determination have also been restricted.

Such changes could potentially prolong the adverse effect on converted academies’ cashflow as, whilst academies can apply for help, LAs are not compelled to allow academies access to such funds until the accounts are finalised. It is therefore surprising to see that no measures are planned to compel LAs to assist by releasing cash early if academies encounter financial difficulties as a result of the Regulations.

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