Auditors are increasingly raising the alarm about academy trusts at risk of running out of money, with chains raiding reserves and eyeing expansion to pay off deficits. A Schools Week analysis of annual accounts has revealed a prevailing picture of “unviable trusts”. The Rodillian Trust, which sponsors three schools in West Yorkshire, used more than £350,000 of its reserves to pay off a budget deficit last year. Recently released accounts for 2015-16 show auditors flagged a “material uncertainty” about its future viability. A similar judgment was issued to the Dominic Barberi Multi-Academy Company, which runs seven schools in Oxfordshire. Accounts show it already had received a £600,000 funding advance from the government, and said “continued support” was “fundamental to the company’s viability”. These figures are disturbing The government’s academies report for 2014-15, published last year, also revealed that the number of “emphasis of matter” opinions by auditors, highlighting financial concerns, rose nearly three-fold to 92 cases. A major benchmarking report by Kreston Reeves Group auditors, published last week, also found four in ten trusts posted a budget deficit last year. Robert Hill, an education consultant and former government policy adviser (pictured right), said: “These figures are disturbing, but it points…http://schoolsweek.co.uk/rise-of-the-unviable-trusts/
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