Accountancy warning for Church academies

12 December 2014

iSTOCK

A LEADING education lawyer this week warned Church of England and other academies to ensure that academy accountants did not include their trust-owned sites as financial assets in the annual accounts.

Howard Dellar, head of the education department at Lee Bolton Monier-Williams, legal advisers to the National Society, said that schools and academies occupying trust land did so simply because the trustees allowed them to do so on a day-by-day basis: "Schools and academies cannot use trustee land as security for loans, or as a means of seeming to balance their accounts, or to avoid trading while technically insolvent."

Trustees should formally challenge any accounts that purported to include the value of the site as an asset of the academy, Mr Dellar warned. "This . . . prevents anyone claiming they have allowed their site to be treated as someone else's asset. As this is the season when accounts are presented to annual general meetings, trustees need to be alert."

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