11th Annual Kreston Academies Benchmark Report

February 10, 2023

Sector: Charities, Not-For-Profit and Education

The Kreston Academies Benchmark Report shows escalating anxieties among academy trusts regarding the future of their financial health. Although there are considerable surpluses in the sector, per-student income has increased by a mere 1% against inflation rates of over 10%, higher energy costs, and teacher pay increases. Consequently, 88% of trusts anticipate future decreases in surpluses and reserves.

Kreston Academies Benchmark highlights include:

The sector’s financial surpluses are lower than in the previous record-breaking year. However, a substantial number of single academy trusts (SATs) in the primary sector (47%) reported deficits for 2021/22, indicating that larger trusts have tremendous fiscal success.

This is the first time primary SATs have seen average in-year deficits in four years. This is due to a few primary SATs with huge deficits caused by capital and maintenance expenditures that pulled down the overall average.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported a 30% rise in capital spending compared to 2022. This is due to a predicted drop of at least 12% in primary and nursery school attendees in the next 6 years, resulting in a 7.4% decrease in MAT revenue reserves per pupil from £802 to £743. Despite this, larger trusts with more than 7,500 pupils still achieve surpluses similar to 2021. 70% of MATs expect growth by 2023/24, with 5% expecting growth of 7+ schools for both 2023 and 2024.

There was a noticeable decrease in grant funding for academies that moved trust in 2021/22, with only 23% receiving it compared to 63% back in 2014/15. The total level of funding was £1.73m, significantly lower than the £3.16m seen last year.

If you are interested in the Kreston Academies Benchmark Report, have a UK-based academy trust, and would like accounting advice and support, please get in touch with one of our members here.

Download the Academies Benchmark Report 2023 – UK