Academies Accounts Direction 2022 to 2023 

April 2023

The 2022 to 2023 Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) was published on 26 April. Whilst there are no new requirements introduced in the 2022-23 version, note that the government are using it as a strategy in relation to the concerns raised about the poor condition and safety of some education buildings.

The requirement to keep estates well-maintained and safe is set out in funding agreements, conditions of grant, the Academy Trust Handbook, the Independent School Standards, and the law more generally. The ESFA advised that the changes do not place any new requirements on trusts, however they do confirm existing requirements. ESFA do not require reporting accountants to perform any additional procedures in respect of the academy trust’s estates safety and management and this is explained in the Auditor Framework and Guide. 

Within the AAD and model accounts the ESFA has:
  • clarified that the trustees’ report on principal risks and uncertainties should consider those risks impacting on trustees’ responsibilities to ensure the trust’s estate is safe, well maintained and complies with relevant regulations (paragraph 2.14)
  • clarified that the review of value for money statement encompasses estates safety and management (paragraph 2.40) 
  • suggested that accounting officers should consider demonstrating how they have effectively used relevant funding to ensure the trust’s estate is safe, well-maintained, and complies with relevant regulations, as one of their value for money examples (paragraph 2.42) 
  • clarified that the statement on regularity, propriety and compliance encompasses estates safety and management (paragraph 2.60)
The ESFA ask that academy trusts and auditors complete a short survey*, which will help to ensure that the AAD continues to meet your needs.

*Please note: ASCL does not share your information with any third party. Information that you enter once you click on the survey link will not be owned or controlled by ASCL. Please refer to ESFA for their data processing policies.

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