Education Funding Agency under fire over misspent schools cash

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) needs to get “to grips with effective oversight to improve public confidence in the system,” the Public Accounts Committee warned in a report.


By Winnie.Agbonlahor

27 Jun 2014

The report, published earlier this month, criticises the EFA’s process for monitoring free schools’ and academies’ spending, accuses the agency of relying “on whistle-blowers and the work of external auditors of academies,” and says the EFA is slow to intervene when problems surface. It also calls for the introduction of a “fit and proper persons test” for academy chief executives.

Speaking in an interview with CSW held before the report’s publication, EFA chief executive Peter Lauener (pictured) noted that its system of monitoring schools is more “reactive” than he’d like, and explained that the agency is developing a computer analytics tool to identify risks earlier. The EFA’s use of whistle-blowers, he insisted, is an example of good practice.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We do not agree with the PAC’s interpretation. The EFA is in fact faster at intervening in failing schools than many local authorities. Of course we are constantly trying to improve the EFA’s performance and we will consider the PAC’s recommendations in that light.”

See also: Our full interview with Lauener



Education Finance Policy
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