The Department for Education (DfE) has published the academy sector annual reports and accounts for 2016/17.
The accounts show that 125 trusts were paying at least one member of staff more than £150,000, which is 4% of academy trusts in the sector. The DfE has since taken steps to ensure that robust pay policies and procedures are in place and future accounts will reveal whether this has had any impact.
The accounts also show details of the numbers of academy trusts in cumulative deficit at the end of August 2017, which was 185, as well as the number and value of related party transactions conducted in that year: 2,399 totalling £134 million. The DfE has announced new rules which come into force from April 2019, requiring trusts to declare all related party transactions and to seek approval for all those over £20,000.
The report covers educational performance, giving figures for pupil attainment in different types of school. However, as the DfE acknowledge, it is not straightforward to make comparisons as sponsored academies are typically previously underperforming schools while converter academies are typically previously high performing schools.
As such, at key stage 2 pupils in maintained schools and converter academies made progress slightly above the national average while those in sponsored academies made less progress, apart form in writing. At key stage 4, converter academies had the highest average Progress 8 scores, followed by maintained schools and then sponsored academies.
The DfE has also published more information about headteacher boards, which advise regional schools commissioners about their decisions. The National Governance Association said it welcomed this effort at transparency but maintained its concerns about the governance expertise on the boards and the consistency between different regions.