Education and Academies Sector

Our dedicated and experienced Education and Charities department is led by Dan Aldworth and specialises in dealing with independent schools, academies, local authority schools and charities. Our professional service is both proactive and personal. We are a member firm of the UK200Group of accountants, and are members of their Specialist Charity Group, and the UK200 Academies Forum.

We have been involved in the education sector for over 20 years, and since 2011 we have provided valued support and advice to the academy sector throughout Essex. We currently act for a wide range of clients, including small rural primary schools, large secondary schools and faith schools - and work with both single schools and academies and multi-academy trusts.  We also work with  preparatory and senior public schools, and local authority schools.

We provide a wide range of relevant business and accountancy services to the sector including:



Support on conversion from School to Academy or to a Multi-Academy Trust

Advice on selection of accounting package, including decision on system, design of accounting structure, implementation and training.  Advising on the implementation and operation of cloud accounting software.  Review of existing financial processes, updating and creation of academy finance manual.

Due diligence services for multi-academy trusts.

Internal assurance servicess

As support to the internal audit function or performance of the role on behalf of the academy.

Financial Services Package

A full finance services package is available to academies.

Accounts preparation

Statutory accounts preparation that ensures Companies Act, Charities Act and Academies Accounts Direction compliance.


Year end statutory audit and preparation and audit of accounts returns.  Grant audits for NCTL as part of teaching schools and other third parties.

Ongoing Services

Completion of ESFA returns including budget forecasts, Teachers Pension Audits and advice linking to the Academies Financial Handbook.  Assistance with March Accounts Returns.  Advising on budgeting and cash flow management.

Company secretarial services

Dealing with all secretarial compliance matters.


Advice on decision to register, partial exemption issues and ongoing compliance. Reviews/health checks or advice on specific projects.


Guidance on trading within an academy or atrading subsidiary and using Gift Aid. Advice on development of commercial activities and related corporation tax issues.


Independent schools

Interim Reviews

Reviews of accounting systems and management reports to provide additional assistance to governors.

Support for bursars and finance staff

Training for all levels of staff.

Debt Collection and Management Advice

Advising on managing outstanding fees.

Fee Payment Advice

Advising on fee collection methods, including assistance for parents in meeting fees.

Public Benefit Reporting Assisting with reporting in this particularly high profile area


Providing Governors with the information they need to understand their role and responsibilities.

Risk Management

Assisting Governors in identifying major risks and appropriate steps to mitigate these, to enable an appropriate statement in the Trustee’s report.


Advising on tax efficient fundraising, Gift Aid and indirect taxation. Advising regarding tax aspects of charitable trading.

Auditing and Accountancy

Annual Audits and assistance with compliance with the Charities Act and accounting standards, to allow production of best practice accounts without difficulty.


Local Authority Schools

Internal Control Evaluation

Performing ICE reviews.

Audit and Assurance

Annual audits of both public and private funds.

Accounting Systems

Assistance with operation of systems and compliance with reporting requirements.


We would be pleased to tell you more about how our services could assist you. Please contact  Michael Graves or Dan Aldworth.