Official Statistics

Income and expenditure in academies in England: 2011 to 2012

Data from the benchmarking section of the academic year 2011 to 2012 accounts returns.


Main text: SFR 24/2013

Main tables: SFR 24/2013

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User guide: SFR 24/2013


We are publishing, for the second time, academies’ income and expenditure data. However, this is the first statistical first release (SFR) to cover data on the income and expenditure of academies in England. It has been produced in response to the Department for Education’s commitment to publish academy trusts’ financial data in a form that is comparable with the publication of local authority (LA) maintained schools data - consistent financial reporting (CFR).

Alongside this SFR, the academic year 2011 to 2012 data has also been published in Excel format, as was done last year, but now with improved benchmarking capability to make it possible for academies to benchmark themselves against each other. We are also publishing the raw data file so that people can carry out further analysis themselves. Topline attainment indicators from the 2012 performance tables have been included in these tables. They are: the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in both English and mathematics at key stage 2 and the percentage of pupils achieving 5+ A* to C GCSEs (or equivalent), including English and maths GCSEs.

The SFR presents information on the income and expenditure in academies in England, using data from the benchmarking section of the academic year 2011 to 2012 accounts returns, completed by each academy trust for the period ending 31 August 2012 (generally the academic year September 2011 to August 2012). Included in the publication, for the first time, will be information on the income and expenditure of the first free schools that opened in September 2011.

Throughout this release, we have used the term ‘academy’ to mean ‘academy trust’, which is defined to include the following entities:

  • sponsored academies
  • converter academies
  • free schools
  • university technical colleges
  • city technology colleges
  • special academies
  • studio schools

There has been considerable progress in aligning the benchmarking return (accounts return) dataset and the LA-maintained schools data - CFR - however, it remains that they are not directly comparable for a number of reasons including that academies receive additional funding to reflect their wider responsibilities and that the CFR relates to funding allocated and spent within a standard financial year - April to March. Academies, and the accounts return, work on a financial and academic year of September to August.

All schools and academies work to achieve the best outcomes for their pupils and must use their resources effectively to do this. By publishing academies’ spend data alongside attainment data and other contextual information, we want to help academies to see if they are delivering value for money and equip parents with the information they need to ask questions of schools. We want to encourage people - and the academies themselves - to look at their spending, including that spending compared to other academies, so that they can ask questions about spending decisions and identify areas where there is scope to improve value for money.

To make meaningful comparisons between academies, it is important to consider the percentage of children eligible for free school meals, the type of academy (including whether it is a primary or secondary academy) and whether it is in London or not. This is because all these factors will affect how much an academy spends.

This publication was updated in October 2013 to include data from academy trusts that did not provide the Education Funding Agency (EFA) with their benchmarking return (accounts return) in time for inclusion in the original publication.

The 4 files attached are: statistical first release, an Excel workbook which holds all of the academies’ income and expenditure data and the raw data, a user guide and a pre-release access list.

Academies financial benchmarking team

Published 16 July 2013
Last updated 29 October 2013 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include data from academy trusts that did not provide the EFA with their benchmarking return in time for inclusion in the original publication.
  2. First published.