Also known as the Academies Financial Handbook
Academy trusts must comply with this handbook as a condition of their funding agreement. It provides an overarching framework for implementation of effective financial management and other controls, consistent with your obligations as publicly funded bodies. Other resources are available to help you get the right systems in place. In addition, managing your resources will support best value and promotes public accountability.
To provide feedback about the handbook or to contact ESFA for guidance please complete an enquiry form.
Foreword by Baroness Barran
Foreword by Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System.
Who should read this handbook
Find out if this handbook applies to you.
What has changed in this edition?
The changes to this edition are:
Part 1: Roles and responsibilities
The duties of key people responsible for running academy trusts.
Part 2: Main financial requirements
The financial management requirements for academy trusts.
Part 3: Internal scrutiny
The need for academy trusts to conduct checks to ensure systems are effective and compliant.
Part 4: Annual accounts and external audit
How academy trusts must report on their finances to give assurance to Parliament and the public about the use of resources.
Part 5: Delegated authorities
The financial freedoms and limits applying to academy trusts.
Part 6: The regulator and intervention
How ESFA oversees academy trusts and may intervene where concerns arise.
Part 7: Definitions
Help with terms used in this handbook.
Part 8: Schedule of requirements (the 'musts')
The requirements in the handbook brought together into one list: the 'musts'.
Part 9: Further reading
Links to more information and guidance.
The Academy trust handbook has been produced jointly by ESFA and the following working group of academy sector representatives:
Academy Trust Handbook 2022 to print
Governance professionals (clerks to the board of trustees) may wish to print a pdf version of the Academy Trust Handbook 2022 for their induction pack for new trustees.
Academies Trust Handbook 2021
A pdf copy of the 2021 edition of the handbook.