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Academies: Finance

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many academies opened (a) before and (b) after September 2005 have exceeded budgets for (i) new buildings and (ii) start up costs; (160374)

(2) what percentage of academies opened since September 2005 have exceeded budgets for (a) new buildings and (b) start up costs;

(3) what the average amount is by which academies opened since September 2005 have exceeded original budgets for (a) new buildings and (b) start up costs.

There are now 83 academies open. Up to and including September 2005, 27 academies were opened, with the remaining 56 academies opening between September 2006 and September 2007 (inclusive). Of the 27 academies which opened up to and including September 2005, 16 (59 per cent.) have exceeded their budgets for new buildings. Of the 56 academies opening between September 2006 and September 2007 (inclusive), 13 (23 per cent.) have exceeded their budgets for new buildings. For those academies opened between September 2006 and September 2007 (inclusive) that have exceeded their original budgets for new buildings, the average overspend is £3,850,5361.

Academies are allocated fixed budgets to cover start up costs, which they are free to apply as they see fit. There are two types of start up grant. The first is intended to cover expenditure to acquire a basic stock of books and equipment. All academies are paid this grant by a formula which is based mainly on pupil numbers.

The second is paid to meet costs arising in the first years of an academy and comprises two elements, one of which is allocated by formula and the other, for which academies must bid, to cover exceptional transitional costs.

1 The number and percentage of academy building projects exceeding their agreed budgets for buildings, and the average overspend is subject to change, as not all open academy building projects have been completed.