Information about financial support for academy trusts with financial concerns.


Financial support for academy trusts in financial difficulty



The majority of academy trusts work hard to manage their finances effectively, with 94% of trusts reporting cumulative surpluses in 2017/18; but for the minority of trusts in financial difficulty, we are providing more information about financial support from the ESFA.

This information explains ESFA’s established procedure for considering financial support for academy trusts when they are experiencing financial difficulty. The information aims to give greater clarity about:

  • the categories ESFA has for the use of financial support
  • the circumstances in which ESFA may provide financial support and its repayment terms
  • the criteria against which ESFA assesses academy trusts requesting financial support
  • the conditions ESFA may make on academy trusts to ensure financial support is managed effectively

ESFA works closely with the regional schools commissioners to find the most appropriate way forward for the trust and its pupils. In all our decisions, we ensure our joint strategy:

  • serves the best interests of the pupils, and protects high quality education
  • delivers best value for the taxpayer
  • shares risk with the trust appropriately
  • has evidence for every pound required
  • challenges the trust to build and sustain effective leadership and governance

Where there is a risk to public funds, ESFA will intervene in a way that is proportionate to the risk and preserves the effective education of children. This can include issuing a financial notice to improve (FNtI) or, in the most serious cases, termination of the funding agreement once all pupils are under the leadership of an alternative, effective trust.

Further information

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

ESFA enquiries

Contact form

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Please put “financial support” at the top of your enquiry.

Published 5 November 2019