Why quality assurance gets top marks
Academies have a unique role in education. They are publicly funded but do not have follow the National Curriculum and they can set their own term times. They are still subject to Ofsted. And although they receive their funding directly from the government, rather than local authorities, they are still accountable for their spending through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to Parliament.
For an academy trust to be successful, and deliver the results it wants for its pupils, it must have strong and sustainable finances. This is important whether there is one school, or several schools that make up a multi academy trust (MAT). Effective financial control systems should be in place to ensure proper governance, and the responsibility to deliver on this will usually fall on a dedicated audit committee, which is a requirement for academy trusts with annual income over £50 million.
Other trusts which fall below the threshold can either establish an audit committee or include the functions of an audit committee within another committee. There are a number of options open to MATs to obtain the required independent assurance, including over data quality, which include:
From my experience, the work needs to be creative, proportionate and ensure value for money is achieved due to the public funding, and this is where internal auditors can add value. Additionally, there are eight key risk areas for academies that internal audit will need to be alive to when independent assurance is carried out:
Failure to ensure proper oversight by the audit committee over these eight areas may lead to a regulatory issue and a qualification on the regulatory opinion provide by the external auditor. By getting their financial governance right and ensuring that they have a strong system of internal controls which are regularly reviewed by internal audit, academies will enable teachers to focus on what they do best.
Completely agree with the above information - you can literally put this in practice in every school or business and see positive results