Leading Norfolk academy trust in talks with Education Funding Agency over its financial future

The academy leader with the highest salary was Dick Palmer, chief executive of the Transforming Educ

The academy leader with the highest salary was Dick Palmer, chief executive of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) Group, which includes City College Norwich, as well as a number of academies. - Credit: Archant 2013

One of Norfolk's leading academy trusts is in talks with a government funding body about its financial future over the next decade, its accounts have revealed.

Norfolk Academies runs Fakenham Academy, Attleborough Academy, and Wayland Academy and Wayland Junior Academy in Watton, and is a part of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) Group, which also includes City College Norwich and City Academy Norwich.

Its 2014-15 accounts said: 'Indications for immediate future years suggest the falling roll in our academies, alongside funding changes and other negative impacts to our cost base (eg increases to pension costs) will have significant financial repercussions for the multi-academy trust as a whole, and these will require continued tight financial management and monitoring procedures.

'The trust has started communications with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) regarding projected financial scenarios over an eight-to-10 years period and these discussions will continue.'

Dick Palmer, Ten Group chief executive, said: 'Our discussions with the EFA, which are ongoing, have been productive and constructive. Whilst there will undoubtedly be further tough decisions ahead, we are absolutely confident that we are able to ensure the long-term financial viability of Norfolk Academies.'

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Its 2014-15 accounts also revealed that it was only able to balance its budget for 2015-16 by dipping into its reserves, despite a sweeping redundancy programme the previous year.

It said the need to use reserves was primarily due to 'temporary reductions in student roll in Fakenham and Attleborough Academies'.

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Separate accounts for the Ten Group said that poor results at City Academy had, for a second year, forced the Ten Group to put on hold plans to expand, but it hoped to take on more primary schools once the problems at City Academy had been resolved.

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