Academies Conference 2021

Designed for firms who advise academy clients, do not miss your opportunity to hear the latest position for the sector at our one-day conference.  Our conferences will cover up-to-date accounting and financial reporting regimes, as well as regulatory responsibilities, putting you in the best position to help meet your clients’ challenges, and add value to your client relationships.

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Full conference agenda

Adrian Shardlow, Browne Jacobson LLP

Adrian will give a review of developments in the academies sector including recent practical experiences of acting for and advising growing trusts.

Stephen Morales, Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)

In this session, Stephen will cover embedding the principles of integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP), school resource management tools, benchmarking and self-evaluation.

Martin Cichocki, ESFA

This session from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will give an update on information needed from academy trusts in 2021 and discuss other hot topics including outcomes from the 2020 audit season and other relevant ESFA publications and activities.

David Smith

In this session, David will provide commentary and guidance on current issues in the world of academy trust financial reporting, audit and regularity reporting.

Simon Oxenham, Southend High School For Boys

Building on from last year Simon will update delegates on:

  • The challenges of this academic year
  • Any relevant funding updates from the DfE
  • The financial impact of COVID-19 on schools last year and this year
  • Thoughts on budgets and forecast implications

Jon Sparkes, Bishop Fleming

Jon will look at current tax issues affecting the academies sector including case study examples.

Craig Alexander or Tom Hoare, Hymans Robertson LLP

This session will cover current pension topics affecting academies, what this means to conversations you have with your clients, and what to look out for from an accounting perspective.


Conference speakers

Adrian is a Partner at Browne Jacobson. He specialises in all areas of education law including advisory work, public law, admissions, special needs and setting up academies under the Academies Act 2010. Adrian has been involved in many academy conversions involving all types of schools and 6th form colleges. He has particular expertise in dealing with sponsors and multi-academy trusts and is involved with many mergers, expansions and transfers between MATs.

Stephen has a 20-year career history in operations and finance, working at a senior level in the public and private sectors, both in the UK and abroad.

Stephen presided over the development and implementation of nationally recognised school business leadership professional standards and led the transition from the National Association of School Business Management to the Institute of School Business Leadership.

Stephen works closely with the Department for Education in areas of policy reform, and his commitment to research to aid our self-improving system includes ongoing engagement with international jurisdictions including Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US.

Martin joined the Education and Skills Funding Agency in January 2020 and is responsible for the drafting of the Academies Accounts Direction. Having started his career in a “Big 4” firm Martin has several years of experience working in both audit and financial accounting roles in the public sector, with his previous role being as Senior Financial Accountant in the Valuation Office Agency.

David spent 10 years at Mercia where he lectured, performed quality review and consultation services, developed their academies specialist assignment manual and training resources and acted as Director of Assurance and Accounting Content between 2018 and 2020. In September 2020 David became Audit Quality and Technical Director at Azets and an independent lecturer.

David plays an active role with committees and working groups at ICAEW and ESFA and is a member of the ICAEW’s Technical and Practical Auditing Committee and the ESFA’s working group responsible for development of the Academies Accounts Direction.

Simon is the Director of Resources for Southend High School for Boys in Essex and the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) national lead on school finance. As a qualified accountant and project manager, he spent a number of years working in the charity sector and a lot of his career working on finance system-related projects.

Simon also worked in one of the largest FE colleges in the country so has knowledge of both charity and education accounting. Simon is well known across the sector having delivered numerous training sessions and presentations with the Education Funding Authority (EFA), and, on behalf of NASBM. He is also a member of one of the EFA’s Financial Assurance working groups.

Jon is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser with more than 20 years experience. He spent 9 years with a ‘Big 4’ firm during which he was part of their Charities Network advising a range of national and international charities and not for-profit organisations including higher and further education institutions, private schools, charitable training providers and other charities.

He is now Bishop Fleming’s charity tax specialist working with their academy clients on tax issues such as non-primary purpose trading, setting up trading subsidiaries and Gift Aid.

Craig is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has been with Hymans Robertson’s public sector team since 2009, advising Local Government Pension Schemes and employers across the UK. He leads the public sector accounting team responsible for delivering IAS19 reports for local authorities and August FRS102 figures to academies. He has also worked closely with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to help improve the accounts returns process for academies and their auditors.

One Day Conference