Public Accounts Committee

Department for Education Accounts inquiry

Inquiry status: open

The Public Accounts Committee examines Department for Education Accounts on Thursday 12 October 2017.

Scope of the inquiry

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services, education, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. Its work is supported by 17 agencies and public bodies, and in 2016–17 it spent a total of £76.1 billion, mostly on grants to schools and colleges.
In its 2016–17 annual report and accounts, the Department identifies financial failure in schools as significant risk. It intends to combat this with a national funding formula for schools that aims to allocate money to schools more transparently. Additionally, in July 2017 the Secretary of State announced that schools would receive an extra £1.3billion of revenue funding from 2018 to 2020. It is not yet clear where in the Department’s budget this money will come from.
Other risks identified in the Department’s accounts include concerns about the number of teachers, failure of local authority children’s services, and availability of early years places as a result of the free childcare entitlement increasing to 30 hours per week. The recent withdrawal of funding from Learndirect creates uncertainty around a number of apprenticeship schemes.
The Public Accounts Committee will ask officials from the Department for Education about how they are working to improve financial reporting, as well as how they are managing complex immediate risks to the sustainability of schools and colleges. The Committee will also ask how the Department is responding to other key risks such as the impact on higher education of leaving the European Union.


Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the inquiry on Department for Education Accounts.

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