Whitley Stimpson, attracted over 30 representatives from schools and Academies across the UK to attend the launch of the Academies Brunch Club (ABC), a free event held at Banbury Cricket Club on 27 March 2014.
Established to provide schools and Academies with an open platform to discuss issues relating to the process of becoming an Academy and as the Academy develops, Whitley Stimpson has set-up ABC to offer further support at a time when the government is calling for tighter regulations and financial accountability.
Martin Wyatt, head of Education Services at Whitley Stimpson, said: “We are delighted that our first ABC has proved so popular which even saw people travel from as far as Bexhill-on-Sea to attend. It clearly demonstrates there’s a need for schools and Academies to seek advice from experts in the sector as well as their peers, but above all, ABC is about providing an open forum in a supportive environment to ensure the running of a successful Academy for the benefit of the children.”
Whitley Stimpson’s first ABC event treated attendees to an informative and interactive presentation from guest speaker, Jennifer Jewitt, Finance Director of South Hunsley School, who covered a number of issues facing Academies including management information reporting best practices, dealing with Ofsted inspections from a financial perspective and how to work with and what to report to Governors.
“I think Whitley Stimpson has started a fantastic initiative to help people in schools and Academies to learn how to operate as a business in addition to being accountable to governors and a host of government regulations,” comments Jennifer Jewitt. “There were so many questions today, it is clear there is a need for greater support for Academies and fortunately Whitley Stimpson’s dedicated Education Services team is filling a much needed void.”
The launch of ABC follows significant growth of Whitley Stimpson’s Education Services team, which is now helping and advising over 40 Academies and schools, both through the conversion process and providing ongoing advice and support to School Business Managers, Governors and staff.
All members of the team are fully trained on the financial, governance and reporting requirements for Academies, including those set out in the Academies Financial Handbook and related guidance issued by the Education Funding Agency.
The next ABC event, aimed at School Business Managers, Finance Directors, Bursars and Finance Governors, is free to attend and will take place on a date to be confirmed.