Hundreds of academy chains benefit from DfE’s £30 million growth funding

As many as 350 academy chains benefitted from large cash lump sums from the Department of Education (DfE) last year, and have since enjoyed significant expansion and growth.

Earlier this week, the DfE revealed the recipients of its flagship £30 million growth fund distributed across academies in the 2016/17 financial year.

The funds, which were disseminated accordingly in order to “improve standards in underperforming schools” and help existing “successful trusts grow,” have given way to a number of success stories, a report in Schools Week reveals.

For example, London based primary school trust The Elliot Foundation managed to take on five new schools in 2016/17 as a result of receiving £84,000 in funding.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Oxford academy trust absorbed eight new schools last year after receiving a substantially smaller sum of £50,000.

Interestingly, the trusts which received smaller windfalls managed to expand on a greater scale than those that received larger lump sums.

Of the five trusts that received the most funding last year, only two managed to succeed in acquiring new schools.

This is despite the fact that some trusts in the ‘top five’ received attractive lump sums of up to £360,000.

Overall, 350 of the 850 multi-academy trusts (MATs) currently operating in England were awarded funds last year.