Haslers’ dedicated team specialises in working with individual academeies, Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), free schools and independent schools.

Our team offers expertise in all aspects of auditing, accounting, tax and business support in the education sector.  Our experience of acting for a number of schools, and our in-depth knowledge of the issues facing them, means we can provide specialist, cost-effective advice and services to meet the audit and accounting requirements for free schools and academies both through the start-up years and with on-going requirements and responsibilities following opening.

Independent Schools

Multi Academy Trusts (MATs)

Our Support To You

Why Choose Haslers?

  • High technical expertise in the Education & Not-for-profit sector.
  • We pride ourselves on building a strong relationship with your team but also ensuring compliance needs are met.
  • Management letter focused on best practice and ensuring compliance.
  • Concise audit findings summary provided to the Board each year at the end of the audit process.
  • Attendance at meetings to ensure full understanding of year-end financial statements.
  • We have a continuous internal training programme which enables us to build capacity within our team and take on new clients each year within the education and not-for-profit sector.

Your Education Experts

Our people are our greatest asset – we have a culture that attracts and retains the best people. Our reputation of technical excellence, knowledge and capability is the result of a wide range of qualifications and experience held by our staff.

Laura Ambrose Business Services Group and Operations Partner
Christina Georgiou Business Services Group Partner
Debra Dougal VAT Partner
Tom Rogers Partner Designate, Business Services Group
Matt Wells Partner, Business Services Group
Michael Watts Corporate Finance Partner

Additional Services

Latest News

Schools struggling with Government initiated Private Finance Initiative payments

Schools struggling with Government initiated Private Finance Initiative payments Many school leaders face significant increases in their private finance initiative (PFI) payments. Reports have emerged that certain head teachers in the West Midlands anticipate needing to allocate an additional £150,000 or more towards these payments, leading to significant challenges in maintaining educational quality and meeting […]

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MAT hubs can tackle schools suffering ‘educational isolation’

MAT hubs can tackle schools suffering ‘educational isolation’ Many schools face “educational isolation”. This is a challenge that extends beyond geographical remoteness to include professional, economic, and cultural isolation, resulting in a lack of much-needed resources. “Educational isolation” is a complex issue, and its impact resounds particularly in rural and coastal areas. Factors such as […]

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South East sees the largest increase in independent school pupil numbers

South East sees the largest increase in independent school pupil numbers Offering an alternative to state-funded schools, independent schools provide parents with greater choice and flexibility when considering their child’s educational pathway. This choice is becoming increasingly popular, as indicated by the rising numbers of pupils enrolled in Independent Schools Council (ISC) schools across the […]

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What makes a successful multi academy trust?

Improvement in value-added over time. Attainment of disadvantaged pupils compared to non-disadvantaged pupils and all pupils nationally. Whether any schools are rated inadequate. Whether they have a sustainable central function.

How does a multi academy trust work?

Multi-academy trusts (MATs) are groups of academies that have come together to form a charitable company, with a single group of ‘members’ (who have an overview of the governance arrangements) and a single board of trustees.

What is the optimum size for a multi academy trust?

Between 12 and 20 schools. Opinions differ over the optimum size of a MAT to take advantage of the benefits of scale, but recent comments from the DfE4 have suggested a ‘sweet spot’ of between 12 and 20 schools, or 5,000 to 10,000 pupils.

Can an academy leave a mat?

A school cannot decide to leave a MAT voluntarily, either to re-join the LA or join another MAT. But if the MAT trust collapses, walks away or is forced to give up the school by the Government, it will be transferred to a new trust, and parents and staff will have no say on which MAT this is.

Can a church school join a mat?

MAT without appropriate Church governance. The department, recognising the importance of the diocesan family of schools, will only approve an application for a church school to join an existing MAT without appropriate church governance (see footnote 1) where that application is supported by the DBE.

What happens when a school joins an academy?

An academy receives their funding directly from the government – rather than filtered through a local authority like a “traditional” state funded school. This means that an academy is directly accountable to the Department for Education. They are however, still inspected by Ofsted.

Who regulates multi academy trusts?

The board of trustees has responsibility for all of the academies operated by the MAT. The MAT board can also establish a ‘local governing body’ for each academy (or to oversee two or more academies).

What VAT rate applies to education?

That depends on whether you are an academy, Local Authority funded school, charity or commercial provider as the first three make outside the scope of VAT non business supplies whereas commercial providers of education make VAT exempt supplies.

What’s the difference to us between non business and exempt?

Generally making either non business or exempt supplies means you cannot register for VAT and cannot reclaim any VAT on your expenditure. However special rules apply to academies and LA funded schools which allow them to claim VAT on costs associated with their core supplies of education.

Can you help me prepare for Ofsted?

From a HR perspective we can support you to ensure your SCR is compliant and that your HR practices are in line with best practice.

Can Haslers support with staff conduct issues?

 Yes, we can advise accordingly.