Academy bursars do not need accountancy qualification

Released 16/07/2010

Gove responds to SBM qualification enquiries

Concerns that school business managers would be required to have an accountancy qualification to become the bursar of an academy have been quelled by Education Secretary Michael Gove who says there was never such rule in the first place.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) wrote to Gove in June requesting the rule be removed which stipulated that business managers in academies must have an accountancy qualification.

In his letter, general secretary John Dunford wrote: "Effective business management is the key rather than any particular title or qualification for an individual business manager."

In a letter responding to the concerns, Gove gave his assurance that there is no regulation and no such impediment to business managers working in academies.

"The Academies Finance Handbook currently recommends that finance directors of academies are qualified accountants because of the additional demands compared with maintained schools, in terms of preparation of accounts," Gove wrote. "However, there is no actual rule that there must be."

Gove said it was "perfectly possible" for the bursar of the previous school, "if suitable in other ways", to become the academy finance director. "An effective member of the senior management team is much more important than technical knowledge of charity and company accounts," he said. Gove also pointed out that such technical expertise could be bought in if necessary.


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