Trust that runs three Huntingdonshire schools says it is ‘financially sound’ despite announcing delay in publishing accounts

The Astrea Trust manages Longsands, Ernulf and St Ivo schools.

The Astrea Trust manages Longsands, Ernulf and St Ivo schools. - Credit: Archant

The educational trust, which manages Ernulf, Longsands and St Ivo academies, has announced it will delay publishing its accounts as it is “not content” with the level of clarity in the latest audited accounts.

All academy trusts are expected to publish their accounts online by January 31, but the Astrea Trust has said it will bring in specialists to delve deeper into the accounts.

A spokesman for the trust said: “To be clear, it is the Astrea board that has raised question marks over the audit process, including, relating to the accounts of the academies that the trust took on last year. This is why we have requested that our auditors take a closer look as we were not content with the level of detail and clarity provided in the audit to date. Astrea continues to be financially sound and operates sustainably.”

Longsands and Ernulf academies announced that they would be joining the trust in March last year after the Education and Skills Funding Agency served the schools with a financial notice to improve.

St Neots Learning Partnership, which managed Longsands and Ernulf academies, were ordered to investigate financial concerns over 10-year grant advances to private companies which were allegedly made in breach of funding regulations.

A DfE spokesperson said: “Longsands Academy and Ernulf Academy transferred to the Astrea Academy Trust in September 2018. The Education Skills and Funding Agency continues to work with the St Neots Learning Partnership to address all the concerns raised in the financial notice to improve.”

Astrea also took on St Ivo School last year, and is expected to be running the school fully by March this year.

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Astera is a multi academy trust which was set up as part of the DfE northern education fund initiative. The trust runs primary, secondary and post-16 provision with a specific focus on an ‘all through’ aspirational education.

There are now 25 academies in the trust.