Academy trusts’ growing debt brings total deficit to £65m

A growing number of academy trusts have fallen into debt – bringing their total deficit to £65m, government data shows.

Union leaders have warned the rise was another sign of the impact of government cuts to school funding.

The figures from the Department for Education show 6.1 per cent of academy chains had a cumulative deficit at the end of the academic year 2016-17, compared to 5.5 per cent in 2015-16.

The cumulative deficit of the 185 academy trusts was £65m, compared to £50m the year before.

The proportion of academies that are in trusts with a deficit stood at 4.3 per cent – a total of 300 academies, the report from the Department for Education (DfE) shows.

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