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Academies Accounts Direction 2020: What’s changed? 

| Duncan & Toplis | 8 July 2020

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) released the Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) 2020 on 16 June.

This document sets out the requirements and provides guidance for academy trusts preparing their annual report and financial statements for accounting periods ending 31 August 2020. The document also provides guidance for academy trusts’ auditors.  

The most significant updates from the 2019 AAD relate to changes in the Charities SORP 2019, FRS 102 and changes to narrative reporting requirements, particularly for large companies (the definition of ‘large’ varies dependent on the disclosure requirement, as detailed in the Coketown Academy Trust example financial statements). The key updates are highlighted below. Please note this does not include all changes; for full details, refer to the 2020 AAD.   


1. New Statutory Elements of the Trustees’ Report  

Several additional disclosures are now required for ‘large’ charities and these are listed below:

  • Engagement with employees (including disabled persons, and required where the trust has more than 250 employees).  
  • Engagement with suppliers, customers and others in a business relationship with the trust (required for large companies under the Companies Act 2006 definition).  
  • Promoting the success of the company. This requires the report to describe how the requirements of section 172(1)(a) to (f) have been achieved (required for large companies under the Companies Act 2006 definition).

These changes reflect the changes made to the reporting requirements in ‘The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018’. 

2. Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)  

These reflect changes made in ‘The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018'. A requirement for large companies.   

A detailed disclosure regarding energy and carbon consumption is required where more than 40,000 kWh of energy is consumed in a reporting period. Where less than 40,000 kWh are consumed a trust qualifies as a low energy user and is exempt from the reporting requirements, however it must disclose this fact in the trustees’ report.  

Required disclosures include:  

  • UK energy use in kWh, as a minimum relating to gas, purchased electricity and transport fuel and associated greenhouse emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.   
  • An emissions intensity ratio chosen by the trust.   
  • Details of the methodologies used in calculating the disclosures.   
  • A narrative of measures taken to improve energy efficiency.   

Please see the AAD 3.1.25 and Coketown for full details.

The ESFA have produced a good practice guide on environmental reporting that can be found here.   

3. Legal costs should be separately identified in the financial statements, if not done so previously.   

4. The cash flow statement will now include an analysis of changes in net debt to reflect changes made to FRS 102.   

5. The narrative for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will be updated to reflect the latest actuarial valuation.   


If you wish to discuss this or have any queries or concerns, please get in touch with your usual Duncan & Toplis contact. Alternatively, contact our team here. 


Looking for advice and guidance on support for the impact of coronavirus for your academy? Take a look at our article Coronavirus and schools: Advice for academies


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