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Education

Our national education team has guided schools and institutes, advised national bodies, and input into the direction of the UK’s education sector for more than three decades. The team provides comprehensive support and solutions, plus acts as a sounding board, understanding future plans and identifying areas before they become an issue. 

We work across the education spectrum, including time spent with independent schools, academies, MATs (Multi-Academy Trusts), maintained schools, free schools, UTCs (University Technical Colleges) colleges, sixth form colleges and universities.

We are one of the largest providers of audit services to the sector, and team members have had significant technical input into legislative changes - for example, through helping to compile an early version of the Academies Accounts Direction, and through serving on the national charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Committee. We are also part of a working party regularly meeting with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFA).  

With this commitment and sector exposure, we draw upon our collective in-depth knowledge and experience to guide clients effectively.

Independent Schools

We can provide you with a full range of client-driven, specialist services specific to independent schools including:

  • Internal audit and external audit
  • Employment tax issues and the engagement of workers
  • VAT (including minimising VAT in development projects)
  • Due diligence and mergers
  • Corporation tax
  • Capital projects
  • Interim finance management and secondments
  • Governor training
  • Audit Committee training

Academies

We invest significant time and resources to ensure that our specialist expertise makes a tangible difference for our clients, and have been appointed as auditors and advisers to around 200 academy schools. We provide comprehensive support and solutions in areas such as:

  • What to keep in mind during the academy conversion process
  • Audit, accounting and reporting requirements
  • Setting-up systems and procedures for the new academy
  • Budgets, cash flow and financial plans
  • Internal audit, extended external audit and other assurance services
  • A VAT review and advice on the best method for academies to reclaim VAT
  • Employment tax issues and engagement of workers
  • Advice on the best structure for any commercial trading activities
  • Corporation tax and funding
  • Review and advice on the chart of accounts
  • Advice on year-end accounting and running the year-end procedure
  • Due diligence for potential mergers into a multi-academy trust
  • Trustee responsibilities and governance to comply with the Academies Financial Handbook

Further & Higher Education

Our specialist accounting, business advisory and tax services for the further education and higher education sector include:

  • Strategy and funding reviews
  • Capital project review and appraisal
  • Internal and external audit
  • Corporation tax & VAT compliance
  • Mergers & acquisitions advice
  • Assistance with OJEU
  • Interim management and secondments
  • Governor training
  • Audit Committee training

Our education sector team also regularly produces sector benchmarks based on our database, which, along with good practice comparatives, can help you measure your progress.
We host regular workshops and training sessions for finance staff and trustees, and also produce publications and insights highlighting important topical issues.

Get in touch with our Education sector group to find out more.

Key contact

Head of Education, Partner
Bianca Silva
+44 (0)1494 441226

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Meet the team

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Rebecca Hughes

Partner

Rebecca has a wide ranging portfolio of clients and enjoys advising on a variety of matters affecting businesses. 

She works with both foreign and UK owned companies, from start-up businesses to large groups. 

As well as working with commercial clients, she is a member of the Not for Profit team and works with many academies and other charitable organisations.

Outside of work, Rebecca spends most of her time with her young family.

Get in touch with Rebecca Hughes
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Bianca Silva

Head of Education, Partner

Bianca heads the firm’s Schools & Academies sector, leading a team of Partners due to her specialist knowledge and expertise developed over 30 years; initially supporting a number of schools in the 1990’s which became Grant Maintained, then moving on to support independent schools as well as schools converting to Academy status and today advising established and growing Multi Academy Trusts, often with complex structures and individual needs.  Her diverse portfolio includes many charities, schools, academies, religious organisations and voluntary groups as well as commercial and owner managed businesses.  

Bianca holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting, which acknowledges expertise and experience in charity accounting and finance at the highest level and is regularly referred to by Partners of the firm to provide guidance on the complex and regulated accounting requirements faced by the Not for Profit sector.

Bianca takes a personal interest in her clients' success and is proud to support the many dedicated individuals, organisations and professionals to achieve their goals. A member of the Churches Main Committee, she devotes much of her spare time to doing voluntary work.

Get in touch with Bianca Silva
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Cara Miller

Partner

Cara is a qualified accountant with over 20 years experience and a Gold Medal winner for the ACCA Examinations achieving the highest exam results in the world for the professional stage exams.

Cara has a corporate portfolio providing compliance services to a broad range of owner managed businesses and groups which span across many sectors including retail, construction and motor.

In addition to her corporate client portfolio, Cara specialises in working with the Not for Profit sector including local and national Charities, Independent Schools, Academies and community interest companies, supplying audit, assurance, governance and taxation advisory services to local and national organisations.

Audit is meant to be so much more than a number crunching exercise and Cara strives to ensure that the audit process is adding value through a risk-based approach with open communication and feedback.

Cara’s client base extends across East Anglia, where she has a strong reputation for providing excellent hands on service to local businesses and charities. She was crowned the East Anglian Daily Times - Young Business Person of the Year in 2013.

Get in touch with Cara Miller
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Rakesh Shaunak

Partner and Group Chairman

Rakesh is currently Group Chairman as well as Chairman of the City Office. Rakesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a top five firm, gaining experience of large corporate audits and qualifying as a Member of the Institute of Taxation. He devotes much of his time to business advisory work and has a large portfolio of commercial clients. He is also the Managing Partner of the firm's education unit acting for a substantial number of colleges, academies, free schools, and other schools and education bodies.

He acts for a number of Leisure and Hospitality providers and understands the challenges facing the sector. Rakesh is keen to follow the ever changing landscape of Leisure and Hospitality in order to anticipate the needs of his clients.

He believes that people accept inefficiency and complacency far too easily and everyone should be encouraged to test their boundaries.

Get in touch with Rakesh Shaunak

What they say about us

SilverLining UK very highly recommends MHA MacIntyre Hudson for all your company’s financial accounting needs.Our corporation has worked with MHA MacIntyre Hudson for the last 4 years. They are truly the best at what they do.They continually provide timely and excellent service and go ‘above and beyond' for their client. Their knowledge, communication skills and professional qualifications are of the highest quality and standards. SilverLining UK - Construction Sector

What they say about us

With MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s support, our business has been very successful since we started three years ago. Simon Burke - Dalbergia Group