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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.

Click here to find out more about how we can help your Further and Higher Education institution.

Get in touch with our experts

If you want to discuss a specific issue, ask us for a quote, or simply find out what we have to offer, please complete the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Alternatively, please email us at webenquiries@mhllp.co.uk

 

Meet the team

Photo of Sally Burford

Sally Burford

Audit and Accounts Manager

Sally is a Chartered Certified Accountant with over 18 years’ experience in accounting and auditing, having worked at MHA MacIntyre Hudson Leicester office for 15 years after joining in 2005.

She is experienced dealing with Not for Profit audits, including those of Academies and Multi Academy Trusts, subsidiaries of overseas parent companies and owner manager businesses in a wide variety of sectors.

Get in touch with Sally Burford
Photo of Bianca Silva

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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Helen Blundell

Director

Helen joined MHA MacIntyre Hudson in July 2015 following the merger with Birmingham based MHA Bloomer Heaven.  She has more than twenty years experience in the Not for Profit sector, including charities, academies, schools and other not for profit bodies and holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting as well as a post graduate certificate in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. 

Helen works across our Birmingham and Leicester offices and acts as engagement principal on audit and independent examination assignments as well as advising on special assignments across a range of issues.  Helen is also involved in delivering training on a regular basis for clients and staff but also for bodies such as Charity Finance Group serving the not for profit sector.

Helen has extensive experience in advising charities across a range of issues and served as a trustee of Birmingham Cathedral for more than six years. She has had experience of auditing grants made to aid agencies on behalf of the European Commission and has held an appointment as an Interim Manager appointed by the Charity Commission. She is passionate about delivering advisory support to the sector to help them fulfil their charitable objectives. 

Get in touch with Helen Blundell
Photo of Sudhir Singh

Sudhir Singh

Head of Not for Profit, Partner

Sudhir is National Head of Not for Profit and an audit Partner based in MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s London City Office. He is a highly experienced Not for Profit specialist who has worked in the sector for 30 years. Prior to joining MHA MacIntyre Hudson, he was either the national sector head or a specialist Partner in three other top 20 accountancy practices.

He is a recognised expert in Not for Profit accounting, finance, governance, law and regulation, has served on several working parties, and is regularly asked to speak or write on these topics, He has strong links to sector bodies, regulators and other sector professionals.

His experience includes charities, independent schools, academies, free schools, further and higher education establishments, executive non departmental public bodies and other Not for Profit entities. He has particularly focused on advising complex and high-profile organisations, working with larger Not for Profits, having acted for over 25 top 250 registered charities, and using his extensive knowledge to provide practical solutions.

In June 2020, he was appointed onto the Council for the Royal College of Art and is a member of their Audit and Risk Committee. His personal sector commitment in a voluntary capacity extends over 30 years and has included being a member of the finance committee of a cathedral, Honorary Treasurer of ACEVO, Vice-Chairman of Governors at an independent school, and other trustee roles.

Get in touch with Sudhir Singh

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