Education in the UK is evolving at a fast pace and the short term outlook is challenging regardless of the stage of provision.
Schools and academies are facing regulatory challenges and have a limited safety net over funding. Sixth forms and Further Education colleges are under Area Reviews and have been hit by funding cuts; the attitude of lenders has shifted and there are massive strategic challenges. Universities and alternative providers are contending with market changes (competition, Student Number Control (for APs), international, funding tensions between WP and research), as well as a White Paper and HE&R Bill which will work through this Parliament (TEF, OfS and further competition with ‘new universities’ forming).
Demographics add an interesting twist with the number of rising 18 year olds dipping by 8% through to 2020 but growth anticipated lower down in both Primary and Secondary, putting pressure in different parts of the system. Recruitment into HEIs is challenging and differentiated with recent UCAS statistics showing a 5% overall decline in full-time undergraduate applications, nursing applicants down by 23% and the number of EU applicants by 7%. All before BREXIT really impacts.
Whether in the public or private sector, we have a dedicated team of experts operating across the UK who are able to support providers in the challenging environments in which they operate.
Our services to the education sector range from audit to divestment, strategic advice at Board level through to negotiating public/private partnerships. Our cyber security team is market leading and our consultancy team has a proven track record of advising on strategic estates strategies / transformational property management (from new student accommodation projects, through to the development of new learning / teaching spaces with links to commercial development).
Our clients include a diverse range of universities, alternative providers, colleges, schools, academies and training providers, as well as government agencies and NDPBs. Our work crosses both public and private sectors and runs from nursery to post graduate.
We work closely with the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency, the Skills Funding Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. We also work with a number of key sector bodies, including the British Universities Finance Directors Group and the Association of Colleges.
We provide a wide range of advisory services ranging from strategic reviews, green energy (and tax), outsourced finance functions, mergers and acquisitions, bank financing (and re-financing) to university title applications. Our core services in education include:
- Assurance frameworks
- Business case development
- Business services support (accountancy and payroll)
- Cyber security
- Data audit
- Debt advisory
- Due diligence
- e-Business solutions
- Employee taxes
- External audit
- Financial modelling
- Financial viability reviews
- Forensic investigations
- Governance reviews
- Information technology strategy, appraisal and testing
- Internal audit and risk advisory
- Procurement advisory
- Tax planning, compliance, group restructuring and international tax.
We also provide training and knowledge sharing to Board members and finance teams, ranging from technical accounting to governance, and risk management to focused commercial topics.