The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has today published a discussion paper on Academies’ participation in the CRC. You can find the report here.
The paper addresses how academies might be dealt with under the CRC scheme in the future, laying out four possible options:
Option 1: Retain the status quo. This option notes that the Department for Education (DfE) is consulting on school funding reforms that might allow the cost of CRC allowances to be retained centrally before calculating budgets for both maintained schools and Academies.
Options 2 and 3: Propose the individual qualification and participation of schools (option 2 for all schools, option 3 for Academies only).
These options look very unlikely to happen as they would result in too great a loss of emissions from the Scheme, as very few schools or Academies would qualify for the CRC in their own right.
Option 4: Proposes the optional disaggregation of Academies, who would qualify with their LA but participate individually.
The decision to disaggregate could be taken by either the LA or the Academy, which could lead to some confusion and possible disagreements.
This option may be attractive for LAs, but surely very expensive for individual Academies; who would become liable for registration and subsistence fees (more money in the Environment Agency’s coffers!) and annual management/reporting costs as well as the cost of allowances.
What is clearly missing from this paper is the option for Academies to participate under a different umbrella. By qualifying and participating as a group, costs would be shared and there would be no loss of emission coverage from the Scheme.
But who would that umbrella be? The Young People’s Learning Agency, currently responsible for Academies’ funding, seems the obvious choice, although this responsibility is likely to pass to the Education Funding Agency from April 2012.
Please join the debate and let us know your thoughts on this debate.