Academy budgets should be overseen by local authorities following a series of financial abuses, say council leaders. 

Cash earmarked for education in England is too often "disappearing into the back pockets of those in charge", says the Local Government Association. 

Current scrutiny is ineffective, leaving the media and whistleblowers to uncover fraud, argues the LGA.

The government says academies and free schools are subject to greater scrutiny than council-run schools. 

Council leaders are urging Education Secretary Justine Greening to restore local oversight of all school finances "providing democratic accountability so that parents and communities can be confident their children aren't missing out".

They say the Education Funding Agency, the official body responsible for the financial oversight of academies and free schools, lacks the capacity "to provide the level of scrutiny necessary to ensure value for money and catch out fraudsters".