Scotland’s international reputation for providing quality education ensures that the public and private sectors are both keenly focused on ensuring it continues to thrive.

Our specialist education sector team works closely with a range of education organisations, including student representative bodies, independent schools, colleges, universities and their subsidiaries. We provide audit, accounting and tax advice to these bodies, helping them tackle their challenges and optimise their financial situations.

We understand the highly regulated environment of independent schools and work closely with our clients across Scotland to provide them with all the support they need to meet their regulatory requirements.

Government funding and fees is a key issue for Universities and their related activities in subsidiaries and student bodies. Furthermore, the college sector is currently going through an unprecedented period of change as the Scottish Government’s merger programme continues.

Many of these organisations face financial challenges and are attempting to diversify funding in order to move away from current models, thereby allowing further ‘self sustainability’ and less reliance of former funding sources.

Funding, however, will generally remain an issue, as will the academic challenges from overseas, notably the Far East. Many institutions have already identified this issue and, in response, have started to set up campuses overseas. By providing support and insight from experience and by connecting clients to advisers with the right skills and experience to meet their needs – in the UK and overseas – we support our clients via our UK and international network of accountancy and professional advisers.

Our work in this sector

Edinburgh Business School recovered very little VAT on costs but incurred significant sums, including on charges from overseas. Our initial discussions indicated that the recovery rate could be increased. The team provided insight into the process of altering the recovery rate and opened negotiations with HMRC. Our team led throughout the discussion process and finally enabled an agreement to be reached that allowed a 30% increase in VAT recovery. In the latest year, this translates to almost £94,000 additional VAT recovery, and that is likely to be the level of additional recovery in each future year.

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