Recent scandals around the Government's flagship free schools have shown how the management standards are "not up to scratch", according to the Chairwoman of an influential committee of MPs.
Public Accounts Committee Chair Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking, said:
Recent high-profile failures at Al-Madinah School and Kings Science Academy demonstrate the DfE and the EFA's oversight arrangements for free schools are not yet working effectively to ensure public money is used properly.
The department and agency have set up an approach to oversight which emphasises schools' autonomy, but standards of financial management and governance in some free schools are clearly not up to scratch.
The agency relies on high levels of compliance by schools, yet fewer than half of free schools submitted their required financial returns for 2011-12 to the agency on time.
More top news
Influential black figures have joined forces to speak out about a deadly disease that sees black men twice at risk compared to white men.
Frances Cappuccini died just hours after giving birth after a string of hospital "failures" including "inadequate diagnosis and treatment".
Sinn Fein will not be re-nominating a deputy first minister following Martin McGuinness's resignation, making an election highly likely.