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Governance Archives - Page 3 of 3 -

Single Academy Trusts (SATs)

DfE is no longer approving the creation of new SATs, and is often encouraging existing SATs to merge or join an existing MAT.

So – “what is the future for SATs?” is the question.

NGA recently held a governance leadership forum event for those governing and leading single academy trusts as a platform for discussion of the matter.

Click here for a summary (by Michael Barton of NGA) of the issues discussed and outcomes from the discussion.

If you are a Headteacher or Chair of Governors in a SAT, and would like to review any aspect of how your trust might evolve, do please contact me at or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion about how that might be addressed.

Benchmarking your school’s financial data

DfE have published their tool for schools to benchmark their income and expenditure against another school or trust.

This service facilitates comparison of income and expenditure with similar schools and academy trusts (and has some useful “Visualisation” features – using benchmarking charts).

To access the DfE’s Benchmarking tool, click here.

I am an enthusiastic proponent of employing this (under-used) management tool (whether via the DfE or otherwise).  If you would like to review any aspect of benchmarking school’s financial data (whether in a MAT context or more generally), do please contact me at or on 017514 499238 for a wider discussion.

What academies should publish online – DfE guidance

DfE has published updated (and comprehensive) guidance on the information that academies (including 16 to 19 colleges and any educational institution that has academy arrangements) should publish on their websites.

Click here to see this in full detail.

Separate (also now updated) guidance for what schools maintained by a local authority must publish online has also been published.

Click here to see that in full detail.

If you would like to review any aspect of what an academy school (or a local authority maintained school) should publish online, do please contact me at or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

External Reviews of Governance

The foundation to any consultancy input on school governance matters – and the most valuable item in my “governance consultancy tool kit” is the ERG – that is, an “External Review of Governance”.

The ERG lets us identify and evaluate the “as is” status of governance in the school (both strategically and also via the operations of the governing body itself and its committees).  From that we can develop a “target” version of how the school would aspire to develop, improve and ultimately restructure its governance.

Then, it’s just a matter of (a) separate the strategic and the operational elements of the (revised/new) governance model for the school and (b) implement the requisite action plan to prioritise and achieve the intended objectives.  Simple really…….

Governors play a critical role in school improvement – and the ethos of an ERG is to provide governors with (a) a rigorous external perspective of how that process is progressing and (b) concrete recommendations of specific actions that are needed to achieve the desired improvements.

If appropriate, I can continue my involvement by having an active role in supporting the governing body through their implementation of the enhanced governance model.   More often however, I find myself having the (relatively informal) supporting role of merely guiding governors as they “self-manage” the process of implementing an “action plan”.

To get the DfE perspective on what is expected from an ERG, click here to read their guidance notes.

I will generally recommend (regardless of whether an ERG had been called for by Ofsted or was undertaken at the initiative of the governors themselves) that a subsequent review is undertaken to measure progress towards achieving, and the impact of, an enhanced governance model.

For more details on an ERG (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do) please contact me by email on – or by telephone on 07514 499238.

Centralisation for Multi-Academy Trust growth?

According to new research, centralisation (i.e. of financial and non-financial functions) is becoming entrenched as a “strategic and cultural” philosophy for Multi-Academy Trust growth.

To access the full report that comprises the findings that emerged from this work click here.

For additional background on the research that has been undertaken on this click here.

To read an interesting article on the subject published in FE News click here.

If you are considering “Centralisation” (of any aspect of a MAT – or as an element of a MAT growth strategy) do please contact me at or on 017514 499238 for a general discussion on the topic.

Academy trust governance

DfE has published an updated “menu” of the (huge) portfolio of “Guidance and Resources” publications that they produce in respect of the above.

Please see below for a few “highlights” items (drawn from the overall set of 25 categories) that I have placed in my “Must read first” sub-group

  • Statutory guidance and requirements
  • Safeguarding, SEND and pupil wellbeing
  • Governance duties, skills, behaviours and knowledge
  • Financial governance
  • External reviews of governance
  • Recruitment and professional development
  • Sex and relationship education
  • Converting to academy status
  • School behaviour
  • School and pupil performance and use of data
  • School complaints

Click here to access the full set of the academy trust governance publications available from DfE.

If you would like to review any aspect of academy trust governance (whether on a “broad brush” or a “gory detail” basis), do please contact me at or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion about how that might be undertaken (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do).

Training For Governors

In the constantly evolving field of schools governance, it is clear that governors (particularly Chairs of Governing bodies) need to regularly keep abreast of
(i)     changes in legislation,
(ii)   developments in policy and
(iii)  evolving expectations of governance.

We also know that Ofsted now places ever-greater emphasis on general training for Governors (regarding such as part of CPD for governors).

Accordingly, I have developed a number of governance training modules – being both
(a) bespoke training (i.e. particularly for Chairs of Governors) and (b) more general periodic updates on governance topics for governors.

I am also happy to undertake one-to-one mentoring work with governors who have become Chairs of Governing bodies.

For more details on how my training modules might meet your needs (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do) please contact me by email on – or by telephone on 07514 499238.