Baroness Berridge, Minister for the School System, wrote to all academy trusts on 10th June 2021 advising that the name of the Academies Financial Handbook was changing to the Academy Trust Handbook to reflect its full range of content more accurately.
The 2021 edition of the Handbook will come into effect on 1 September 2021 and includes new information about:
- trusts’ existing obligations in relation to safeguarding, health and safety, and estates management
- parental representation on trust governance structures
- external reviews of governance
- renaming the financial notice to improve (FNtI) to notice to improve (NtI)
Click here to download the 2021 Academy Trust Handbook
If you would like to review any aspect of the Academy Trust Handbook (generally or as it might impact your school or trust) do please contact me at email@example.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.
If you are looking to recruit to current or upcoming vacancies on your governing board, there are two dedicated, free services that can assist with finding the person with the right skills and experience to fill the role.
To learn more about these services – please use the links below
For school governors – Inspiring Governance – Become a school governor
For academy trustees – Academy Ambassadors
If you would like to review any aspect of Governor or Trustee recruitment (whether via the above tools or more generally) do please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.
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 email@example.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion about how that might be addressed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on 017514 499238 for a wider discussion.
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 email@example.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – or by telephone on 07514 499238.
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 email@example.com or on 017514 499238 for a general discussion on the topic.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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).