Academy trust “Alliances” as a defence against forced participation in a MAT

Now this is interesting……five single-academy trusts have launched an “Alliance” to ward off the erosion of each school’s “individuality” as DfE continues its push towards MATs.

To read the full article about this in Schools Week, click here.

If you would like to review either (i) how your academy school might develop an “Alliance” with other single-academy trusts or (ii) how to ensure that your academy school might avoid being pushed into a MAT, (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do) please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

What schools can expect from Ofsted this term

Ofsted has returned to a full programme of inspections this term for the first time since the onset of the Covid crisis in March last year.

The NAHT union has produced new guidance to its members about what to expect if and when schools get the call.   This covers – when schools will be inspected, how leaders can show Covid impact, and how sexual harassment claims will be treated.

To read a summary of this guidance published by TES, click here.

If you would like to discuss how to your academy school or trust might optimally plan for an Ofsted Inspection (or indeed, have a basic and more general chat about what I do) please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

Multi-academy trusts: establishing and developing your trust


DfE have updated their guidance on how MATs can grow their trust (including using a trust partnership arrangement).


To access the guidance in full, click here.

If you would like to review any aspect (whether at the “strategic review” level or to get a perspective on either
(a) the (sometimes tortuous) “machinery” of establishing a MAT or
(b) developing an established MAT or
(c) using a Trust Partnership agreement
do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do)
.


Academy trusts: themes from ESFA’s assurance work

ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) have published a briefing about their assurance work relating to financial management and governance in the academies sector.

There are a number of common themes arising from this in respect of the 2020 to 2021 period. 

Although (with regard to the review of academy trust financial statements, academy funding audits, financial management and governance reviews) the number of “late” or “qualified” submissions was relatively low, the nature of these is worthy of review.

To access the ESFA briefing on their assurance work click here.

If you would like to review how to ensure that your academy school or trust is properly meeting ESFA requirements (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do) please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

Welcome to a Multi-academy trust

NGA have updated their induction guide for new MAT trustees.

This is an excellent entry-level read if you are new to governing a multi academy trust board (MAT). It is also invaluable for those who want to refresh their knowledge and understanding of good governance practice.

Click here to access the publication.

If you would like to review any aspect of Multi-academy trust governance (generally or as it might impact your school or trust) do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

Safeguarding – A guide for Governing Boards


Regular readers will have seen my previous posts on Safeguarding, on KCSiE and on the governance of Safeguarding.
....and will be aware that DfE have published updated statutory guidance – see here for Keeping Children Safe in Education and have also updated their advice (see here) on Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges. Both of these came into effect on 1 September 2021.

In light of the above, NGA have recently published their guide for governors entitled “The Governance of Safeguarding”.

To access the NGA Guide just click here.

If you would like to review any aspect of how governors might best address KCSiE and/or Safeguarding (generally or as it might impact your school or trust) do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.


DfE Guidance for trust partnerships


DfE has published non-statutory guidance and a model service level agreement (SLA) for trust partnerships. These are time-limited arrangements between a school and an academy trust that allows each to explore how a permanent arrangement might work.


The SLA can be adapted to individual circumstances……for example, for schools (or a MAT and a prospective member school) to collaborate and share their expertise or for a school to receive school improvement support from a trust.


DfE funding in respect of such a partnership is a new support element for standalone schools eligible for the 2021 to 2022 DfE’s Trust and School Improvement Offer.


In essence individual schools or trust boards may wish to consider this option to support other schools in a ‘try before you buy’ arrangement.

To access the guidance in full click here.

If you would like to review any aspect of Trust Partnerships do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.


Keeping Children Safe in Education


We are of course all aware of the updated Statutory Guidance on KCSiE published by DfE that is now current. Click here to read my post on this in July of this year.


TES have published an extremely useful Guide on the new KCSiE requirements.
This is a “more easily digestible” read than the Statutory Guidance itself and would be an appropriate way for Governors and Trustees to familiarise themselves with the subject (and with the 2021 changes in particular).


Click here to get a copy of the TES Guide.


If you would like to review any aspect of KCSiE (generally or as it might impact your school or trust) do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion.

Understanding Your Data – a Guide for School Governor and Academy Trustees


ESFA have today published the above – being a resource that brings together a range of data to help Governors and Trustees analyse, discuss, and challenge the educational and financial performance of their school or academy trust.

The material is categorized across the following seven themes
# Pupil numbers/attendance and exclusions
# Attainment and progress
# Curriculum planning
# Financial management and governance
# Quality assurance
# Safeguarding and well-being
# The (whole) school community.

Click here to access the full document.

If you would like to review any aspect of understanding or analysing school data, do please contact me at jack@jackminto.com or on 017514 499238 for a preliminary discussion (or indeed, for a basic and more general chat about what I do).