New governance guidelines for Academies
Education lawyer John Noctor provides a summary of the latest Academies Financial Handbook, published by the Education Funding Agency.
The Education Funding Agency has published its latest Academies Financial Handbook which includes new and enhanced obligations of transparency in relation to Academy governance. In particular, there is now an obligation on the part of the Academy to publish certain information on its website , including the following :
- the structure and remit of its members , directors , and local governing bodies , together with the name of the chair of each .
- the name and date of appointment or resignation of any member of the Academy ,who has been in office over the previous 12 months , together with details of any relevant financial or business interests , including any governance role in another educational institution .
- the same information for any director of the Academy , or member of any local governing body , together with details of their appointor ( if any ) and their term of office .
- for each director , their attendance record at board and committee meetings during the previous academic year .
- for each member of a local governing body , their attendance record at meetings of the local governing body during the previous academic year .
The aim of the enhanced transparency is to reassure parents and other stakeholders that the operation of the Academy is open and above board. However, given that the recruitment of members and directors can already be problematic , especially in smaller schools, these enhanced obligations of disclosure may be a further hurdle for Headteachers to clear in finding suitable candidates for those roles .
In any event, Academies must now collate the information referred to above , publish it on their website , and keep it up to date. This task should begin straightaway in order to comply with the new Financial Handbook .
The new Academies Financial Handbook is available from the Education Funding Agency at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academies-financial-handbook-2015. For further advice on the contents, contact John Noctor at Burnetts on 01228 552222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
John Noctor specialises in company and commercial work for major clients.
Published: Friday 11th September 2015