Governance Arrangements – Academies

Having audited a number of school websites, I do feel that the requirements for what academies must publish in terms of their governance arrangements is a little ambiguous.  We have gone through the Academy Trust Handbook for you and hopefully this article will clearly explain what needs to be published on the trust site and on each academy site to make sure you are fully compliant.

Table of Contents

What the Requirements Currently Say

What Trusts Have to Publish

Trustees’ information and duties

  • Academy trusts must publish accessible and up to date details of governance arrangements.
 
The first issue here is that it says academy trusts and not the academies themselves, despite this being part of the “What academies should publish online” requirements and the second is the lack of any explicit detail.

Section 2.50 of the Academy Trust Handbook says:

The trust must provide details of its governance arrangements in the governance statement published with its annual accounts, including what the board has delegated to committees and, in trusts with multiple academies, to local governing bodies. The trust must also publish on its website up-to-date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible format, including:

  • the structure and remit of the trust’s members, board of trustees, committees and local governing bodies (the trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions), and the full names of the chair of each
  • for each of the trust’s members serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, date they stepped down (where applicable), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions
  • for each trustee and local governor serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them, and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions. If the accounting officer is not a trustee their business and pecuniary interests must still be published.
  • for each trustee their attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year
  • for each local governor their attendance records at local governing body meetings over the last academic year

So, not actually dissimilar to what maintained schools must publish, it just took some digging to get there!

The Easiest Way

Don’t panic though, you don’t have to duplicate all of this information on your trust site and each academy.  I think it is perfectly reasonable to have a link on your site to this information, but the caveat is that this is a clear link.  I sometimes see links that say something like, “Click here for Trust Information” but this doesn’t tell me what I will find there and means that if I searched for “accounts” for example nothing would come up because I haven’t used that word on my site.  

Trust site

The trust site should cover the following bullet points: 
  • the structure and remit of the trust’s members, board of trustees, committees and local governing bodies (the trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions), and the full names of the chair of each
  • for each of the trust’s members serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, date they stepped down (where applicable), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions
  • for each trustee serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them, and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions. If the accounting officer is not a trustee their business and pecuniary interests must still be published.
  • for each trustee their attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year

 

I would suggest having a clear link on each academy website to this under “Trust Member and Trustee Information”.

Each Academy Website

It would make sense for each academy to display and maintain information about their own local governors so it would include this information:

  • for each local governor serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them, and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions
  • for each local governor their attendance records at local governing body meetings over the last academic year
 
You would include a clear link on the Trust website saying local governor information for x academy can be found here.  

Conclusion

Download Our Editable Compliance Checklist

It is a lot of information to share and can become confusing quite quickly but hopefully this article has helped in terms of how this can be structured and managed easily so it doesn’t become overwhelming.  

If you do have any questions please do get in touch using info@schoolwebsiteaudits.co.uk – we’re always happy to help! 

Our School Website Checklist:

  • Is fully compliant with all statutory requirements
  • Has all the current information including the September 2022 
  • Is fully editable
  • Has a generous area at the bottom of each section for notes or comments
  • Has an index page that navigates to each section
  • Has specific versions for academies or maintained schools to ensure you have everything relevant to your school. 

To download, simply complete the form below and you will be emailed your copy.  

Send Me The Checklist

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