... and to consider whether any of the documentation should be updated.
The model Articles of Association (Articles) have changed significantly over the years and each reiteration contains new or amended provisions, taking into account DfE policy changes. In addition, the Academies Financial Handbook and the Governance Handbook (together the Handbooks) are prescriptive about governance in certain respects but this often conflicts with some of the older Articles. The Handbooks change from time to time but an academy trust's Articles are fixed until formally updated.
By way of example, over the years we have seen the following changes in policy:
Unfortunately, the position that faces many academy trusts is that their Articles pre-date the latest model and Handbooks where the above policies are contained. This often means either that academy trusts:
The latest Academies Financial Handbook, published in June 2020 to take effect from 1 September 2020, goes one step forward such that the employment of a Member will be a breach of the Handbook with effect from March 2021, irrespective of what the Articles provide.
We would be very happy to have an initial discussion with you about whether adopting the latest model Articles might be the right choice for your academy trust.
Please get in touch for a free-of-charge conversation.
The Articles prescribe that all delegations (to LGBs, committees, individual trustees, or the Executive) must be in writing and must be reviewed every 12 months.
At the very least, academy trusts should be reviewing their written delegations (often called Schemes of Delegation or Terms of Reference) annually to ensure they:
We have worked with many academy trusts to review their existing governance documentation and also have a suite of documentation for multi-academy trusts:
In addition, we have the following additional governance documentation which is applicable to both single and multi-academy trusts:
Again, we would be very happy to have an initial discussion with you about whether a review of your governance documentation or adoption of a new suite would be beneficial for your academy trust.
We also have a wealth of guidance notes and company secretarial documentation available at no charge via our Academies OnStream portal.