The Handbook continues to helpfully list all of the 'musts' in Annex C and it also still refers to those matters of minimum good practice which it refers to as the 'shoulds'.
There are a number of changes to the Handbook which simply emphasise the existing position and/or clarify wording.
The new obligations which it contains include:
For more detailed information about these new obligations as well as existing obligations within the Handbook, please see our checklist for compliance available on Academies OnStream.
ESFA's New Guidance on Tackling Fraud
The ESFA has updated its Academy trust guide to reducing fraud, which includes an anti-fraud checklist and new information about cyber-crime and cyber security.
Academy trusts should consider the 10 questions asked in the anti-fraud checklist within the guidance and make appropriate arrangements should there be any gaps in their fraud risk management strategy.
The guide contains a new cyber-crime and cyber security checklist which explains the different potential malicious attacks on computer software, such as email hacking, phishing and malvertising, and minimum actions that can be taken to tackle these risks of fraud.
Any fraud, theft or financial irregularity exceeding £5,000 (either individually or cumulatively in an academy's financial year) must be reported to the ESFA under the Academies Financial Handbook. Any fraud below this value of a particularly unusual or systematic nature must also be reported, such as regular low value theft.
We recommend that trustees familiarise themselves with the updated guidance and consider whether any further action is needed as part of their risk assessment for fraud in their academy trusts.
New Trustee Disqualification Rules
From 1 August 2018, changes to the automatic trustee disqualification rules will affect academy trustees and senior managers. There will be two key changes:
The Charity Commission has published some useful guidance on what the changes are and how charities can prepare for them.
Sign up to Academies OnStream to access our free trustee declaration form, designed to help you trusts meet their obligations.