A serious incident is an event, actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant:
Ultimately, it is the trustees under the funding agreement who have the duty to comply with the Charity Commission's advice on reporting serious incidents to the ESFA. The trustees are, however, able to delegate functions to the Executive. As with all delegations, such delegation should be monitored and Executive decisions should be reported back to the trustees. When a report is made, it is made on behalf of the trustees and so the trustees should be involved in the reporting itself.
The Commission's latest guidance has clarified that actions take to comply with government rules are not in themselves reportable (ie having to close in accordance with government expectations/limit services) but the trustees might consider that the impact of such action is reportable.
Whilst not an exhaustive list, the Commission has produced an examples table of what is and is not considered reportable. This includes:
For further reading, please see our separate article, 'Coronavirus - What Serious Incidents Should Academies Be Reporting to the ESFA?'