Academies back to school report - April 2016

Colleagues, welcome back to the start of the summer term, and I hope you enjoyed the Easter break.

When I drafted this introduction the first time around, the consultation on the funding reform had come out, but there was seemingly nothing else of significance on the policy horizon. How wrong can one be?

As we said at the time, the chancellor’s announcement that the full academisation of the English school system would be forced through by legislation was a surprise. Not in what it was aimed at achieving, which is entirely consistent with government policy, but in the scale and speed of the change.

As business advisers, we have worked across the education sector for over 25 years and have seen the impact that significant policy changes can bring with them. Moving all remaining maintained schools out of local authority control and giving them ‘independence’ will be a huge logistical challenge for the civil servants that have to effect this change. This is also a significant operational challenge for school business managers and head teachers to take full control of running the ‘business’. Lastly there will be major cultural shifts for governors as they become trustees of a charity for the first time, facing all that the new remit entails including personal responsibility, accountability and the public scrutiny of charitable academy status.

Inside this edition of our back to school report therefore we look at the white paper in a bit more detail, but also cover some areas of related significance:

  • an overview of the importance of good risk management and board assurance;
  • governance – are your meetings effective? and
  • centralisation within multi academy trusts.

Download the full edition of our back to school report.