The Department for Education (DfE) has this month released a new Governors’ Handbook which includes useful and practical guidance to governors of academies and also governors of schools considering converting to academy status.
The new Governors’ Handbook covers the role and legal duties of governing bodies in both maintained schools and academies and therefore provides a useful benchmark in comparing the similarities and differences between academy and non-academy governing bodies. The Handbook also serves as a good introduction to the Funding Agreement (the agreement which governs the operational side and funding of an academy) and demonstrates the alignment between academies and non-academies in respect of day-to-day operation.
The Handbook has particularly useful sections on the constitution of academy governing bodies (i.e. its structure and makeup) and the different types of academy collaborative structures (i.e. multi and umbrella trusts) which any school considering conversion will no doubt find helpful.
DfE’s advice and guidance on academies has traditionally focussed more on the technicalities and process of becoming an academy and this new Handbook, together with the new model constitutional documents released by DfE in April intended to be more user-friendly, shows an encouraging shift in DfE’s focus to providing accessible and practical guidance to those on the ground in converting and established academies.
The Governors’ Handbook published by DfE can be found here.
Ed Nurse of BHW Solicitors in Leicester is an expert in academy conversions. Ed can be contacted on 0116 281 6230 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.