• Ex-minister's academy trust ignores governance guidelines

    A former academies minister’s trust is failing to meet government guidelines over good governance – and has seemingly been allowed to expand without having to update its arrangements. Newly published accounts for Future Academies, founded by Lord Nash, show a majority of the trust’s members are also trustees. One governance expert said this level of

    5.00 Jan. 20th, 2019 | News

  • Academy trust rapped over boss' £23,000 ex-gratia fee

    A government investigation has uncovered a swathe of financial and governance failings at a single academy trust – including “potential irregularity” over football tickets costing more than £4,000. The investigation into Westfield Academy, a mixed secondary school with a sixth form in Hertfordshire, also found a former finance boss had been paid a £22,600 honorarium

    16.55 Sep. 28th, 2018 | News

  • Financial warning for the academy trust that sent leaders to New Zealand

    An academy trust that spent over £12,000 on a trip abroad for two of its leaders has been handed a financial notice to improve by the government. Silver Birch Academy Trust now has to run most of its spending decisions past the government and must make changes to the way it is run to avoid

    16.02 Jun. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • Academy trust bosses' New Zealand trip questioned by the ESFA

    A review of financial management and governance at the London-based Silver Birch Academy Trust has revealed serious failings, including a trip to the other side of the world for senior leaders that cost almost twice as much as the going rate. The trust, which runs four primary schools in Walthamstow, Chingford and Redbridge, was visited

    16.27 Jun. 15th, 2018 | News

  • Schools without professional clerk are breaking government rules

    Schools are breaking government rules by failing to employ a professional clerk to advise governors on their legal duties in meetings. The governance handbook clearly states that a board must use a “professional clerk” to take minutes, organise the board and help navigate the law. But Julia Millard, an advocate for National Leaders of Governance,

    7.00 Apr. 30th, 2018 | News

  • 3 ways in which government needs to help school governors

    School governance is a vital but oft-forgotten aspect of the school system. Here Mike Parker lays out what he reckons needs to change “Governors are the unsung heroes of schools”, were the opening words of Belita Scott, an inspector, at the SCHOOLS NorthEast event in south Tyneside last September. We are increasingly concerned about the

    5.00 Apr. 14th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Is there a school governor recruitment crisis?

    There might be a huge surplus of volunteers in London, but rural communities never have enough potential governors, explains Judith Hicks Over a quarter of a million volunteers across England give up their free time to provide strategic leadership at state-funded schools – but this figure is falling, heaping pressure onto serving school governors and

    5.00 Mar. 19th, 2018 | Opinion

  • What knowledge do school governors need?

    Much has been written about the skills needed on an effective governing board or trust board, but very little attention has focused on the knowledge required when you undertake such an important role. Let’s focus on three areas: risk, finances and regulation. These three are matters for all governing boards, but become particularly important in

    9.15 Mar. 7th, 2018 | Opinion

  • 5 cost-free ways to improve school governance

    A few things Damian Hinds could do to improve education governance that would cost him nothing, as suggested by Martin Matthews Every time we get a new secretary of state for education we begin another round of competition: the various educational interests vying for attention, each trying to shove their pet issue higher up the

    5.00 Mar. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Challenge: How governors can challenge school leaders effectively, by David Marriott

    How can governors challenge school leaders effectively? That’s a mighty difficult question to answer in such a short book. Challenge is one of those ethereal aspects of governance: you know it when you see it. As the author says: “Going beyond paying lip service to ’challenge’ is this book’s key focus.” As a national leader

    5.00 Feb. 4th, 2018 | Reviews

  • School governance: 12 things you should know about 2017

    There has been plenty to consider for school governors in 2017. Naureen Khalid walks us through the year’s highlights (and the lowlights!) Another year has flown by and it’s time to review 2017. As Christmas is almost upon us, I’ve looked back at twelve things which stood out for me. So, in no particular order:

    5.00 Dec. 22nd, 2017 | Opinion