London, 23 June 2020 – The Chartered Governance Institute has welcomed today’s release by the Education & Skills Funding Agency of its ‘Academies financial handbook 2020’, in which the role of the clerk is recognised for the important advisory support that it brings to academy trusts.
Speaking about the reference to the clerk to the board in the handbook, Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not for Profit) at The Chartered Governance Institute says:
“The handbook rightly recognises the huge amount of support that a good clerk can bring to the board of an academy trust. Not only do clerks provide legal and regulatory advice, they also help a board to understand the potential consequences of non-compliance and are the go-to person for advice on procedural matters relating to how the board itself operates. A good clerk, or company secretary as they might also be known, provides far more than just administrative and organisational support. They offer strategic advice, acting as a business enabler, and help to ensure that the trust meets its public benefit requirements and sticks to its stated purpose, educating children and young adults.
As the handbook highlights, a knowledgeable clerk is an essential part of the non-executive trustee’s tool kit. It cannot be overestimated how much trustees rely on the knowledge and judgement of their clerk – this is a role in which it is essential to have an individual with specific training and skills, rather than it being merely an ‘additional responsibility’ for someone who already has a busy ‘day job’. The Department for Education’s Clerking Competency Framework, which the Institute supported, also recognises the important role of the clerk and we are delighted that the role is getting the recognition that it deserves. We have developed several qualifications to help professionalise the role as the importance of good governance to the sector cannot be understated. A good clerk is worth their weight in gold in terms of helping to embed effective governance practices in a trust. They are, in fact, governance gold.”
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Notes to Editors:
1 The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards.
2 The Institute’s qualifications for governance professionals working with the academy sector are as follows levels:
a. a certificate in Clerking of School and Governing Boards, which is offered by the National Governance Association and is accredited by the Institute;
b. a certificate in Academy Governance, which is set at a higher level and focuses on the governance needs of multi-academy trusts; and
c. a post-graduate qualification the Chartered Governance Qualifying Programme, which leads to chartered status, the benchmark for company secretaries and governance professionals.