A new Governance Code for the Academy sector

The Academy Trust Governance Code was launched for consultation on Saturday 10th June.

The Code is voluntary and independent, created by the sector for the sector. It aims to improve and embed governance practices across the Academy Trust sector, as effective governance is essential to fulfilling a Trust’s aims and ambitions.

Based upon the Charity Governance Code, it sets out one foundational principle and seven additional principles upon which governance rests. Each of these principles is underpinned by ‘outcomes’ and ‘guidance on implementation’, meaning that progress towards achieving them can be tracked and monitored. The Code is designed to apply equally and universally to all structures and sizes of Academy Trust, regardless of their religious or sponsorship arrangements, or lack thereof. It is intended for use by all individuals involved in the governance of Academy Trusts, in particular boards and individual directors or trustees.

The Code is truly sector-led, and its development has brought together several organisations with deep governance and education expertise. Those who collaborated to create the draft Code include the Catholic Education Service, the Church of England Education Office, the National Governance Association, Stone King, and the Confederation of School Trusts (CST), the Co-Chair of the group alongside the Institute.

The Code was launched at the Trustees and Governance Leaders conference hosted by the CST, which saw several leaders and organisations come together to share good practice, support one another and raise the profile of Trust governance. At the conference, our own Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, delivered two sessions. The first, with support from Emily Ford, Policy Adviser, looked at governance as a career, and covered the professional development opportunities for governance professionals in the Academy sector. The second focussed on improving board effectiveness, with a particular emphasis on organisational culture and purpose. The day was highly enjoyable and productive, and we would like to express our warmest thanks to the CST for hosting.

For those who would like to read the draft Code and perhaps respond to the consultation, the Code is accessible here. The deadline for responses is 31st July. As Co-Chair of the group that developed the Code, the Institute is keen to encourage as many responses as possible. For our members, any time that is spent responding to relevant consultations counts towards CPD requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.

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