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Academy Trust Board decision-making

31 March 2020

Please note: the information contained in this legal update is correct as of the original date of publication

As we enter the second week of school closures and the subsequent lockdown in the country, the round of applause given by the nation to the NHS last Thursday night was both a poignant moment and a reminder of the strength of the human spirit in challenging times.

I have been bowled over by the way schools have risen to the challenge, both through the discussions I have had with clients and my own interactions with my children’s schools. The dedication to, care of and innovation in connection with our children’s wellbeing and learning by schools has shone through brightly.

As an organisation we have also been adapting to the various demands home working brings, whilst also sharing ideas, legal updates and resources with our clients to help them when they need it the most.

That said, this continues to be a very difficult time for all – including senior leaders and School Trust Boards who are likely to be faced with the need to make important and urgent decisions.

Whilst many decisions will be led by the senior leadership team, there will be some decisions where they will want (and need) Board support. In some cases it may be possible to make some discussions relatively informally by email exchanges or phone. There will however also be times when it is important to have a Board resolution taken at a meeting (or as if it had been passed at a meeting of Trustees) because the subject matter is so important.

To help in scenarios like this, we have developed a new guidance for Boards to help you implement robust structures for urgent decision-making. You can access this resource here.

It outlines that where there is not a planned Board meeting (or a committee meeting with delegated authority to make the required decision) you have the following options:

  1. Hold a Board meeting on short notice with Trustees participating via telephone or video conference;

  2. Pass written Board resolutions; or

  3. Provide for urgent decision-making by the Chair or Vice Chair.

With the duration of the Coronavirus crisis unknown, we hope that the information provided will be of use, ensuring that you have a plan in place should you need to make robust decisions over the coming weeks.

Coronavirus support

We are helping across business, health, education and government sectors:

Training and events

10Oct

Training for Lead Safeguarding Governors and Trustees Interactive session via Zoom

This course runs over 2 x 90 minute sessions and commences with he first session at 4pm on the 10th October and then the 2nd session at 4pm on the 17th October. This tailored lead safeguarding course is designed specifically for your Lead Safeguarding Governor/Trustee. Building on our course for all governors and trustees, in this course delegates focus on the role of the Lead Safeguarding Governor/Trustee and the relationship with the DSL.

Session one: 4pm to 5.30pm on 10 October 2022 and
Session two: 4pm to 5.30pm on 17 October 2022

View event

11Oct

Autumn Regional HR Forums - Birmingham Microsoft Teams

We are pleased to invite you to join us at one of our next Regional HR Forum. The forums are aimed at those who lead the HR function in schools and academies across the nation.

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Employment Law – Harpur Trust v Brazel – Implications for schools webinar

On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.

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Press releases

Leading education lawyers play major role as DfE announces 10,000th academy conversion

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the conversion of Donisthorpe Primary School in Leicestershire on 1st September marked the 10,000th academy conversion.

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Guides

How to carry out the KCSiE online checks FAQs

There is (understandably) some confusion about the steps schools and trusts need to take to discharge the new online check duty set out in paragraph 220 of KCSIE. I can’t completely clarify all of it for you, but I can help you find a sensible route through. These FAQs are a good place to start.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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