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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

12Mar

ASCL Annual Conference Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2EA

Come and meet the team at ASCL’s annual conference.

View event

24Mar

Optimus MAT Summit Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PP

Come and meet the team at Optimus’ annual conference.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2020

With World Mental Health Day coming up tomorrow, and with the backdrop of COVID-19 dominating most of our thoughts and everyday lives, now is a great opportunity to start thinking about going the extra mile to support the wellbeing of your staff and pupils.

View

Effective Board and Members meetings; Covid-19 and beyond

View our on-demand video where Education Partners Nick MacKenzie and Dominic Swift discuss the approach to members and board meetings in the ‘new normal’ considering the benefits of virtual meetings and discuss how in the longer-term, boards might combine virtual and in-person meetings to be more effective.

View

Guides

Executive pay setting in school trusts

For many years now the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have written to academy Chairs asking for justification and rationale on executive pay. School trusts have reached out to us for advice to help them meet their obligations within the Academies Financial Handbook.

View

150th Anniversary of State Education – Lessons Learned: reflections of 12 former Secretaries of State

Our on-demand video was hosted by the BBC’s Education Correspondent Branwen Jefferys with special guests including Baroness Nicky Morgan, Kenneth Clarke QC, Michael Gove, Justine Greening and Lord David Blunkett discussing past successes of education, the unintended consequences of past policy, and to envision what still remains to be done.

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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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