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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

14Oct

ISBL regional Conference Sheffield

Browne Jacobson’s Associate Sophie Jackson discusses the rise in growth of SEN and the impact of this on schools. Please note that this event was postponed from June 2020.

View event

19Nov

CST Inaugural Annual Conference Hilton Metropole, NEC, National Exhibition Centre, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1PP

Come and meet the team at CST’s Inaugural Annual Conference this summer. Partner Nick MacKenzie will also be delivering a workshop on governance leadership.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

COVID-19 – Department for Education (DfE) guidance on admissions to selective schools

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published updated guidance for schools that have admission arrangements that admit pupils by implementing selective arrangements.

View

Exam results 2020 – student access to centre assessed grades and rankings

In this on demand webinar, data protection in schools expert Dai Durbridge provides clarity on the issue.

View

Keeping children safe 2020 – managing allegations and agency staff

Our leading HR and safeguarding experts Emma Hughes and Dai Durbridge will provide you with all the information you need in order to meet your statutory obligations in the on-demand recording.

View

Back to School - preparing for the reopening of schools in September

Schools in England were closed other than to the children of key workers and children who are classified as vulnerable from 20th March as part of the management of the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the relaxation of lockdown measures many primary schools in England began a phased reopening for pupils from 15th June.

View

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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