Putting the ‘read’ into readiness

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Autumn may be doing a valiant job of holding on to the hottest summer for decades, but class is most definitely in session. As we ponder what the DfE has in store for this academic year, here’s some suggested reading to help you stay on top.

Keeping children safe in education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges – live on 03 September 2018

After more than two years the DfE have finally updated the guidance on Understanding and dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility. It explains what to do when there are disputes between a number of adults, each claiming to have parental responsibility for a particular child.

Data Protection FTW! Have a look at the explanation of privacy notices and as an example of the suggested texts look at the privacy notice: suggested text for a school governor.

An additional resource to the DfE advice The Equality Act 2010 and schools from May 2014 look at this non-statutory guidance: Gender separation in mixed schools

Reviewing your website for the new academic year? Have a look at the information you have to publish on your website if you are a maintained school or academy/free school.

Your finance team and auditors have probably scoured the content of the Academies financial handbook 2018 and we strongly recommend this read for your governors and senior management.
We have extracted and paraphrased the main changes for your convenience:

  • Highlighting the directions the Secretary of State may make in relation to governors and other individuals
  • Provision for the EFSA to make referals to the Charity Commission where there is a non-compliance with legal or regulatory requirements or misconduct or mismanagement of a charity.
  • Greater emphasis on trustees applying high standards of governance, the role of the chair, working with ESFA, and updated references to church academies.
  • Making the description of the role of members consistent with the Governance Handbook
  • To avoid suggesting an academy trust’s senior executive leader would automatically act as a trustee the term ‘ex-officio’ was removed
  • Setting out the reporting requirements should a board meets less than six (6) times a year.
  • Emphasis on developing robust cash management
  • Clearer requirements for budgeting
  • Directing the academies/trusts to the national deals for schools
  • Better guidance concerning executive pay and gender pay gap reporting
  • More clarity on risk protection arrangement
  • Emphasising the proper handling of whistleblowers
  • Confirming reporting requirements in relation to internal scrutiny.
  • Explaining new requirements for related party transactions and arrangements with dioceses – and the introduction of the term ‘related’ parties as a new convention.
  • The importance being proactive after receiving audit advice.
  • Highlighting how ESFA may take action where trusts do not comply with requirements for submitting financial information.
  • Clearly setting out the ‘musts’ to be followed by the board.

 

For more information on how we can help your organisation, please call Tony McPhillips on
0191 211 7908 or email [email protected].