Friday 7 July 2023 11:31 AM
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Be clear on the main changes in the updated Academy Trust Handbook, in effect from 1 September 2023. Changes of note include new descriptors for trust quality and looser requirements for the frequency of meetings.

Here are the headline changes in the updated Academy Trust Handbook (ATH) 2023. This is not an exhaustive list – we're working on a more detailed summary with further clarity about what the changes mean for you (see 'Next steps' at the end of this article).

New guidelines for trust quality

The Department for Education (DfE) has published trust quality descriptions and guidance – the ATH no longer directs you to the Governance Handbook to inform good governance (paragraph 1.11). Focus on the new descriptions and guidance when evaluating your board's effectiveness and preparing for the school year ahead. 

New descriptions of your board's purpose replace the previous '3 core functions'

Strategic leadership of the academy trust – the board defines the trust vision, fosters the trust's culture and sets its strategy, including determining what (if any) governance functions are delegated Accountability and assurance – robust oversight of the trust's