Academy Trust Handbook: changes from September 2023

Changes to the Academy Trust Handbook 2023 include a move away from the Governance Handbook for descriptions of quality governance, and looser requirements for meeting frequency and sharing management accounts with the trust board.

Last reviewed on 8 August 2023See updates
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  1. Updated governance content linked to the new trust quality descriptions
  2. More emphasis on trusts' responsibilities for estates safety and management
  3. Other changes in Part 1
  4. You don't need to explain how you've provided effective oversight with fewer than 6 board meetings in the year
  5. Management accounts no longer have to be shared with the full trust board at least 6 times per year
  6. An extra month to submit your budget to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  7. Electric vehicle salary sacrifice schemes don't need ESFA approval
  8. A positive approach to GAG pooling
  9. A raised approval threshold of £40,000 for related party transactions 
  10. 'At cost' exemptions extended to other educational providers
  11. Your trust is no longer required to set financial KPIs
  12. Clarity on the reasons your trust might receive a 'notice to improve'

This article refers to the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH) 2023, which comes into effect on 1 September 2023. It breaks down the changes highlighted on page 7 of the handbook.

Updated governance content linked to the new trust quality descriptions

The ATH shifts the focus from the Governance Handbook to the newly-published trust quality descriptions as the go-to source for what good governance in trusts looks like. You should use these in future when evaluating your efficacy and auditing board skills (paragraph 1.11).

Find out how the Department for Education (DfE) will use these descriptions to make decisions about the creation and growth of trusts in our summary of the commissioning high-quality trusts guidance.

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