Using the trust quality descriptions to provide effective governance

The features of quality governance in academy trusts are laid out in new guidance. Find out how your trust board should use them to inform effective governance across your trust.

Last reviewed on 18 July 2023
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  1. What are the trust quality descriptions?
  2. Use the quality descriptions to evaluate your governance
  3. The governance and leadership descriptions and how to embed them in your governance

What are the trust quality descriptions?

They are part of new guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) on commissioning high-quality trusts. The guidance explains how the Department judges the quality of academy trusts and uses this information to make commissioning decisions on creating new trusts, expanding trusts and matching schools to trusts.

It isn't an inspection framework and the DfE won't be using it to make judgements about your trust, other than to help make commissioning decisions.

The descriptions are divided into 5 pillars

They are listed in Annex A of the guidance. They are:

  1. High-quality and inclusive education
  2. School improvement
  3. Workforce
  4. Finance and operations
  5. Governance and leadership

This article focuses on the governance and leadership pillar and how to use the quality descriptions within it. 

To find out more about the other 4 pillars, read our summary of the guidance

After an

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