The ESFA has published the updated version of the Academy Trust Handbook (also known as the Academies Financial Handbook), which comes into effect on 1 September 2021.
NAHT continues to feed into the development of the Handbook each year to ensure that the experiences and concerns of members are reflected. This year's Handbook contains new information relating to trusts; existing obligations on safeguarding, health and safety, and estates management, cybercrime, and external reviews of governance.
New provisions include:
- guidance on suitability checks for existing and future members
- renaming the financial notice to improve (FNtl) to notice to improve (Ntl)
- a requirement that trusts should have reserved places for parents in their governance structure
- emphasising the process if appointing a senior executive leader as a trustee
- replacing the term clerk with governance professional
- reminding trusts of the requirement for Disclosure and Barring Service checks
- clarification on the requirements around audit and finance committees, including a reminder that a member of the senior leadership team must not undertake internal scrutiny
- further guidance on schemes of delegation, and which governance documents need to be available for public inspection
- a new requirement for trusts to provide ESFA with authority to obtain third party information.
First published 22 June 2021