Academy Governance Summit: Creating a Sustainable Future

Take a look at some of the exciting topics we will be discussing on the day


Academy Governance Summit, Monday 25 January 2021

Time Programme
08.30 - 09.00


09.00 - 09.05


Louise Thomson, Head of Policy NotforProfit, The Chartered Governance Institute

09.10 - 09.15

Keynote address

The keynote will reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted academy trust governance. The Department for Education will reveal the priorities for academy governance into 2021 and address the vital role of the academy trust governance professionals in ensuring resilient, effective governance.

09.15 - 9.50

Building strong foundations

2020 has been a year of decision making and shifting priorities which have affected all academies. Having the right Model Articles of Association in place is the cornerstone of good academy governance and a critical pilar to overcome crises while growing your trust. How do you navigate within the legal framework when making changes within your articles? Discover how our experts have utilised the Model Articles of Association for academy trusts and the Governance Handbook so that you can develop solid foundations for your trust.
9.50 - 10.00


10.00 - 10.45

Breakout sessions

Option 1 - The Competency Framework: the governance 'professionals' pathway

The competency framework for governance professionals published by The Chartered Governance Institute has proven to be a unique, complete and clear tool to guide academy governance professionals through improving their practice. In this session, enhance your career by discovering how our panellists have made use of the Framework in their professional development and how they have built better governance in their academy trusts.

Moderator: CGI

Samira Sadeghi,
Academies Governance Manager & Clerk to Trustees, Academies Enterprise Trust
Lizzie Oliver, Governance Professional & Executive Clerk, Northern Star Academies Trust


Option 2 - Governance pillars and improving transparency

Stakeholder scrutiny over academy trusts has boosted the demand for better transparency and accountability. So, if academy trust governance is shaped and informed by emerging debates in the charity and private sectors, what are the common pillars of good governance? How can academy governance professionals improve their practice and increase transparency? In this session, practical matters such as the review of external audit, conflicts of interest and serious incident reporting will be at the heart of the discussion.

Claire Robson,
Head of Governance, Legal and Compliance at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity


Break and clinic with CST/sponsor

Bring your governance problems and discuss solutions with our partner/sponsor
11.15 - 11.50

Breakout sessions

Option 1 - The new Board Assurance Framework for Academies

In times of crisis, while the board must focus on strategic matters, compliance and oversight require insight into operational matters. This delicate balance is necessary for the smooth running of the academy trust. So how can management present the correct data and information to the board? In a bid to answer that question, the Institute is launching a new Board Assurance Framework for Academies. Our speakers will discuss how they have used the tool in other sectors and how it might successfully be applied in the academy world.

Louise Thomson,
Head of Policy, Not for Profit, The Chartered Governance Institute
Nabil Jamshed, Consultant, Good Governance Institute


Option 2 -Performing boards, building a climate of trust

Board-level governance thrives when the chair, CEO and academy governance professionals work together to build a positive, proactive approach to delivering governance. However, personalities and conflicts of interest often affect the ' 'boardroom's performance. What are the pitfalls? What are the foundations of progressive board dynamics? In this session, our speakers discuss the ins and out of creating a climate of psychological safety to help delegates towards improving their boardroom performance.

11.50 - 12.00 Break
12.00 - 12.30

Workshop: how to establish a healthy board

In theory, creating a climate of trust to allow a flow of ideas and opinions to flourish is a straightforward process. The reality is that all boards encounter challenges as new team members bring their own expectations and objectives. This workshop will equip delegates with practical tools to help create an environment of productivity and positive outcomes.

12.30 - 13.30

Lunch and academy governance clinics and qualification

  • Find out about the solutions for your boardroom with our partner
  • Join The Chartered Governance Institute to find out which qualification and courses would suit your academy governance professional development
13.30 - 14.10

Breakout sessions

Option 1 - Risk management, creating a robust framework

Effective boards play a key role in balancing the need and the control of risks. In academy trusts, boards ensure that these risks are aligned with strategic priorities, improvement plans and intervention strategies. How do you ensure each risk adequately aligns? Our panel of experts will examine what a robust framework for risk management could provide academy governance professionals. Delegates will take away best practices on how to identify, manage and mitigate risks in a quickly changing external environment through concrete examples.


Option 2 - Local governance and balancing control in MATs

Successful delegation to local governance is a challenging task for every academy trust board. They must provide good guidance and the right level of control while adapting to each combination: trust with no local governance, joint governing bodies or academy committees. How can trust boards support their local governance to allow them to flourish? Our cross-sector governance professionals share their model and explain how they have been communicated, perceived and activated in practice.

Tracy Goodsell, Clerk of the board, Orchard Hill Colloge and Academy trust

14.10-14.20 Break

Breakout sessions

Option 1 - The new board ethos

Over the past few months, protests around the world to promote diversity have made many boards re-assess their values and ethos. Board diversity is an even greater challenge in the academy sector. What values stand behind the word diversity? Why is it crucial at board level? Our panellists reflect on these questions and provide a practical perspective on ways in which boards can expand their recruitment and induction to ensure a diverse and reflective board.

Roma Grant,
Deputy Company Secretary, Welcome Trust


Option 2 - Incorporating new schools or becoming a multi-academy trust (MAT)

The academy trust landscape is evolving, and one can foresee the increase of MATs in the coming years. From a single academy trust (SAT) to joining a MAT, what are the risks and responsibilities that must be considered before taking the leap? How can a SAT meet its new 'stakeholders' expectations? What are the pitfalls when incorporating schools judged inadequate by Ofsted into a MAT? Our speakers will share their experience so delegates can gather best practice examples to plan future integrations with due diligence.

15.00-15.05 Break

Resilient governance and facing the pandemic

A trust' 'board's strategic decisions directly impact on how its academies are run and on the wellbeing of its stakeholders. When COVID-19 crisis spun out of control, boards had to act quickly and make critical decisions at every stage of the crisis. In this session, we look at the decisions and actions taken throughout the pandemic. We discuss the positives and negatives to retain best practice so delegate can prepare for the future.


Closing remarks and conference close

*This is a draft programme and may be subject to change


Monday 25 January 2021


9.00am - 4.00pm BST



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