Essential Academy Governance

A one-day course for trust secretaries, clerks, trustees and school leaders. Central London.

Upcoming dates to be confirmed

If you need any further assistance or advice, please call +44 (0)20 7580 4741 or contact us


Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, we have converted our classroom training courses into virtual training courses. Due to the regulations around social distancing, we have put all of our classroom training on hold until early 2021. Once these dates are open for booking you will find them listed below.  But for now, please visit our Virtual Classroom Training section and register for the virtual edition of Essential Academy Governance.  

Gain insight into the governance of academy trusts and the key building blocks of strong governance structures with this one day course. Delivered by Emma Perkin, Founder and Lead Consultant at The Constant Group and former Head of Governance at Ark Schools, this course is ideal for trust secretaries, clerks, trustees and school leaders who strive for good practice in the development of governance within their trust.

What you get

By the end of the day you will have gained:

  • A practical perspective on key elements of successful governance within a trust
  • Tools to assess your own governance arrangements and suggest improvements
  • An understanding of the regulators' expectations of academy trusts
  • Ideas for the development of your board and governance professionals in your trust

You will also receive:

  • A Delegate Pack containing notes and presentation slides
  • A certificate to show you have attended the course
  • Six-month complimentary professional subscription of the Chartered Governance Institute (see below)
  • Six hours credit towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your complimentary 6-month Professional Subscription

We support our attendees long after they complete the course. Your professional subscription includes a subscription to G+C Magazine, as well as access to briefings, discounts and our knowledge base.

Get your copy of Academy Governance Checklists and Academy Governance Handbook

Delegates to this course get the opportunity to buy the accompanying books when signing up. For more info about our books, please visit our book shop.


Please expand the dropdown to see the course programme timetable and highlights.

9:15   Registration & tea/coffee

9:30   Welcome and introductions

9:45   Academy governance in context

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  • Growth of the academy sector
  • Academy versus maintained school governance – key differences

10:05   The drivers of academy trust governance

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  • Regulatory environment surrounding academy trusts
  • Expectations placed on academy trusts looking to grow
  • Requirements around risk, audit and compliance
  • Inspection of academy trusts – current and future 
  • Core guidance documents applicable to academy trusts
  • The Department for Education’s Six Features of Effective Governance

11:30   Tea/coffee

11:45   Setting clear roles and responsibilities 

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  • Role and responsibilities of trust members, trustees, executive team, headteachers and local governance
  • Shaping effective delegations
  • Establishing strong communication and information flows
  • Expectations of the governance professional
  • Knowledge and competencie
  • Recruitment and professional development

13:00   Lunch

13:30   Case study

14:00   Building effective boards

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  • What makes an effective board?
  • Designing needs assessments, recruitment and appointment
  • Induction and training programmes
  • Board dynamics and behaviours
  • Board development and evaluation

14:45   Empowering local governors

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  • Communicating the point and purpose of local governance
  • Supporting governors to deliver meaningful challenge and support
  • Empowering your Chairs to lead

15:30   Discussion and conclusions

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  • Sharing examples of good practice from the sector
  • Reflecting on governance in participants’ trusts
  • Closing remarks and insight

Course leader

Anna Machin

Anna is a chartered secretary and for the past six years worked as Deputy Company Secretary & Governance Manager at Ark Schools, one of the UK's leading academy networks. Anna joined initially to support Ark’s 300+ school governors, before switching to focus on board, committee and company secretarial activities across the trust and parent charity. Anna now delivers advisory support to a range of charities and academy trusts and is governance professional at Reach Academy Feltham and Kensington Aldridge Academy

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Emma Perkin

Emma is Founder and Lead Consultant at The Constant Group, an education governance consultancy specialising in academy trust governance. Emma has 20+ years’ experience working in school governance and prior to starting The Constant Group worked as governance lead in standalone maintained schools, converter academies and as Head of Governance at Ark Schools. Emma is Co-Founder of Trust Governance Professionals, a training and development programme for academy governance professionals delivered with support from The Chartered Governance Institute. Emma is motivated by the belief that good governance can transform a school or school group, and provide vital support to school leaders.

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Thoroughly enjoyed the course and the content. It will enable me to tackle governance issues more confidently. Course leaders were fantastic!

Both speakers were helpful in assisting me in my role within the MAT. It was useful to network with other governance professionals.

Good breadth of topics given the time available. I liked the balance between the different types of activities and the opportunity to share experiences.



£605 +VAT (Non-sector rate)
£545 +VAT (Sector rate)

Upcoming dates to be confirmed

Location: Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby St, London, EC1N 8TS


There are no upcoming dates at this time.

Call or Contact us with any questions you may have

   +44 (0)20 7580 4741

   contact us

   Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS

How to find us

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