Essential Academy Governance

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


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
  • An ICSA Certificate to show you have attended the course
  • Six-month complimentary professional subscription of ICSA (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.

Special Offer: Get 30% off your copy of Academy Governance Handbook and academy governance checklist

Delegates to this course get the chance to buy the accompanying books at a 30% discount. Academy Governance Handbook, normally available for £49.95, is available for you at £35.00. Acadmey Governance Checklist, normally available for £39.95, is available for you at £25.

For more information about our books, please visit the 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 Machin is a chartered secretary and works as Governance & Compliance Manager at Ark Schools, one of the UK's leading multi-academy trusts. Anna joined initially to support Ark’s network of 300+ governors, then moved into the deputy company secretary role to deliver trust board, committee and members' meetings, and develop Ark's work on policies, risk, audit and compliance.

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Emma Perkin

Emma Perkin has 20+ years' experience working in school governance, and is Founder and Lead Consultant at The Constant Group. The Constant Group works with a range of clients from single academy trusts and small multi-academy trusts to leading maintained sector Federations and Local Authorities to design and develop bespoke governance models that will act as a foundation for future growth.

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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.



£565 +VAT (Non-sector rate)
£505 +VAT (Sector rate)

Next course: 22 November 2019
Book now

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


Later dates are yet to be confirmed

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

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