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What's the future for school and trust governance?

Article image governance 2030 v2

Plans for an all-academy schools system are underway - but we don't know yet how school governance 'fits in'. We recently hosted a panel session with three experts to discuss what governance arrangements could or should look like when all schools are part of a multi-academy trust.

We heard from Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association, Sam Freedman, senior fellow at the Institute for Government and senior adviser to Ark and Sir Jon Coles, CEO of United Learning.

Will local school governing boards still exist in 2030 and, if so, what will they responsible for?

Emma Knights says the local tier will be continue to exist in 2030 because it's proved its worth. She thinks responsibility for finances may or may not sit at this level, depending on the trust, but meaningful functions based around local knowledge will.


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Is it a good thing when a trust and local board disagree?

Sir Jon Coles, CEO of United Learning, says there is occasionally some disagreement between the trust board and local tier at his trust - but that is actually a good thing.

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How might unhappy schools move between trusts?

Sam Freedman agrees with Emma and Jon that local boards will exist in the vast majority of trusts in 2030 but wonders if there will be a new legal power for local boards which allows them to move between trusts in exceptional cases.

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Local authority trusts - a good idea?

Sir Jon Coles says the problem with local authorities setting up trusts is that they can no longer be independent 'honest brokers' when things go wrong at a local level.

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... but they won't really be 'LA trusts'

Emma Knights says there are misconceptions around the plan for what's being called 'LA trusts'. They will in fact be no different to other trusts.

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Will we have a better education system by 2030?

Sam Freedman says it's possible, but there are lots of wider factors at play.

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A big thanks to all of our panellists for an engaging and thought-provoking discussion.

Watch a recording of the full 60 minute webinar

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