Earlier this summer, the Department for Education published its Academies Financial Handbook 2020.
The handbook contains some significant changes to the guidelines around finance. These relate to:
- Executive teams
- General controls and transparency
- Internal scrutiny
- Annual accounts
You can see the full list of changes by clicking here.
There are also new guidelines around what specific financial information needs to be published on your MAT website.
- The number of employees whose benefits exceed £100K – this information now needs to be published in readily accessible format.
- Information about the Gender Pay Gap – this applies to organisations with 250 employees or more, and must also be published on the Government’s reporting website (INSERT LINK).
- An agreed whistleblowing policy – according to the handbook, a whistleblowing policy must first be agreed by at least four trustees and then published on the website.
- Information about the trust’s governance arrangements, which must include…
- The trust’s structure and information about the trust members, board of trustees and local governing bodies (this includes full names, dates of appointment and relevant business or pecuniary interests). This must be done for any members who have served over the previous 12 months.
- If the accounting officer is not a trustee, their business or pecuniary interests must be published.
- A record of attendance for all trustees at board and committee meetings over the previous academic year.
- Audited report and accounts – these must be published on the MAT website by 31st January.
- Academies Financial Notice to Improve – if the trust has been issued an FNtI, it must be published on the website within 14 days and remain there until it has been lifted.