A summary of the key changes from the previous version can be found on page 5 of the document. Many of the changes clarify or emphasise existing parts of the academies financial framework, while seeking to align these more firmly with terminology in the Governance Handbook, in particular it now makes absolutely clear that trusts must publish their scheme of delegation for governance functions. The 2016 edition features an enhanced focus on identifying skills needed on the board, both at trust board level, and for local governing committees, and includes further drives to promote increased transparency and openness
It also for the first time sets out in writing, what Department for Education officials have been saying for some time; that there must be a lead executive in multi-academy trusts (MATs) and so called ‘flat MATs’ will not be permitted. The AFH states “The board of trustees of the academy trust must appoint, in writing, a senior executive leader who may, in accordance with the trust’s articles of association, act as an ex officio trustee. In trusts comprising a single academy this should be the principal. In multi-academy trusts it should be the chief executive or equivalent. The role of senior executive leader must not rotate”.
Our interpretation is that this will apply to all MATs, not just new MATs.