News from the NGA

Now in its third year, the National Governance Association is delighted to announce the return of our growing and successful Community MATs Network.  This term’s Community MATs Network Meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 May 2019 in central Birmingham

Our topic will be: 'Governing Multi-Academy Trusts: lessons learnt'.  NGA would like to invite members who are governing or clerking in a MAT to attend.
NGA will be publishing new papers and case studies for this event including:

  • the first of NGA’s new Policy & Practice papers: Governing multi academy trusts: past, present & future
  • the fifth of our MAT case studies: In their own words: lessons learned by multi-academy trusts

This event is an opportunity for trustees, academy committee members, governance professionals and clerks of multi-academy trusts (MATs) to come together to discuss practice, identify what has worked well, and suggest improvements.

Refreshments and registration will be from 9:30am. The meeting will run from 10:00am-3:00pm, with a buffet lunch provided. Please see below for the programme for the meeting:     

  • Welcome from Emma Knights, Chief Executive, NGA
  • Presentation from Sam Henson, Director of Policy and Information and Tom Fellows, Research Manager: Governing multi academy trusts: past, present & future
  • Presentation of Case Study - Liz Holmes, The Chair of the Faringdon Academy of schools, including Q&A
  • Open forum: discussion framed round the themes of Governing multi academy trusts: past, present & future

1. Right people around the table
2. The time to chair
3. Organisational identity: ethos and vision
4. Ethics, culture, behaviour and relationships
5. Who does what?: accountability, delegation & clarity
6. The future of the local tier: academy level governance
7. Stakeholder and community engagement
8. Communication and information management 
9. Due diligence and risk
10. Growth, location and sustainability
11. Oversight and holding trusts to account
12.  System leadership: collaborating and supporting other MATs to improve

  • Governing multi academy trusts: present & future: A Chatham House conversation with Andrew Warren, Regional Schools Commissioner for the West Midlands, based on the conclusions and questions from the open forum, chaired by Emma Knights.  We are very pleased that Andrew is able to join us to listen, respond and take your suggestions for improvement back to the Department for Education

Previous meetings have provoked lively discussion and the day will be structured informally with opportunities for everyone to speak. We hope you or a colleague can join us.

This event is free as part of your membership of NGA, but as our events tend to be fully booked, please only book once you are sure that you are able to attend.  As a MAT member of NGA, please feel free to send up to three participants – the discussions will be relevant to executives, trustees, academy committee members and governance managers/clerks, and should really help you review your trust’s governance together.

How to book: If you are governing or clerking in a MAT, and would like to book a place at this event, please email  with the name and email address of all people you wish to attend.

Within 3 working days your place will be confirmed, along with notification of the venue in Central Birmingham.

If you have any questions about the event or network, please get in touch with Deborah Cartwright using the email address below.


Deborah Cartwright
Events Co-ordinator

The latest NGA News. You can only access the full articles if you have NGA Membership. We recommend that you or your school take out full membership to gain access to the articles in full.
NGA Bulletin - March 22 2019.doc
Microsoft Word document [62.0 KB]
NGA Bulletin
NGA Bulletin - March 22 2019.doc
Microsoft Word document [62.0 KB]

Information from Surrey

Related Party Transactions

Consultant: Steve BarkerDate posted: April 2019

The Department for Education (DfE), through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has introduced new requirements on academy trust reporting of, and permissions required to enter into, related party transactions. The new requirements took effect on 1st April 2019 and apply to all new transactions from that date.


The move by the ESFA comes as a result of a number of high-profile reported cases where some trusts have been criticised for contractual relationships between trustees, senior staff of the trust and others with companies they or their families have financial links with. In an ESFA news story, first published in March 2019, Eileen Milner, its chief executive stated that the ‘New online reporting arrangements aim to give ESFA, Parliament, the tax payer and other interested parties, assurance about the use of public funds.’


Eileen Milner also comments that the new requirements, introduced from 1st April, are only the beginning of a process which initially aims to inform the ESFA of how, and possibly how widely, related party transactions are used in academy trusts. The ESFA intend to use the period between now and September to monitor the situation and then review if the requirements introduced in April are sufficiently robust, or if additional measures are required.


There are two key elements of the change in requirements introduced in April;
1. Academy trusts must declare (using the online form) a related party transaction before they agree it with their supplier.
2. They must also seek approval from ESFA before they agree any related party transactions over £20,000.


The ESFA have introduced an online system which trusts must use to declare and seek permission for transactions that exceed the £20,000 level. All trusts must register with IDAMS (Integrated Data Analysis and Management System) and use its online forms to submit information.


The ESFA have uploaded two short video clips explaining the new requirements. One outlines the required information and also stresses the expectation that trusts have ensured the following rules that should be applied to all related party transactions, have been adhered to:

• That conflicts of interest have been identified and managed
• That the transaction complies with the ‘at cost’ policy
• That each party is not controlled by or influenced by the other


Questions for governors to ask
• Does the trust have any related party transactions?
• Is the trust aware of these new rules and how will compliance be monitored by the trust board or one of its committees?

The ESFA article including the two videos and links to other related guidance can be accessed here.

Surrey County Council’s Transition out of the Strictly Education 4S contract

The contract with Babcock 4S has ended. Please see the attached document to see how these changes will affect you and your school.,
Draft 12 grid for stakeholders setting [...]
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