The major responsibilities are set out below.
- Admissions: ensuring compliance with admissions legislation and guidance
- Premises: health and safety, capital building support and details of construction industry law
- Purchasing: ensuring compliance with EU purchasing law and tendering processes, and achieving best value through competitive tendering
- Employment: negotiations with trade unions and staff if changing staff terms and conditions
- Training for staff and governors on all aspects of school management, including safeguarding and legal responsibilities
- Payroll and pensions responsibilities
- Policies regarding, for example, a vision for the academy, HR policies and procedures, including discipline and grievance, and others covering all aspects of employment (which have to be agreed with the trade unions), behaviour (pupil and staff), staff performance, health and safety, and bullying
- Legislation and standards governing statutory company and charity accounts: this covers the production of full statutory accounts, including income and expenditure accounts, a statement of financial analysis, a balance sheet and all required notes and other regular detailed income and expenditure returns.
- These accounts will need to be independently audited. There are also responsibilities for accounting for fixed assets and management of VAT directly to HMRC, registration and administration of pensions for both teachers and non-teaching staff, as well as the regular and often more rigorous challenges of financial matters by governors.
- In a maintained school, ultimate legal responsibility rests with the local authority. Academies bear the risk themselves.
- The risks against which the academy will need to insure employment risks (tribunals, costs of dismissal/retirement/redundancy, tax liabilities) and generally insurable risks (buildings and contents, professional and personal liabilities, liabilities for children and staff in school and out of school on school/educational activities).
Key responsibilities of the academies trust will be to:
- ensure the quality of educational provision
- challenge and monitor the performance of the academy. Areas of challenge will include curriculum, assessment and attainment, behaviour and attendance, views of the school and the community, staffing and budget
- appoint the principal
- manage the academy trust’s finances and property
- fulfil the role of critical friend
- employ staff
- approve the academy formal budget plan each academy financial year
- comply with (and ensure that the academy trust complies with) both charity and company law
- manage and comply with the obligations in the funding agreement, including upholding admissions arrangements and arrangements for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), provision of free school meals and ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum that includes English, maths, science and RE
- determine the academy’s admissions policy and arrangements, although participation in local authority co-ordinated schemes is still required
- administer admissions appeals.
The local authority retains responsibility for:
- home to school transport (including SEN)
- education psychology, SEN statutory assessments and statements
- monitoring of SEN provision and parent partnership service.
- prosecution of parents for non-attendance
- individually assigned SEN resources for pupils with rare conditions needing expensive tailored provision
- provision of pupil referral units or other education for a pupil no longer registered at an academy
- co-ordinating admission arrangements.
To find out more about AGS accountants in the West Midlands and our academies services, please contact us