Spotlight on: Regulatory Documents

What do you mean by regulatory documents?

Regulatory documents determine the way in which an education setting is set up and overseen. They outline the legal requirements by which school governance is held to account and guidance around the role and functions of governance.

LA maintained vs. academies

Regulations depend upon the type of school. Schools fall generally under two categories – LA maintained and DfE funded (academies and free schools) which dictate the regulations they fall under.

Regulatory documents for LA maintained schools

E.g Community, church, foundation and special schools

Regulatory documents:

  • Governance Handbook : includes guidance from the DfE outlining the core role and functions of governance. It is the first point of reference for legal duties and includes a lot of links to additional documents and information.
  • School Governance Regulations : Two documents – 1. Roles, Prodecures and Allowances – provides guidance on legal obligations and duties of a governing board 2. Constitution – the way in which governance is made up (number and types of governor)
  • Competancy Frameworks : Two documents – 1. Competancy Framework for Governance 2. Clerking Competancy Framework – both documents outline the knowledge, skills and behaviours for effective governance
  • Instrument of Government : Legal document recording the constitution and terms of office for a government body and the legal name of the school
  • Standing Orders : Sets out the rules for how your governing body works (not a legal document)

Regulatory documents for academies

Academies are governed by the DfE and company and charity law as companies limited by guarantee and exempt charities. Therefore, their regulatory documents look different to those of LA maintained schools.

Regulatory documents:

  • The first three documents above (governance handbook, regulations and competancy frameworks) also relate to academies; however, are not binding
  • Articles of Association : set out the charitabe purpose and governance structure of the trust
  • Funding Agreement : Master Funding Agreement is the legal contract between the Secretary of State (government) and the academy trust. Schools within a MAT will also have Supplementary Funding Agreements for each school that joins the MAT
  • Scheme of Delegation : agreement between the trust board and local governing body or headteacher setting out the delegated authority given by the trust board

Other regulatory documents (for LA maintained and academies)

  • Code of Conduct : a statutory document that sets out rules and proper practices of governance. This is reviewed and agreed annually
  • Terms of Reference : often seen for committees, TOR (non-obligatory) can also be put in place for the full governing body to outline the structure and purpose of the board and a framework by which the board can be held to account

All my best


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Published by Ellie Hully

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