Academy chain to scrap governing bodies

The BBC is reporting that an academy chain is scrapping the current form of governing bodies for its schools in England.

The E-ACT academy group says it will replace them with “academy ambassadorial advisory bodies”.

These new bodies will “play a central role in celebrating the academy’s achievements”, E-ACT has told its school governors in a letter.

But governing bodies, with parental representatives, will no longer hold their local schools to account.

The academy chain says it was about providing the “best possible education”.

A school governor described it as “authoritarian” and “repugnant”…

The letter to governors says the academy chain would contact governing bodies “to discuss an appropriate transition date” and the replacement bodies would provide a different type of function, such as an “interface with the community”.

And it invites current governors to move over to the new bodies, but these would no longer be involved in areas such as hiring senior staff and monitoring budgets and standards.

A governor in one of E-ACT’s schools in the midlands said he was “shocked” at how governing bodies had been disbanded, which he described as “offensive and disrespectful to the people who freely volunteer their time to act as governors”.

What makes this more controversial is that E-ACT itself has a troubled record…

A spokeswoman for E-ACT said the academy group had introduced “fundamental changes to how the organisation operates to ensure that every young person received the best possible education with us”. 

She added: “Part of this involves adopting a new governance model, in line with the Department for Education’s guidance…

More (including an organisational chart of the new structure) at: Academy chain to scrap governing bodies


What do you think about this move to end the traditional form of governing body and replace it with what sounds like a relatively toothless ambassadorial advisory  body?

Does it sound to you to be in line with DfE guidance as suggested?

Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Academies and Policy.


  1. pompeygeorge

    SchoolsImprove as a governor of 12 years, this is not a great surprise. Sounds like it will just be a talking shop to me.

  2. And yet academy conversion is pushed by the DfE as being the path to autonomy.  It isn’t.  The Government has created a prison and called it freedom.
    No doubt we can expect other academy chains to follow this example.

  3. Nairb1

    We’re bound to see more of this as academies begin to remove any vestige of independent scrutiny. I wonder what Morgan would say if an LA school said it was going to remove its governing body and replace it with a group appointed by the school.

  4. Northnsouth55

    SchoolsImprove Sounds to me like they only want a select few to know what goes on behind closed doors. Wonder why?

  5. E-ACT are not really changing anything, apart from being more honest. A local governing body in a multi academy trust already is a ‘relatively toothless ambassadorial advisory body’. It is a pity that, when a maintained school GB is being encouraged to join a MAT, they are not told this. They are in fact abandoning forever any real power and influence, including the levers of school improvement.

    The Trust can then abolish them. It takes the signature of the Secretary of State to do that to a maintained school, which is why so few primary schools (14% at the last count) are academies. Many of them have worked this out.

  6. RobertYoung3

    Another nail in the coffin for governance as a representative and democratic concept, not unexpected because it is in line with the government’s guidance with regard to reconstitution and its preferred ‘slimmed down’ executive model for governing bodies. The Prime Minister may have espoused democratic values and community action as part of his philosophy, but the multi academy agenda seems to be pushing us in the opposite direction!

  7. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove well what did you expect? Once these private bodies have their grasp on public funds theyre not going to share it.

  8. TW

    Phil Hand  True, except they are told that as they would know if they could be bothered to read and understand the blatantly obvious document they choose to sign.  #GullibleSheepAskingToBeSheared

  9. TW

    This is what academies were created to do – don’t want parents or community-minded folk getting in the way of parasites out to make money.

  10. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Should an academy that’s under notice to improve financially & had 10 school removed from its roster be allowed to do this?

  11. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Schools need to be part of a community in order to fully succeed; this is doing the exact opposite and is suspect at best

  12. egaliteacher

    SchoolsImprove this is pretty shocking. Where is the day to day accountability? Where will the monitoring come from?

  13. ClareDelders

    SchoolsImprove really worrying. Maintained schools should be grounded in their communities not run from a distant ‘executive’

  14. Jonesboy110

    SchoolsImprove Removing yet another tier of accountability for academies that are just vehicles for Tory sponsors to trouser our cash.

  15. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove I do love management diagrams…tells you everything about power base, managemnt thinking, bureaucracy and waste!

  16. Oohlook

    SchoolsImprove ‘ambassadorial advisory bodies’ & ahem, ‘directors’. Academy chains run by business wannabes with fancy titles? Credibility?

  17. amirshah316

    SchoolsImprove very worrying at a time of less local accountability of publicly funded academies and now even less. Who are these people?

  18. TeaLadyJune

    SchoolsImprove Academy chains don’t want ‘outsiders’ with a social conscious stopping them siphoning off taxpayers’ money to their cronies.

Let us know what you think...