Academy Trusts: Governance Reporting Requirements for GIAS, Companies House & Trust Website

The Academy Trust Handbook stipulates that academy trusts must notify the DfE of changes to their governance information via Get Information About Schools (GIAS) within 14 calendar days of the change and update their website and Companies House accordingly.

We often find academy trusts failure to meet these requirements results in one of the most common audit findings we report each year, especially when it comes to trustee appointments and resignations.

Get Information About Schools (GIAS)

GIAS is the Department for Education’s (DfE) register of educational establishments in England and Wales. It is vital that academy trusts keep their GIAS record up to date in line with statutory guidance.

Any changes must be reported within 14 calendar days of the change.

The records required on GIAS for academy trusts are: members, chair of trustees, all other trustees, accounting officer, chief financial officer. Direct contact details should be submitted for all but are not publically available.

The records required on GIAS for constituent academies in a trust with multiple academies are: headteacher, chairs of local committees/governing bodies (where adopted), local governors (where adopted), including direct contact details for all. Again, contact details should be submitted for all but are not publically available.

We recommend all governance professionals and those responsible factor GIAS updates into their processes when any appointment or resignation occurs along with any other applicable changes.

For new academy trusts which have opened, all relevant governance information must be published on GIAS for the first time within 28 days of the trust becoming operational.

Companies House

All academy trusts are required by law to inform Companies House of any changes within 14 days.

The trustees of the academy trust are both charity trustees and company directors and therefore appointments and resignations of the trustees/directors are required to be kept up to date on both GIAS and Companies House.

There is no requirement to report members or local governors at Companies House, only trustees, company secretaries and persons with significant control (PSCs).

Academy trusts are charitable companies limited by guarantee. Consequently meaning it is compulsory for trusts to keep a register of individuals that hold a controlling stake (defined as greater than 25%) in voting rights of the company. Only the Members of the company have voting rights. If there are less than four members of the company each will need to be registered as a person with significant control (PSCs). Where an academy trust has no PSCs the register will still need to include a statement to that effect.

At Price Bailey we can offer assistance and support with company secretarial tasks including the annual confirmation statement, preparation and filing of forms relating to the appointment and resignation of directors and changes to persons with significant control. Please contact our team using the form below if you require further information.

Academy Trust’s website

Every academy trust must publish on its website, up-to-date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible format, including:

  • the structure and remit of the academy trust’s members, board of trustees, committees and local committees/governing bodies (the trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions), and the full names of the chair of each
  • for each member, trustee and local governor serving at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them, and relevant business and financial interests, including governance roles in other educational institutions. If the accounting officer is not a trustee their business and financial interests must still be published
  • for each trustee, their attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year
  • for each local governor, their attendance records at local governing body meetings over the last academic year.

Additionally, the DfE have published a useful comprehensive guide on what academies must or should publish online here.

This includes, but not exhaustively, the following:

  • Pupil premium: all schools that receive pupil premium funding must publish a pupil premium strategy statement each year by 31 December.
  • PE and sport premium: schools which receive PE and sport premium funding must publish detailed information regarding the funding, spend, impact and sustainability by 31 July each year.
  • Annual audited accounts: academy trusts should publish the accounts in full on the trust’s website by 31 January each year. Publishing a link to the Companies House website is not sufficient. Academy trusts should retain accounts in respect of at least the previous two years on their website, in line with ESFA guidance.
  • Other financial information: academy trusts should also publish the following financial information; memorandum of association, articles of association and funding agreement.
  • Executive pay: academy trusts must publish the number of employees whose benefits exceeded £100k, in £10k bandings, for the previous year ended 31 August. Benefits for this purpose include salary, employers’ pension contributions, other taxable benefits and termination payments.

Further support

If you would like support, advice, or have any further questions regarding this article, you can contact our team using the form below.

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

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