The Chartered Governance Institute responds to the publication of the white paper “Schools, an opportunity for all”

LONDON, UK, March 28, 2022 / — Commenting on today’s release of the Department for Education’s ‘Schools Opportunity For All’ white paper on reforming academic trusts, Louise Thomson, NFP Policy Lead at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland (CGIUKI) said:

“Academic Trusts have had a profound impact on school provision in England. While many will have benefited from the freedoms enjoyed by academic trusts, there continue to be governance issues in the way academic trusts are managed and regulated. This white paper proposes much-needed changes and CGIUKI will actively engage with the Ministry of Education to help develop its thinking.

“With full academy as a goal for 2030 and with Multi-Academy (MAT) trusts to be made up of a minimum of ten schools or 7,500 students, boards will need to consider their due diligence provisions when considering accept new schools or join a MAT. They will also need to consider the stakeholder engagement process required to assure parents and guardians that their interests are fully considered.

Good governance does not live in a vacuum and proper transparency and accountability are needed to ensure that proposed arrangements work for all parties. We are concerned that while the white paper commits to each academy trust having local governance agreements, few details are provided on how this will differ from current agreements.

“The ability for schools to opt out of a family of academic trusts, in specific circumstances and subject to further consultation, is welcomed by CGIUKI, as is the ability for local authorities to create academic trusts. Both of these measures will improve choice for parents and students. However, the detail of these proposals needs to be fully developed and reviewed to ensure that the system encompasses strong governance arrangements.

“CGIUKI will look closely at the upcoming reviews and consultations referred to in the white paper and will engage with the Department to provide governance insights that will help the government achieve its vision for the education sector in England.”

For more information, please contact Jemima Broadbridge, Media Relations Manager:
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7376 198 649

Notes to editors:

1 The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the professional governance body and the qualification and membership body for governance professionals in all sectors. Its purpose under the Royal Charter is to lead “effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs” by working with regulators and policy makers to uphold high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and advice. As a lifelong learning partner, the Institute helps governance professionals achieve their professional goals, providing recognition, community and the voice of its members.

One of nine divisions of the global Chartered Governance Institute, established 130 years ago, the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland represents members working and studying in the UK and Ireland and many other countries and regions, including Caribbean, parts of Africa and Middle East. Website:

Jemima Broadbridge
The Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland
+44 20 7612 7072
[email protected]

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