On the 1 July 2016 the DfE published information for everyone involved in the governance of an academy, multi-academy trust (MAT) or maintained school.
Everyone involved in the governance of an academy, multi-academy trust (MAT) or maintained school holds an important public office. The recent white paper Educational Excellence Everywhere explained the DfE’s plans for a national database that included everyone involved in the governance of schools. This will be done by extending the information collected via Edubase. It is hoped that this will increase transparency about who governs schools. It will enable the DfE to quickly and accurately identify individuals who have a role in governance and help Boards to identify where individuals govern in more than one context.
From September 2016 the Academies Financial Handbook will require academy trusts to provide information about their members and trustees, as well as, in the case of MATs, those sitting on any local governing bodies that may be in place.
Under academy funding agreements, trusts must already provide relevant information to the Secretary of State for Home, to help her fulfil her role and responsibilities. The DfE have actually pre-populated Edubase with the information already provided and trusts will be able to check, amend and add to this information any time after 1stJuly 2016. To access this information, go to Education Funding Agency’s Information Exchange.
Edubase will then be ready for September 2016 enabling multi-academy trusts to record details of any committees that operate between the Trust’s Board and local governing bodies at school level (e.g. those overseeing a cluster of academies within a MAT). It will then be the Trust’s responsibility to keep it updated and they will be required to update Edubase with any changes as they happen.
Under section 538 of the Education Act 1996, maintained school governing bodies also have to provide information using Edubase from September 2016. They must also update any changes as necessary. The DfE does not hold information on maintained school Governors and so they cannot pre-populate these fields. All the information must be provided by the schools. Governing bodies can start to populate this information now, ahead of the requirement from September.
The DfE will update the Governance handbook on the constitution of maintained schools’ governing bodies to reflect this new requirement.
Information to be collected
Information will be collected about all maintained school Governors, academy trustees, members and local Governors. The following data will be made available to the public:
- full name (including title)
- appointing body (eg board, foundation, parents etc)
- date of appointment
- date term of office ends / ended if in last year
- for maintained schools whether they are the chair of Governors or a member of the governing body, and for academies whether they are a trust member, a trustee, the chair of trustees, or a local governor on a local governing body
Edubase will also collect the following information but not publish it:
- date of birth
- previous names
- direct email address for chair
The DfE will encrypt this data and it will only be accessed by official nominated users.
The DfE will share the email address of the Chair of the Board with regional schools’ commissioner offices when requested, where there is a need for direct contact.
Subject to successful pilots, the DfE have said that they will also use the email address to send to Board Chairs information about any issues that national performance data suggests the Board needs to address.
The DfE have asked that you inform all Governors and trustees that the data will be shared with the DfE, and explain why this information is being collected and how it will be used.
EduBase is accessed via your Secure Access account.