The new Accountability Agreements between colleges and the ESFA for the 2023-24 year, have now been published.
This document is formed of a main terms and conditions body and schedules, and sets out the new style agreement between the ESFA and colleges.
Schedule 7 (pages 86-91) set out the governance requirements, including:
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GOVERNING BODY
2.1 The Governing Body of the College has responsibilities for ensuring that the College’s funds are used only in accordance with the corporation’s powers as set out in the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and the College’s own statutory duties and other obligations.
2.2 The Governing Body of the College has responsibilities for ensuring that the College’s funds are used only in accordance with the College’s powers as set out in the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and/or the College’s own statutory duties, articles of association or trust deeds and other obligations.
2.3 The Governing Body will appoint an accounting officer with an appropriate separation of duties between executive and non-executive roles and responsibilities. The expectation is that the accounting officer will be the Principal or most senior executive leader of the College. The Governing Body will inform the Department in writing of the name and position of the accounting officer, and if the accounting officer is absent from the College for an extended period, as determined by the corporation, the name of the person who will discharge the accounting officer’s responsibilities during the absence.
2.4 The College will inform the Department in writing, as soon as is reasonably practicable, of the vacating or filling of the positions of the Chair of the Governing Body, the Principal, the accounting officer, and the governance professional.
SPECIFIC GOVERNANCE REQUIREMENTS
5.1 Any person who is selected by the Governing Body for appointment as a governance professional must have a qualification relevant to the role or equivalent experience.
5.2 The Governing Body must report in its annual reports on activities undertaken over the year to develop governors and governance professionals.
5.3 The Governing Body must conduct an annual governance self assessment (except in the year of an external governance review) and must have an external governance review at least once every three years, based on the governance code(s) used by the Governing Body. In accordance with the obligation to supply information to the Secretary of State (see Clause 35 Provision of Information), the Governing Body must supply the Department with details of the outcomes of governance reviews, and of progress in meeting review recommendations, when so requested.