The Governors (who act as Trustees for charitable activities of SUAT and are also the Directors of the Charitable Company for the purposes of company law) are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with the Annual Accounts Requirements issued by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), United Kingdom Accounting Standards and applicable law and regulations.
Company law requires the Governors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under company law the Governors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Charitable Company and of its incoming resources and application of resources, including its income and expenditure, for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the Governors are required to:
- Select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
- Observe the methods and principles in the Charities SORP (Statements of Recommended Practice);
- Make judgments and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
- State whether applicable UK Accounting Standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and
- Prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Charitable Company will continue in business.
The Governors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Charitable Company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Charitable Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Charitable Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.
The Governors are responsible for ensuring that in its conduct and operation the Charitable Company applies financial and other controls, which conform with the requirements both of propriety and of good financial management. They are also responsible for ensuring grants received from the EFA/DfE have been applied for the purposes intended.
The Governors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Charitable Company’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.
The Governors are responsible for ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are maintained. They should exercise their powers and functions with a view to fulfilling a largely strategic leadership role in the running of the academies, addressing such matters as:
- Policy development and strategic planning, including target-setting to keep up momentum on school improvement
- Ensuring sound management and administration of the academies, and ensuring that managers are equipped with relevant skills and guidance
- Ensuring compliance with legal requirements
- Establishing and maintaining a transparent system of prudent and effective internal controls
- Management of the academies’ financial, human and other resources (in particular control over the spending identified in the academies’ development plans)
- Monitoring performance and the achievement of objectives, and ensuring that plans for improvement are acted upon
- Helping the SUAT academies be responsive to the needs of parents and the community and making them more accountable through consultation and reporting
- Setting the SUAT academies’ standards of conduct and values
- Assessing and managing risk.