Capital funding

Spending on projects, improvements, and extensions to the school’s land and buildings

Chair’s action

In maintained schools the chair is allowed to take decisions without asking the governing body if a delay will be detrimental to the school, a member of staff, a pupil or a parent. In academies, this power is not automatic and must be delegated to the chair

Chief executive officer (CEO)

The lead professional and head of the executive branch for a group of academies known as a multi academy trust (MAT). Although not a headteacher in any school, they are ultimately accountable to the governing board for all aspects of the MAT as a whole

Chief financial officer (CFO)

All MATs are required to appoint a CFO, although trusts may give this person another title (such as finance director or chief operating officer). Their role is to have strategic oversight of the financial performance of each academy within the trust


The clerk provides advice on governance, constitutional and procedural matters. They also offer administrative support to the governing board and relay information on legal requirements. See also ‘governance professional’


An agreement between two or more schools to work together on one particular issue. The schools keep their individual governing boards, but may set up a joint committee to which they can delegate powers

Community schools

Maintained schools at which the local authority (LA) is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria. The LA also take a proportion of income known as ‘top slice’ for the provision of central services such as HR, legal etc

Community special schools

Maintained schools which make special educational provision for pupils with statements of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or education, health and care (EHC) plans, whose needs cannot be fully met from within mainstream provision. The LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria

Competency Framework

A document developed by the DfE, setting out the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for effective governance

Competitive tendering

Obtaining quotes or tenders from alternative suppliers before awarding contracts

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