The new UTC/studio model funding agreement includes a new provision, not (as far as I have spotted) previously seen in any of the model agreements:
The Academy Trust shall use its best endeavours to ensure that it complies with, and is not in breach of, its obligations arising under any legislation or law, failing which the Secretary of State may:
(a) by notice terminate this Agreement forthwith or provide such notice as he deems appropriate in the circumstances to terminate this Agreement; or
(b) appoint such Further Governors as he thinks fit and/or provide such notice as he deems appropriate in the circumstances to terminate this Agreement.
That is notable in imposing on new UTCs/studio schools an obligation to comply with the law. But that is something they should surely be doing anyway?
And this is only a “best endeavours” obligation – when compliance with the law is an absolute requirement, not simply a matter of best endeavours.
And why, suddenly, has the Secretary of State decided he needs a contractual power to act when a studio school/UTC breaks the law?
And why not the same for other types of academy? or free schools?
Interestingly, the introduction of this new provision for new studio schools/UTCs draws attention to the fact that it would be hard (if not impossible) for the Secretary of State to take action against an academy or free school which broke the law.
Perhaps we will see a similar provision creeping into the model for other academies/free schools in due course? But, of course, that would only affect new academies/free schools, and not the existing ones created using previous models.Tweet