Help for Charity Trustees and School Governors

Charities and schools depend on Trustees, many of whom give their time voluntarily and take on major responsibilities. That can be a daunting prospect for people who have skills & experience in other sectors but have not worked in charities before. This can be a particular problem for organisation, such as parent teacher associations and community groups that have a high turnover of trustees and may see several board members arrive and move on each year.

To help them the Charity Commission has published two new online tools for newly appointed trustees.  Their online Trustees Handbook informs new trustees about their duties and responsibilities towards their charities and explains how to make use of the Commission’s online services and guidance. This includes a checklist of documents and information new trustees should either receive from their charity or find for themselves on the Commission’s website, including the charity’s governing document, recent charity accounts, minutes of board meetings, the charity’s conflicts of interest policy and key guidance such as The Essential Trustee.

Governors of academies, foundation and voluntary schools who are also trustees have the same responsibilities as trustees of registered charities. The Commission has joined with the school governor recruitment charity SGOSS and the Department for Education to produce an Introduction to Charity Law for Governors of Academies, Foundation and Voluntary Schools. This summarises their responsibilities and explains where they can find further information.

Harris & Harris can help schools and charities. Please contact Roland Callaby or Tim Berry.