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Education sector - education act 2011 toolkit

Helping you to manage freedoms and flexibilities

Following the implementation of the Education Act 2011, further education corporations and sixth form college corporations have opportunities to streamline their governance arrangements and consider broader strategic objectives.

With change comes opportunity, but freedom also means greater responsibility. Eversheds Sutherland's position as the leading governance adviser to the sector places us in the best position to assist you in making the complex choices that are now available to you. Our Education Act Toolkit has been designed to assist you in the following ways:

1. Governance freedoms health check

We will supply a version of the Instrument and Articles with a commentary showing where changes can and cannot be made. This is designed to help you identify any changes that your Board of Governors may wish to make to modernise governance arrangements, while ensuring compliance with charity law and other regulatory frameworks. Once you have identified your proposed changes, we will, provide you with a tailored set of Instrument and Articles designed to meet your Board's particular requirements. We can also advise you on, and incorporate into your Instrument and Articles, any wider changes you wish to make to further tailor your governance arrangements.

2. Governance freedoms structural review

We offer a comprehensive review of the legal, structural and governance options available to your Board of Governors, taking into account your strategic objectives and the particular local challenges that you face. Following consultation with you, our comprehensive options report will set out clearly the pro and cons of each possibility. This may include maintaining the status quo, modifying board structures, the establishment of group structures, sponsorship of academies and collaboration models.

3. The Eversheds Sutherland governance subscription service and I and A vault

Governance subscription service

Our ongoing commitment to provide robust governance advice to the sector is spearheaded by our unique Governance Subscription Service and helpline. Provided by our team of governance experts, the service will continue to be an essential resource for those working with constitutional and governance matters in the sector. Our advice incorporates the impact of the Education Act 2011. We offer two levels of subscription - Standard and Plus.

I and A vault

As Boards modify their Instrument and Articles and consider moving away from standardised constitutional documents, it will be vital for Clerks, Chairs and Principals to have easy access to the most up to date version of your college's Instrument and Articles. We offer Governance Subscription members free online storage of your college's current Instrument and Articles and we will update the version we hold without charge each time you notify us of a change. You will be able to access your current and previous versions online at any time via a secure link.


There are fixed fees in all areas to ensure cost certainty. Discounts apply to Standard members and Plus members of the Governance Subscription service.

Contact us

Diane Gilhooley, Partner

  • Global Head of Employment, Labor and Pensions, and Global Co-Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • +44 161 831 8151
  • E-mail Diane Gilhooley
Governance - unique online service, with 24hr access to or team