Leading On - Accounting Essentials: Policy and guidance updates for trust leaders

This session will provide delegates with a technical accounting policy update and will include a summary of the changes to the Academy Trust Handbook, Academy Accounts Direction and ESFA good practice guides. This will be essential for those undertaking the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Accounting Officer (AO).

The handbook and accounts direction are updated annually to reflect statutory and policy changes and are applicable to those who have responsibility for governing, managing or auditing an academy trust.

This webinar will be delivered by ASCL Business Leadership Specialist, Hayley Dunn, who represents ASCL on the ESFA’s Academies Finance & Assurance Steering Group and a sub-group ‘Working Group 1’ which considers the changes each year to the handbook.

Academy trusts must comply with the Academy Trust Handbook as a condition of the funding agreement. The handbook covers all types of academies, including single academy trusts, trusts with multiple academies, free schools, studio schools, university technical colleges, alternative provision and special academies. It outlines the financial responsibilities, with details of elements that must be complied with and others that are an expected minimum level of good practice


Participants will:

  • explore the changes to the Academy Trust Handbook that come into effect from 1 September 2022
  • develop an understanding of the latest accounting changes, including updates to the Academy Accounts Direction and ESFA good practice guides
  • understand the key lessons learned from the ESFA’s assurance work
There will also be the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with other attendees.


  • Executive Head, CEO, Headteacher/Principal 
  • Business Leaders 
  • Trustees 
Teaching phases:
  • MATs
  • SATs

To attend this webinar live, you will need to ensure you have access to a computer or device that meets the Zoom system requirements.

If you cannot attend live you will receive a copy of the recording, links to any resources discussed, and the opportunity to submit questions.

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Hayley Dunn

Business Leadership Specialist

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