Formerly known as headteacher boards, they are responsible for advising and challenging regional schools commissioners (RSCs) on academy-related decisions.

Advisory boards (ABs) use knowledge, professional expertise and experience to consider proposals brought forward under the RSC’s decision-making framework, and offer advice and challenge to the RSC to inform those decisions.

Where an RSC wishes to make a decision that is not in line with the advice of its AB, the decision must be escalated to the National Schools Commissioner and DfE ministers.

Membership, draft meeting agendas and meeting notes

The boards are made up of up to 8 members:

  • 4 elected by local academy headteachers
  • 2 appointed by the RSC
  • 2 are co-opted with the agreement of DfE ministers

All AB members have equal status. Members of ABs tend to be:

  • former academy headteachers
  • CEOs of multi-academy trusts and/or business leaders
  • playing a non-executive role

And they:

  • are not representative bodies
  • do not include headteachers of local authority maintained schools

They meet once, or sometimes twice, a month depending on the business needs of the RSC region. A schedule of AB meetings for financial year 2021 to 2022 is available. The types of information and data that ABs consider before each meeting (such as school finance information, governance personnel and structures, performance data) can be viewed in the blank AB meeting preparation templates.

Meeting notes are published once key stakeholders (schools, trusts, individuals) have been informed of the RSC’s decisions and have had the opportunity to respond.

ABs publish:

  • membership lists
  • draft agendas (subject to change)
  • meeting notes.

Read the AB terms of reference to find out more about membership of the advisory boards.

Details on how to complain about an RSC’s decision are available.

Conflicts of interest

Any personal or business interest within the last 5 years which may, or may be seen as, influencing an AB member’s judgement in performing their role must be registered.

When conflicts are registered, AB members are excused from those agenda items, and will not receive relevant papers.

Further information is available in the register of interest.


Published 17 September 2021