It is common when schools convert to academy status to just maintain their existing HR policies despite the fact if they are non-contractual they could be changed.
For some policies this is fine but a key problem with maintaining your own policies is often found in disciplinary, grievance and sickness policies.
Under traditional local authority policies ordinarily the Head would deal with the first stage of these processes with a panel of governors hearing an appeal. That works fine when you are one school but when you’re part of a multi-academy-trust but you are placing a large burden on your governors and this can cause unnecessary delays to the process.
If you’re part of a Multi-Academy Trust it is far better to have one of the Heads deal with the first stage. This gives the Heads at the school in question more flexibility of involvement at an earlier stage without being worried about their later involvement.
It also means at an appeal stage rather than relying on your governing board you can instead have someone from your central team hear an appeal. Whilst schools may encounter some resistance in the long run there are clear benefits to this approach.