The Trust is a single entity and Trustees and Trust leaders – including Academy Principals – have responsibilities in relation to the quality of education provided that extend to all incorporated Academies. Trust governance operates at three levels:
- Academy members are the guardians of governance across the Trust. Their role is to ensure Trustees perform their duties effectively and to have broad oversight of the work of the Trust. Members appoint and remove Trustees and sign the Articles of Association.
- Trustees are the key strategic decision makers within the Trust and carry ultimate responsibility for the quality of education provided. In this capacity they offer challenge and support Academy Leaders, the CEO and Academy Directors.
- The Academy Improvement Committee operates at a local level and have oversight of up to three academies. Membership is drawn from communities of all schools and parents are strongly represented. The AIC has oversight of key educational aspects of the school including pupil achievement, attendance, SEND, the use of the pupil premium and attendance.
The specific responsibilities of each layer of governance – and those of Academy Directors and Principals – are set out in the Scheme of Delegation. This, in turn, reflects the Trust Articles or Association and the DfE Governance Handbook (March 2019).
All those responsible for governance understand their roles and responsibilities and discharge them with skill and diligence. All Trustees, Directors and AIC members work within the NGA Code of Practice and adhere to the Nolan Principals of Public Life.
All academies have common purpose:
- Trustees have a clear strategic vision that is complemented and matched at local levels. There are robust and realistic plans to fulfil this strategic purpose at all levels.
- Trustees, Directors and Principals ensure that all academies comply with their statutory duties. This includes responsibilities in relation to the Equality Act (2010), school admissions, safeguarding and Prevent duties.
- Self- evaluation at Trust and academy level is strong and there are well rehearsed mechanisms for holding all parties to account. Trustees and AIC members provide effective challenge to professionals in all key areas of operation including leadership, teaching and learning, curriculum implementation and pupil outcomes.
- Academy finances are well managed and schools, benefit from systems that are robust, effective and compliant with the Academies Financial Handbook.
- Training and development opportunities are available to all Members, Trustees and AIC members and closely matched to a skills audit.
Our governance processes are reviewed and validated by DfE, Ofsted and ESFA.
As a Trust we currently have 29 primary academies across the North of England. These are situated in three geographical hubs; Northern, Eastern and Western hub. The Board of Trustees are responsible for the constitution, membership and proceedings of the Trust. They also have responsibility for all committees and the appointment of membership to them, this includes Academy Improvement Committees which replaced Local Governing Bodies on the 1st September 2019. We now operate 11 Academy Improvement Committees who oversee no more than three academies per committee.