Governance – an Introduction

What is governance and what is it responsible for?

Governance works in partnership with all the Trust’s employees (teachers, classroom assistants, support staff, leaders) to deliver the best outcomes for every pupil and their families, through outstanding teaching and providing first class facilities.  

The main responsibilities are:

  • To ensure the Trust achieves the best possible outcomes for every child
  • Set the strategic direction and leadership culture for the Trust and each school
  • Monitor finances and ensure public money is well spent
  • Ensure the Trust complies with legal requirements and is managed effectively

Academies are non-profit making charitable trusts who receive public funding from the government in the same way as local authority schools.

The day to day running of the Trust’s schools is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Trust’s senior leaders and Headteachers. Policies and procedures are used to ensure there is coherence across the whole Trust – and part of governance’s role is to monitor how effectively these policies are being applied.

How does governance meet these responsibilities?

The government – through the Department of Education – sets out the legal framework within which the Trust’s governance must operate, the requirements for how governance is to be organised, and the various standards it must meet including:

  • Transparency
  • Reporting on performance
  • Financial transactions and record keeping

These are set out in the Trust’s Articles of Association and in the Academy Financial Handbook.

To meet all these responsibilities the Trust has developed a framework for governance which now includes:

  • Three ‘tiers’ of governance:
    • Trustees
    • Local Governors
    • Members
  • A scheme of delegation
  • Committee structure
  • Clerking team

How governance is organised at Crofty MAT

The Trust’s three tiers of governance all work together to meet the overall responsibilities – but each tier has a different focus. All three tiers are volunteers but their work is supported by paid clerks and other Trust employees.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the main decision-making body and is ultimately responsible in law for the management and operation of the whole Trust. Their main focus is ‘the big picture’ – the Trust as a whole.

They hold the CEO accountable for the performance of all aspects of the Trust and its employees – in particular the outcomes and wellbeing of every child attending a Trust school. They do this by regularly receiving reports from the Director of Education, reviewing plans and progress, and asking questions.

They set the strategic direction of the Trust by approving and monitoring a Trust development plan with key priorities on how to develop and improve the Trust, and agreeing budget plans. The functions of Finance and Resources, School Improvement, Personnel and Governance are monitored and overseen by Lead Trustees who work with relevant managers to oversee the progress and improvements of the Trust, challenging and supporting as required.

Budgets are monitored at half-termly Board meetings and by the Lead Trustee.

The Board of Trustees have established an Audit and Risk Committee who focus on ensuring the Trust is compliant with legislation, spends public money effectively and minimises all risks. They meet at least every term and report to the full Board.

Local Governing Bodies (LGBs)

The second tier of governance is at school level – where each school has its own LGB. These are a committee of the Board of Trustees and their focus is on a single school and its various ‘stakeholders’ – pupils, parents and staff.

Their main responsibilities are:

  • Monitor the progress of every pupil and the school as a whole – but especially those pupils who are disadvantaged in any way
  • Monitor the safety and wellbeing of every pupil and member of staff
  • Engage with pupils, parents and staff to understand their views and experiences of the school / Trust
  • Assist the Board by reporting any issues and concerns

LGBs meet half-termly and individual governors make regular monitoring visits to their school and report back to their colleagues.

LGB Chairs meet as a group on a regular basis and this is an opportunity to feed back to the Chair of the Board and the CEO on a wide range of issues, and be kept informed of future plans and developments.

Members

The third tier of governance is the small group of Members whose main responsibility is to maintain an overview of how effective governance is working overall – but in particular how effective the Board of Trustees is in meeting their responsibilities.

They achieve this by meeting every term with the Chair of Trustees and the CEO to receive an update and ask questions. They also appoint the majority of Trustees to their four year term of office.

MembersPosition
Mr Ian BruceFounder Member
Mr Tim DavisFounder Member
Mrs Carol GreenFounder Member
Mr John WhetterFounder Member
TrusteesPosition
Mr Mike HoskingTrustee and Chair of Trust Board
Mr Nick LakeTrustee and Finance Lead
Mrs Karen Brokenshire Trustee
Mr Tom Briant-Evans Trustee
Mr Keith TiplerTrustee
Mr John WhetterTrustee
Trust Secretary
Mr Jeremy Alder
Chairs of Local Governing Bodies
School
Mrs Susan KinverIllogan
Mrs Barbara McGuireLanner
Mr Nathan WilcePencoys
Mrs Deborah ReevePennoweth
Miss Jessica CafePortreath
Mrs Jenni RichardsRosemellin
Mr Peter HamRoskear
Mrs Kerrie MonkTreloweth
Mrs Barbara McGuireWeeth