Trustees and governors are one of the largest volunteer forces in the country and have an important part to play in raising school standards.They provide strategic leadership and accountability in our schools.
We recognise these individuals as being absolutely key to the effectiveness of our schools and the trust as a whole. Time and time again Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management - including by the governing board.
You are entitled to time off work to perform governance duties. This may be on a paid or unpaid basis depending on your employer, who may welcome the new or existing skills that you will develop in undertaking this varied role.
Our governance structure has three levels:
Our Members are akin to the shareholders of a company. They have ultimate control over the academy trust, with the ability to appoint some of the Trustees and the right to amend the Trust’s articles of association. Their key purpose is to hold the Board of Trustees to account and ensure that the Trust is well run and well managed. Members must meet annually although they may meet more frequently.
The Board of Trustees are responsible for determining the overall strategic direction and development of the Trust through good governance and clear strategic planning, to ensure that it delivers the best possible outcomes for our pupils. The Board ensures compliance with the legal and financial requirements under company and charity law, and under agreements made with the Department for Education (DfE). This is a position with a term of four years and involves meetings approximately every month, alternating between evening and daytime meetings.
Local Advisory Body (LAB) Governors
The LAB are responsible for carrying the Trust vision forwards, based on the specific qualities and community characteristics of the individual Academy and in line with delegated authority as set out in our governance schedules of delegation. They are expected to question and challenge Academy leadership and to hold them to account. This is a position with a term of four years and invoves meetings approximately every half term.
The LAB is not legally responsible for the statutory functions (which rests with the Board of Trustees), but has an important role in challenging and supporting the academy to operate effectively in line with the responsibilities defined by the Trustees.
The rewards for your time are huge!
Make a difference
The role provides critical challenge and support to the leadership team with the ultimate aim of driving up standards. This is a fantastic opportunity to 'giv esomething back'; have a measurable impact on education and positively influence children’s lives.
Develop your skills
This is an opportunity to develop a range of both new and existing skills. Yiou could be using yourr professional expertise in a specific capacity, or working on softer skills such as team working, leadership or negotiation. Free training is available through the Trust's Central Team and through contracted services so you won't miss out.
Improve your knowledge of the education sector
As a governor you will gain a fascinating insight into how schools work and how the education sector is changing and continues to change.
There’s no denying that being a school governor is a challenge, but that’s a good thing. The role should be a challenge (because it’s vitally important) and it can sometimes put you outside your comfort zone when you have to get to grips with new policies, procedures and problems.
Getting to know your community
Schools are always tied deeply within the fabric of their community and it is part of the role of being a governor to ensure the school is accountable to the area it serves.
Being a governor and trustee is both fun and interesting. The fact that the role is so enjoyable is probably one of the main reasons why there are so many people giving up their time across the country to take up roles such as these.
Who can become a governor?
Almost anyone over 18 years of age can become a governor or trustee. There are no particular qualifications or requirements, other than a willingness to give time to the role and a capacity for working with other people.
What is important to the role is a specific working skill set relevant to the team (HR, data analysis, finance, project management) and the ability to give a time commitment to the position.
Finally, there are vetting checks (such as an enhanced DBS check) which need to take place before you can be appointed, in line with legislation to keep children safe in education.
How do I get involved?
For an initial conversation about the governance roles within the Trust please get in touch with our Governance Officer, Sarah Pugh.