Welcome to our Governors’ section.
Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.
Our Governors are representatives of the local community, parents and school staff. They bring a range of interests, knowledge and skills to the school and they all work in a voluntary capacity. There are various types of governors.
If you are interested in the education, welfare and opportunities provided for children and young people and you have enthusiasm and time to spare, you could consider volunteering as a school governor.
- Governors give their service voluntarily and no formal qualifications are necessary although there are eligibility criteria
- Governors are ordinary people, aged over 18, with a special commitment to education and the well being of children
- Terms of office will be a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4 years
If you are interested in becoming a governor please contact the Head teacher Mrs Nicola Hey on 01743 464570.
There are four types of governor:
Board Appointed governor
Extract from ’Governance in Multi Academy Trusts’ (gov.uk publication)
Governance in MATs
In a multi-academy trust, a single trust is responsible for a number of academies. The MAT consists of the members and the trustees.
The 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.
The trustees are responsible for the same three core governance functions performed by the governing body in a maintained school: setting the direction, holding the headteacher to account and ensuring financial probity. As charity trustees, they must also ensure that they are complying with charity law requirements. Academy trusts are charitable companies and the trustees are company directors and must comply with company law requirements. This may sound daunting, but, in reality, the duties are largely the same as those of a governor of a maintained school, such as regularly attending meetings, managing conflicts of interest, seeking advice from the academy’s leadership team and ensuring the academy has appropriate procedures in place for reporting financial information.
The model articles state that the chair of the board of trustees will also be a member, thereby ensuring a link between the two layers. However, while trustees can also serve as members, the most effective governance models recognise that the members are responsible for holding the trustees to account. Some separation between those serving as trustees and those serving as members is, therefore, desirable for achieving robust accountability.
Individuals who sit on local governing bodies (LGBs) are referred to as ‘local governors’. This is because trustees can delegate governance functions to the local level. Trustees have complete discretion over what is delegated to each LGB. They may, for example, decide to delegate all functions to academies in the chain that are performing well and only a few to those academies that need greater support. Alternatively, where a MAT wishes to retain all governance functions centrally, it may establish an advisory body at the school level, which has no formal governance function but which advises the board of trustees on its decisions.
The details of what has been delegated from the trustees to local governors should be detailed in a scheme of delegation for each LGB. This should make it clear what functions the trustees have delegated to the LGB and for which academies. It is important to note that local governors are not trustees of the academy trust, unless they also sit on the academy trust board.
Everyone involved in the MAT governance arrangements should ensure that they understand what their role is. This should be clear from the scheme of delegation. It should be noted, however, that even where trustees have delegated functions to local governors, the trustees remain accountable and responsible for these functions. Trustees should, therefore, be satisfied about the LGB’s ability to adequately perform any functions delegated to them.
It is understood that the Department for Education is considering using the next version of the funding agreement and model articles to give MATs even greater flexibility in their governance arrangements. This would allow a MAT to establish an LGB that is responsible for more than one academy. The DfE also intends to remove the current requirement that, where an academy does not have a LGB, it must have an advisory body. This would be replaced with a more general requirement that the governance of each academy must be informed by local intelligence. This will shift the focus away from prescribing structures to focusing on outcomes, leaving the MAT free to decide what mechanism would work best for each academy in the chain.
The role of trustees and local governors in MATs
In his speech to the 2013 National Governors’ Association Summer conference, Schools Minister Lord Nash recommended that more should be done to attract highly talented and committed people to volunteer as school governors and academy trustees. He called for all schools to have a dynamic board akin to the board of company or charity, focused on its core strategic functions. He described governors and trustees as engaged and energetic non-executive leaders who:
- are driven by their core strategic functions of setting the vision, holding the headteacher to account for results and making sure money is well spent
- sit on boards that are no bigger than they have to be
- are curious about what’s going on in the classroom and aren’t afraid to innovate
- focus ruthlessly on what really matters: raising standards
The chairs of governors and headteachers interviewed for the case studies and accounts of practice in this publication confirmed the importance of recruiting and selecting high-calibre governors who are able to adopt a strategic view of the trust as a whole, as well as the individual schools within it. Business, legal and financial skills and understanding were almost unanimously regarded as a necessity for the role of chair of governors.
In their role as trustees, the chairs of governors felt they had increased responsibility and accountability and needed more time and stamina to fulfil their roles. The roles and responsibilities of chairs of local governing bodies varied across the case studies, with some chairs of governors maintaining a more traditional role, with high levels of autonomy and responsibility for budgets, staffing and health and safety.
For others, the role had changed considerably and was focused specifically on monitoring data and the quality of teaching and learning. Where this occurred, the chairs of governors and headteachers did not see this as a loss of autonomy or power but, instead, as a positive change that enabled them to focus on improving standards rather than worrying about budgets and HR.
There was a strong feeling amongst the chairs of governors that working collaboratively was a major benefit of being part of a multi-academy trust. In the initial stages of the process of converting to a MAT, anxieties had arisen about where the power within the MAT would lie and what would happen to them as governors and to their roles and responsibilities; but it was clear, from speaking to the chairs of governors and headteachers, that these fears had been assuaged and that the many benefits of being part of a MAT were quickly becoming apparent and having a positive impact on their schools.
It is worth noting that governors should be very clear about what they can expect from their MAT. It may involve a potential loss of power, but, equally, it may also mean that schools within the MAT have their financial systems, corporate governance and legal issues managed for them. This, in turn, may mean they are free to focus on the core business of their pupils’ attainment and progress.
Key governor skills and attributes
This section of the publication provides an overview of the skills and attributes that interviewees felt were key for effective governance. Many agreed that the changes to school organisation and the increasing levels of accountability and responsibility required high-calibre trustees (and local governors) with specific skills and attributes, who were able to lead school improvement and develop dynamic boards of trustees.
Trustees are not expected to possess all of these skills and the list is not intended to be used as a definitive list but, rather, as a starting point for consideration and further exploration. Trustees are invited to use the list of skills and attributes outlined below in a variety of ways, for example:
- for personal reading and reference
- as a starting point for the development of a skills-based set of criteria for governor selection and recruitment
- to contribute to self-assessment and self-evaluation
- as a resource for governor training
Trustees should have the skills and attributes to:
- constantly focus on what’s best for the school and pupils by challenging in a constructive manner, asking probing questions and visualising the strategic picture, in terms of both the MAT and the academies within it
- understand and effectively carry out their roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, with the ability to take risks and consider dynamic and innovative options
- measure and lead school improvement and drive the necessary changes
- understand the financial and the business elements of leading a MAT, as well as the legal aspects of the role and how the trust and the business work
- work as part of a team and accept shared responsibility and accountability, as well as undertaking frequent self-evaluation in order to remain effective
- act with a strong moral purpose, integrity and honesty, and as an advocate for the MAT’s values, ethos and philosophy
- express disagreement in a rational and professional manner
- adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set in order to see and make the most of opportunities that are outside the day-to-day practices of the MAT or academy
- be innovative, creative and open-minded by engaging in futures thinking and ‘horizon scanning’
- ensure that they have the commitment and stamina to drive forward the MAT, as well as the will to abandon the ‘good’ in order to find the ‘outstanding
|Status||Appointed by||End of term in office||
Declaration Of Interests
|Mrs G Bowen||Chair||Trust Board||16/10/2023||Chair of Governors at Wilfred Owen Primary School.|
|Mrs S Rothwell||Trust Board||24/05/2022||None|
|Rev W Small||Trust Board||14/01 2024||None|
|Mr P May||Local Governing Body||11/10 2021||Husband of C May and father of J May both TAs|
|Miss H Brennan||Staff||16/10/2023||None|
|Mr S Hey||Headteacher||NA||NA||Husband of N Hey Headteacher|
|Mrs N Hey||Headteacher||NA||NA||Wife of S Hey Headteacher, Usborne Books organiser|
Meetings Attended 2019/ 20
|Meeting Date||16/10/19||20/11/19||14/01/20||18/03/20||20/05/20||24/06/20||Total Meetings|
|Mrs G Bowen||P||P||P|
|Rev. M Heath||A||P||A|
|Mrs S Rothwell||P||A||P|
|Rev W Small||NA||NA||P|
|Mr P May||P||A||A|
|Miss H Brennan||P||P||P|
|Mr S Hey||P||NA||P|
|Mrs N Hey||NA||P||NA|