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Five Acres High School

Governance

Five Acres High School is an academy in the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

GLT Governance Structure

The formal, legal governing body for all schools in the Greenshaw Learning Trust is the Board of Trustees. It is made up of 9 Trustees and the Chair of the board of Trustees is Mike Cooper. It meets each half term, six times per year and usually follows Local Governing Body meetings in all the schools.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust is one single organisation. It is a single employer for all teachers and support staff in all schools. It is also the admissions authority for all schools.

The Board of Trustees delegates the running of its schools in large part to the Local Governing Body and Leadership team in the school. There are certain functions that it does not delegate because these have to remain with the board of Trustees and be carried out across the entire organisation. These are mostly the functions that relate to finance, legal and Human Resources.

The Board has a number of committees to carry our scrutiny functions. Local Governing Bodies are special Committees of the Board of Trustees. The minutes of all Local Governing Bodies are received and scrutinised by the Board of Trustees.

Delegation

Under normal circumstances, LGBs/schools would operate under full delegated authority from the Board of Trustees. The details of this delegation are documented in the scheme of delegation and in the policies of the Trust.

Where a school joins the trust in challenging circumstances restricted delegation may apply for a period of time. This is where some functions of the LGB are carried out by the Board of Trustees. This includes appointing the Chair and Vice chair of a LGB.

Where there are concerns and it is the view of the Board of Trustees that a school/LGB is unable to carry out its delegated functions effectively, the Board of Trustees may de-delegate specific functions and carry these out directly at Board level until it is satisfied that the delegation can be resumed without risk.

Scheme of Delegation

The scheme of delegation defines the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the Local Governing Body. It stipulates what is delegated to the LGB, what is expected from LGBs in terms of scrutiny of headteachers and leadership teams and how the School/LGB communicates with the Board.

In addition to the Scheme of Delegation, there are a series of policies that GLT approves which also stipulate how schools will operate. Some policies e.g. Safeguarding, finance and a suite of HR policies are approved by the Board and schools are required to follow them. Some policies are overarching e.g. curriculum, and a school then adopts its own local policy to reflect local practice. The Board of Trustees has model policies for schools to adapt and adopt where relevant.

Role of the Local Governing Body

Chair of Local Governing Body (LGB): Mike Cooper

Vice Chair of Local Governing Body: Darren Cotton

The Local Governing Body meets six times per year in each half term and is required to hold the headteacher and leadership team to account for the running of the school. Specifically:

  1. The setting and delivery of the school budget including staffing and resources (once set and approved by the LGB the budget is approved by the Board of Trustees). The headteacher has specific responsibility for the budget which is delegated to them.
  2. The setting and delivery of the curriculum including the monitoring of the school development plan and the outcomes (in the broadest sense) for students.
  3. Carrying out the Performance Management of the Headteacher.

The Board of Trustees provides model agendas to the Local Governing Bodies and a work plan across the year to tie in with the rhythm of the school year and the function of the Trust as a whole.

Local Governing Bodies receive reports from the headteacher on finance and standards and the LGB are expected to monitor the school development plan by asking probing questions of the headteacher and senior leadership team inside and outside of Local Governing Body meetings.

The Directors of Education (Ben Parnell for Secondary and Simon Cooper-Hind for Primary) line manage the respective headteachers and also provide a triangulation of school performance (finance and standards) directly to the Board of Trustees or through the committees of the Board of Trustees. They support the Local Governing Body with the performance Management of the Headteachers.

Lead (or link) Governor Roles on LGBs

Lead Governor for Safeguarding/SEN: Tracy Brooke

Lead governor for Finance: Darren Cotton

Lead Governor for: Behaviour/Quality of Education: Ann-Marie Karadia

Lead Governors are identified by the Local Governing Body to provide a link between the LGB and the school on specific aspects of the role and responsibilities of the LGB. Lead Governor roles should relate to a specific responsibility of the LGB, a priority/focus for the LGB related to the school improvement plan, or a specific LGB-defined priority project; and may be ongoing or time limited.

 

The Role

Lead Governors should, on matters directly relevant to their area of interest:

  • Maintain a direct link and positive relationship with the school on behalf of the LGB.
  • Find out about the work of the school and the broader educational and local community context.
  • Help the governing body as a whole to know the school and be able to carry out their role better
  • Offer advice and support and a governor perspective to the link member of staff.
  • Represent the LGB and explain the policies and decisions of the LGB to the school.
  • Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of relevant school and governing body policies.
  • Report to and advise the governing body in relation to their area, in particular when the LGB is considering LGB policy and activity.

Lead Governors should do this by:

  • Talking to their link member of staff.
  • Visiting the school.
  • Seeing for themselves what is being done and its outcomes.
  • Asking questions.
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to improve their knowledge.
  • Planning their lead governor activity and being prepared.
  • Reviewing and reflecting on their lead governor activity.
  • Reporting back to the LGB by completing a Lead Governor Form and speaking at LGB meetings.

Lead Governors should also seek and take advantage of opportunities to liaise with, share issues with and learn from similar lead governors in other GLT schools and with appropriate link Trustees.