Three Counties Academy Trust comprises a Board of Members, a Board of Trustees and Local Governing Bodies. As a collective, these are referred to as the Governing Board.
Three Counties Academy Trust Governing Board value:
- The hard work and commitment of all the staff in all Trust schools
- The ethos of our schools
- The pupils in our schools
- The trust and openness that we have with the Central Team and Senior Management Teams
- The information and data that we get from our schools to compare their performance both Nationally and locally with other schools
- The performances, trips, and activities both in our schools and within the local community
- Presentations from all levels of staff on their roles and responsibilities
Board of Members
The Board of Members are a group of individuals who collectively provide a further layer of scrutiny within the Trust. They are not responsible for the strategic direction of the Trust but function as a protective layer ‘guardians of the Trust’ when dealing with the Board of Trustees and their work. Their roles include responsibility for:
- Ensuring the success of the Trust by working with the Board of Trustees to ensure they perform their roles and by holding them to account if they do not
- Approve and sign the Memorandum of Association at the inception of the Trust
- Can, by form of special resolution, change the name of the Trust
- Appoint new Members and Trustees
- Appoint and remove auditors
- Receive (but not approve) the final Annual Report and Accounts
- Dissolve the Trust
They meet formally once per year as a Board and may attend Board of Trustees meetings by arrangement with the Chair of Trustees, for example to ‘receive’ the Annual Report and Accounts.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees has the responsibility to deliver on the core functions of governance across all schools in the Trust. These are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance
The Board of Trustees is responsible and accountable for all the major decisions about the school and its future. They have a legal responsibility to make sure the Trust and schools promote ambitious standards of educational achievement. They are responsible for appointing and reviewing the performance of the Executive Headteacher and are usually involved in other staff appointments.
Together with the Executive Headteacher, Trustees set the future direction for the Trust and our schools, decide how the Trust’s budget should be spent, and monitor and evaluate the Trust’s performance. In doing this they make decisions on things like performance targets, policies, staffing, and the Trust’s improvement plan. They provide the Executive Headteacher and Chief Finance Officer with support and advice, drawing on their knowledge and experience from outside education. They ask searching questions whilst respecting the position as professional leaders of the Trust and our schools – this is often referred to as being a ‘critical friend.’
Whilst these are the overarching responsibilities for the Board of Trustees, they may focus on areas that include:
- A balanced curriculum
- The financial stability of the Trust
- Recruitment of the Senior Leadership Team
- Health and Safety issues
- Agree target setting for the Trust
- Monitoring standards, performance, staff sickness, staff leavers and departmental progress
- Special Educational Needs provision
- As a critical friend to the Executive Headteacher, Chief Finance Officer and the Senior Leadership Team
They meet at least four times a year which is supplemented by Trust Strategy Days and ad-hoc meetings when required.
The Board of Trustees has an appointed Governance Professional who oversees administration for the Board of Trustees and the Board of Members and is separate to the clerking arrangements for Local Governance.
Local Governing Bodies
Three Counties Academy Trust has two Local Governing Bodies, one for our primary schools and one for our secondary school.
Each Local Governing Body works from the powers delegated to it by the Board of Trustees through a formal and agreed Scheme of Delegation. In the large part, they focus on the educational provision on the ground for pupils, looking at the curriculum, teaching and the quality of education and performance of the schools in the Trust.
They meet on average three to four times a year and where possible operate as separate entities to other aspects of the Trust governance system.
Membership of the respective Local Governing Body can be found on individual school websites.
A range of Trust documentation and policies can be found on the ‘Policies and Trust Documentation’ area of this website. Should you require any of these in a more accessible format please contact the Governance Professional, Mrs L Bassett on firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to accommodate such requests.
When should you contact Governors rather than the Executive Headteacher or Head of School?
Whilst Trustees and Governors are always happy to hear from and talk with parents and carers, the Head of School is responsible for the day to day running of each school, so initially most queries and specific issues should be addressed to the school. Because Trustees and Governors have a specific responsibility for reviewing complaints and suspensions/exclusions, it is sometimes important that they do not get involved in the first instance. For example, if you had concerns about a specific behaviour incident at the school then you should discuss it first with your child’s Form Tutor or Class Teacher. If that failed to resolve the issue and after having spoken with a relevant member of the Senior Leadership Team or the executive Headteacher, or you were concerned about the general approach to behaviour management, then that would need to be discussed by the Trustees and/or Local Governors. In that instance you should contact them by emailing the Governance Professional Mrs L Bassett on email@example.com who will ensure your message is passed on to the appropriate member of the Governing Body.
The Governing Body and staff are all committed to making Three Counties Academy Trust the best possible learning and development environment for all pupils and are always happy to answer any additional questions you may have.