Evolution Academy Trust ( EAT ) Schools Governance arrangements – an overview.
This document provides an overview of the EAT governance arrangements for visitor to our Trust. It is not intended as an in-depth analysis of how governance arrangements operate in the Trust, but is intended to provide a broad understanding of how the organisation governs itself.
EAT is a Multi Academy Trust ( MAT ) and therefore the responsibility for governance sits with the
Trust Board. The leadership and management of each Trust school has a four tier system consisting of Members, Directors (Trustees), Local Governing Bodies and Senior Leadership teams. Members and Directors form the corporate governance, their terms of reference are available in a separate document.
In EAT the Senior Leadership Teams ( Exec Principals, Principals, Headteachers, Heads of School and their Deputies and Assistants ) are fully responsible for every aspect of teaching and learning and all statutory responsibilities to Ofsted. The Senior Leadership Teams are challenged and supported by the EAT Members and Directors as follows;
Trust Members appoint Directors and approve any changes to the Company Articles. Trust Members ensure Directors discharge their functions effectively.
Trust Directors have a strategic role and delegate all but the key decisions to individual school Leadership teams and School Advisory and Improvement Groups ( SAIG ) who are accountable to the Directors. The Directors are accountable to the EFSA and DfE. The Directors, meeting once each school half term at least, hold SAIGs to account and delegate decision making and responsibility for some tasks to them. The Directors are required under the rules of the EFSA Financial Handbook to receive assurances from each school that controls are operating effectively and that risks are being managed.
Information supplied by the schools to the CEO informs the Trust Risk Register.
In practice the Directors support, challenge and monitoring functions are completed mainly by the CEO who reports in detail about each school to the Directors every half term.
The CEO role is summarised as follows;
To ensure Leadership Teams and SAIGs operate effectively and communication with Directors.To support and challenge each school, – completed through fortnightly meetings with each Principal / Head of School, through termly meeting of all Principals with CEO, through challenge to reports or observations from Principals, SAIGs and Business Managers such as verifying data provided by the school or challenging the effective use of finances.To ensure effective teaching practices are widely shared and embedded in each school and challenge underperformance of any type in any school, staff team or aspect of the school. To ensure close co-operation and learning between each of its schools.To ensure all risks for individual schools and EAT are known and actions are taken to reduce or negate such risks.To ensure the Trust Improvement Plan is closely aligned to the improvements expected by and within each of its schools.
School Advisory and Improvement Groups
The School advisory and Improvement Group of each school is appointed by Directors who consider the skill set of members not their number or type as the important factor. The SAIG work closely with the school leadership team. It is not, however, the same as a traditional governing body as it has no legal responsibilities. These responsibilities are held by the Trust Board.
The SAIG works to its terms of reference which is to focus on those matters directly effecting standards, pupil progress and welfare. Thus the SAIGs concentrate on all pupil outcomes, safeguarding and welfare and the quality and effectiveness of staff. This allows leadership teams to focus on the role they were trained for and skilled at – teaching and learning. The SAIG advise and act as a critical friend to the school leadership team, they listen to the interests of the community in the running of the Academy and represent the Academy in its community. Additionally they provide support for the school leadership in undertaking appropriate day to day procedures that may be essential to the life of the Academy, such as disciplinary and complaint procedures. Financial matters, building fabric etc. can be discussed by the SAIG but the overall control rests with Directors.
Each school has available the EAT Scheme of Delegation and EAT Terms of Reference for Directors and SAIGs.
EAT schools Governance arrangements are listed as required on the EAT website; http://www.evolutionacademytrust.co.uk The Members and Directors page has information pertaining to that area of governance including any business and financial interests declared; all such declarations are recorded, retained and form part of the annual audit process. Details regarding each school’s governance are on the Current Trust Schools page of the website.
SAIGs are strongly encouraged to have at least the same level of detail available on their individual school website and should also complete business and financial interest declarations is applicable.
CEO April 2017.