Trust Governance

Supporting the culture of each school within the Trust, and the effective management of a dynamic organisation. 

We believe that the best people to govern our schools are their own governing bodies.  People who are local to them, know them well, care about the students and have the appropriate professional skills.

Governance Structure 

Athena-GEP is governed by Members and a Board of Trustees, constituted under a Memorandum of Articles of Association.

Further details our outlined in our webpage Governance Arrangements.

Members

Members appoint the Trustees to the Board.   Members have the authority to remove Trustees if necessary and do not sit on any other committee.

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees provides a strategic overview of the running of the academies and ensures that all schools in the MAT are well-governed, putting the education of young people first and driven by the Headteachers’ Group.  

The Trust is there to monitor standards across the MAT and to ensure there is optimum collaboration between schools, enhancing education and best practice in school management, procurement and operational services.

The Trust believes that Trustees should be appointed for their professional, educational and governance skills, rather than as direct representatives of the various member schools.

All Trustees have the interests of every member school at their heart and do not serve on individual school's Local Governing Bodies (LGBs), in order to separate governance levels.

Trustees are responsible for

• Strategic planning
• Ensuring sound management of all schools in the MAT
• Ensuring legal compliance
• Overseeing safeguarding across the MAT
• Establishing, with headteachers, a system of internal controls to monitor schools’ performance and effectiveness
• Ensuring that all employees working for the Trust have fair and equitable employment terms with challenging CPD
• Ensuring that the MAT is solvent and that all schools are achieving best value for money
• Performance management of the executive lead
• Appointment of headteachers, with input from the local governing body
• Supporting schools’ succession planning and recruitment
• Helping schools to be responsive to the needs of parents and their local communities
• Assessing and managing risk
• Monitoring and evaluating plans for improvement across the MAT
• Using external, independent evaluation to monitor their effectiveness
• Establishing a separate audit committee.

Committees of the Board

The Board of Trustees has set up a number of committees to conduct it's work more thoroughly, co-opting additional professionals onto these committees to assist.

Local Governing Bodies (LGBs)

The Board of Trustees believes in the importance of establishing a Local Governing Body (LGB) to oversee each school within the trust, in pursuit of the trusts’ vision and values, learning from best practice and taking into account the local community context.  Their core purpose is to

• Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school;
• Hold school leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
• Oversee the school’s financial performance of the organisation and make sure its money is well spent.

The Trust's scheme of delegation describes their delegated powers, with further detail in their terms of reference.
  
• LGBs are to reflect the view of their stakeholders and therefore include representation from parents, staff and the community. 
• LGB members are recruited for a 3-4 year term, on a skillset basis. 
• Minutes and supporting papers are made available to the Trustees and Executive Team
• Membership of LGBs is published on our school websites.

LGBs will find that many of their more ‘bureaucratic’ duties (e.g. detail of policy writing). will be carried by the Trust, freeing up more of their time to focus on Learning and Teaching.

Governance Leaders Group (GLG)

A group of governance leaders, comprising of all Chairs of Governors, and Chairs of Commitees of the Board, meet every term to improve the effectiveness of governance, through:

• Two-way communication between the Board of Trustees and the Local Governing Bodies (“communication”);
• Consultative strategic conversation (“strategic consultation”);
• Self-evaluation and training (“reflection”).

As set out in their terms of reference, the Governance Leaders Group will be responsible for implementing standards in governance effectiveness, guided by the DfE Governance Handbook. This will involve, but not be limited to

Strategic Leadership: vision, ethos and strategy
Accountability: for educational standards and financial performance
People: e.g. Ensuring skills audits are undertaken on a regular basis, that the governor training programme is tailored to their needs, that succession planning is in place
Structures: that roles and responsibilities are appropriate and effective
Compliance understanding statutory and contractual requirements
Evaluation of e.g. external reviews of governance, schools causing concern and Ofsted outcomes.