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Governance

What is a Multi-Academy Trust?

Chorus Education Trust in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), which is a charity and company limited by guarantee. A MAT is a single entity established to undertake a strategic collaboration to improve and maintain high educational standards across a number of schools. A group of schools form a single MAT which has overarching responsibility for their governance. The MAT is accountable for the performance of each school in the group, although each can still have their own governing body which operates subject to delegation of power from the MAT.

 

Members

The Members determine the ethos and purpose of the Trust (i.e. the provision of education) and the way it will be governed (which is in the Articles of Association) and will have a right (not an obligation) to participate in governance by appointing and removing Trustees. They also have a right to receive the Trustees’ annual report and accounts and to attend general meetings of the Trust.

You can see a full list of our Members here.

 

Trustees

The Trustees of the Academy Trust are those people responsible for the carrying out of the business of the Trust, i.e. the running of the academies, though management responsibility will be delegated further still to a management board or leadership group made up of executive officers (such as the Executive Headteacher) and the headteachers of the academies. The Trustees are also  the Directors of the Trust, given the Trust is a company, and will be under a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the Trust. 

Chair of Board of Trustees: Kevin James

You can see a full list of our Trustees here.

 

Trustee Committees

The Trustees manage their work through the following committees:

Resources Committee  

Chair: Steve Shaw

 

Terms of reference

 Authority

The Resources Committee is a committee of the Board of Trustees and is authorised to make recommendations on items within its Terms of Reference or specifically delegated to it by its Board of Directors.

It is authorised to request any information it requires from any employee, external auditor or internal auditor.

The Resources Committee is authorised to request any outside legal or independent professional advice it considers necessary, normally in consultation with the Accounting Officer. However, the Resources Committee may not incur expenditure without approval of the Board of Trustees.

Role

The role of the Resources Committee is to maintain an oversight of the Trust's governance, risk management, internal control, value for money framework and to maintain an oversight of the Trust's approach to remuneration and pay progression.  The Committee shall report to the Board of Trustees on an annual basis or more frequently if required and make whatever recommendations to them that it deems appropriate within the context of its terms of reference.

The Resources Committee has no executive powers or operational responsibilities.

Duties

The Committee has the following duties:

  • To ensure good financial management and effective Internal Controls
  • Ensure compliance with the Master Funding agreement and the EFA 'Academies Financial Handbook'.
  • To approve the first formal budget plan for the financial year.
  • To receive reports on the financial performance and financial risks to Chorus Education Trust and advise the Board of Trustees accordingly.
  • Advise the Board of Trustees and Accounting Officer on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust's governance, risk management, internal control and value for money systems.  An annual report will be produced by the Resources Committee and presented to the Board of Trustees.
  • Advise the Board of Trustees on the appointment, reappointment and dismissal and remuneration of the external and regularity auditors.
  • Advise the Board of Trustees on the need for and then the appointment, re-appointment, dismissal and remuneration of the internal auditors.
  • Advise the Board of Trustees on the programme of work to be delivered by both the external and internal auditors.  The programme of work should be derived from having regard to the key risks faced by Chorus Education Trust.
  • Ensure that the Internal Auditors commissioned comply with the standards set by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.  (From 1 April 2013, this will mean an Internal Audit provider who conforms to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards).Review the External Auditors annual planning and approve the planned audit approach.
  • Receive reports from the External Auditor and Internal Auditor and consider the issues raised, the management responses and action plans.
  • Regularly monitor outstanding audit recommendations and ensure any agreed delays to implementation dates are reasonable.
  • Review the fraud policy and ensure that all allegations of fraud or irregularity are managed and investigated appropriately.
  • Ensure appropriate cooperation and coordination of the work of the External and Internal Auditor.
  • Meet the Internal and External Auditor without management at least annually.
  • To advise the Trust Board on the remuneration and conditions of service of the Heads of School and Headteachers.
  • To advise the Trust Board on the remuneration and conditions of service of the Executive Leadership team, including those of the Executive Headteacher.
  • To advise the Trust Board on the remuneration and conditions of service of Core Improvement Team staff.
  • To appoint from its members a designated Health and Safety representative
  • To receive Trust wide facilities, ICT and Health and Safety and Estates reports and monitor the impact on education and learning
  • To receive Trust wide staffing updates and monitor the impact on education and learning.
  • To oversee the staff appointment processes for the Heads of School and Deputy Headteachers.

In determining recommendations to the Trust's Board on the remuneration and conditions of service of designated senior post holders, the Committee will consider both national benchmarking information on pay and conditions for institutions of a similar size or approach and information on similar positions within the region.

Subject to express delegated authority from the Trust Board, the Committee may determine salary progression for designated senior post holders utilising a salary progression methodology approved by the Trust Board and may authorise the implementation of any such determination.  Such action will be reported to the Trust Board at its next meeting.

Administration
  • The Committee will meet at least once per term.
  • The Resources Committee will consist of three Trustees.  The Chair of the Board of Trustees cannot be a member of the Resources Committee.
  • The Resources Committee will be quorate if two members are present.
  • The Accounting Officer and Finance Director and other members of the Trust's staff may be invited to attend, but will have no voting rights.
  • Clerking services will be provided by the Executive Headteacher's Assistant.
  • Agendas will be agreed in advance by the Chair of the Resources Committee and all relevant papers, should normally be circulated to each member at least five working days prior to the date of the meeting.
  • Minutes of Committee meetings shall be circulated promptly to all members of the Committee for approval.
  • The Resources Committee will review these terms of reference on an annual basis and self - assess its performance against these terms of reference.

School Improvement Committee 

Chair:  David Owen

 

Terms of reference

Authority

The School Improvement Committee is a committee of the Board of Trustees and is authorised to make recommendations on items within its Terms of Reference or specifically delegated to it by its Board of Directors.

It is authorised to request any information it requires from any employee, external auditor or internal auditor.

The School Improvement Committee is authorised to request any outside legal or independent professional advice it considers necessary, normally in consultation with the Accounting Officer. However, the School Improvement Committee may not incur expenditure without approval of the Board of Trustees.

Role

The role of the School Improvement Committee is to scrutinise and maintain oversight of the Trust Schools’ performance indicators in relation to outcomes, attendance, behaviour, inclusion and safeguarding. The Committee shall report to the Board of Trustees on a termly basis and make whatever recommendations to then that it deems appropriate within the context of its terms of reference. The School Improvement Committee has no executive powers or operational responsibilities.

Duties

The School Improvement Committee has duties in the following areas:

 Improvement and Inclusion

  • To monitor educational results and achievement against agreed KPI targets, including agreeing planned strategies to raise standards for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and SEND students and monitoring progress and impact.
  • To review and agree SEF judgements.
  • To approve the Trust’s Development Plan and to monitor progress and impact.
  • To monitor implementation of any post OFSTED action plans.
  • To oversee the Trust's approach to inclusion and monitor progress and impact.

Behaviour and Safeguarding

  • To appoint from its members a designated Child Protection and Safeguarding representative
  • To approve the Trust’s Child Protection and Safeguarding policies and monitor implementation.
  • To ensure that the schools are safe and secure environments by overseeing the development and implementation of Trust policies on anti-bullying, discrimination, pupil behaviour and drug misuse.
  • To ensure that the Schools are compliant with safeguarding regulations.
  • To monitor and scrutinise the numbers of fixed term and permanent exclusions.
  • To scrutinise performance indicators relevant to the welfare, support and management of young people in the schools e.g attendance, fixed term and permanent exclusions.
Administration
  • The School Improvement Committee will meet at least once per term, with an additional business meeting at the start of the academic year.
  • The School Improvement Committee will consist of at least three members.  The quorum for School Improvement Committee meeting is two. 
  • CIT staff may attend School Improvement Committee meetings but will not have voting rights.
  • The Chair and Vice Chair will be elected by the whole Board of Trustees from Chorus Education Trust Trustees and will serve for one year.  No Chair or Vice Chair may serve for more than two consecutive years without the approval of the Board of Trustees.
  • Draft agendas will be agreed in advance by the Chair and submitted with any supporting papers and the minutes of previous meetings to Chorus Trust services one week prior to the meeting.
  • Agendas and all relevant papers should be circulated to each member at least five working days prior to the date of the meeting.
  • Minutes of meetings shall be circulated promptly to all members of the Committee for information and reviewed and signed at the next School Improvement Committee meeting.
  • The School Improvement Committee will review these terms of reference on an annual basis and self - assess its performance against these terms of reference.  Any training and development requirements should be reported to the Chorus Education Trust CPD section.

Safeguarding and Inclusion Committee  

Chair: Jen Carlring Wright

Professional Learning and Teaching School Alliance Committee  

Chair: Nicola Hartley

Consultation Committee  

Chair: tbc

 

 

Terms of reference

 Authority

The Consultation Committee is a committee of the Board of Trustees and is authorised to make recommendations on items within its Terms of Reference or specifically delegated to it by its Board of Directors.

It is authorised to request any information it requires from any employee, external auditor or internal auditor.

The Consultation Committee is authorised to request any outside legal or independent professional advice it considers necessary, normally in consultation with the Accounting Officer. However, the Consultation Committee may not incur expenditure without approval of the Board of Trustees.

Role

The role of the Consultation Committee is to consult with all appropriate and relevant Trade Unions on changes to policies and procedures within Chorus Education Trust, thus negating the need for each individual school to negotiate or consult with Trade Unions.

The Committee shall report to the Board of Trustees on an annual basis or more frequently if required and make whatever recommendations to them that it deems appropriate within the context of its terms of reference. 

The Consultation Committee has no executive powers or operational responsibilities.

Duties

The Committee has the following duties:

  • To ensure all Trust policies and procedures have been consulted on by Trade Union representatives.
  • Any recommendations made by the Trade Unions are fed back accurately to the appropriate member of the Trust leading on the policy or procedural change.
  • Any changes made to policies and procedures as a result of the consultation process are communicated effectively and in a timely fashion to the Trade Unions and all staff affected.
  • Any issues raised at an individual school level by Trade Unions that are Trust related will be addressed through this consultation group.
Administration
  • The Committee will meet at least once per term.
  • The Consultation Committee will consist of three Trustees. 
  • The Consultation Committee will be quorate if two members are present.
  • Clerking services will be provided by the Executive Headteacher's Assistant.
  • Agendas will be agreed in advance by the Chair of the Consultation Committee and all relevant papers, should normally be circulated to each member and each appropriate Trade Union representative at least five working days prior to the date of the meeting.
  • Minutes of Committee meetings shall be circulated promptly to all members of the Committee for approval.
  • The Consultation Committee will review these terms of reference on an annual basis and self - assess its performance against these terms of reference.

 

Local Governing Bodies

Each school within the Trust has its own Local Governing Body. Their powers depend on the Scheme of Delegation agreed with the Trust, which details the decision making powers they have. You can view the details of our Scheme of Delegation here.

In Chorus Trust we believe in 'earned autonomy'. So if a school is doing well, why would we want to change it? Therefore, schools that are Ofsted-rated as 'Good' or 'Outstanding' will have a wide range of powers. Other schools will have more limited powers but would agree an action plan with the Trust to help them achieve a higher rating and an increased range of powers in the future.

You can see a full list of our schools and their Local Governing Bodies here.

You can read more about the terms of reference for our Local Governing Bodies here.