Effective governance is at the heart of any successful school, academy or multi-academy trust and we have worked hard to make sure our governance model will deliver this. Our Governance aligns with the DfE guidance on governance in MATs and also draws upon our own experience as well as that of other successful Trusts across England.
Our Trustees oversee the Inspiring Futures Partnership Trust and are accountable for the performance and success of all the IFPT academies.
Their key roles are:
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the Trust
2. Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of IFPT, its pupils and staff
3. Overseeing the financial performance of IFPT and ensuring best value is always secured
4. Ensuring compliance with government and ESFA requirements, company law and charity law
The Board of Trustees works directly with the Executive Principal and the senior leaders of the Trust’s Academies. The Trust’s scheme of delegation clearly states who is accountable for which key responsibilities, with Trustees able to personalise each scheme of delegation to best support each academy.
For further detail about the Trustees of the Inspiring Futures Partnership Trust click here Copies of the Minutes of recent Trustee Meetings are available on request. Please contact the Academy Office.
The MAT governance structure below adopts the strengths of the highly efficient and effective governance structure that has been key to Chepping View Primary Academy’s many years of success.
Overall Structure: IFPT is a company limited by guarantee. It has no shareholders. The highest tier of oversight is provided by the “Members” who, through general meetings, are the guardians of IFPT, its purpose and welfare. As “Members”, each member has limited liability, accountability, governance and no day to day management responsibilities.
The next tier of oversight is provided by the “Trustees”. They are trustees for charity law purposes and also company Trustees are appointed directors registered with Companies House. The Trustees are personally responsible for the actions of IFPT and the academies and are accountable to the members, the Secretary of State for Education and the wider community for the quality of the education received by all pupils of the academies and the expenditure of public money. In accordance with the Funding Agreement(s), Trustees are required to have systems in place which they can assure themselves of the quality, safety and good practice of the affairs of IFPT. The trustees meet as a Trust Board. All Trustees have the same responsibility to act in the best interests of IFPT and the academies, irrespective of any other role that they may undertake within IFPT or the academies.
The Trust Board will oversee the leadership, management and administration of IFPT and the academies run by IFPT and herein delegates authority and responsibility to others.
The main delegation will be:
- to “Trust Board Committees” of the Trust Board, who will act either in a permanent capacity or a temporary capacity where the terms of delegation will be determined by the Trust Board at least annually.
- to an “Academy Committee” for each academy to undertake elements of the Trustee Board’s role of strategic direction and oversight at a local level. Each Academy Committee is accountable to the Trust Board in relation to any matter delegated to it. The duties, responsibilities and authorities of each Academy Committee are generally consistent and in line with those outlined in the Decision-Making Framework below and the Academy Committee Terms of Reference. (The Decision-Making Framework provides clarity as to who the decision makers are for different levels of decisions.)
- to the “Chief Executive Officer” (CEO), who will be responsible for the day to day management of the Trust and the academies. The Chief Executive Officer will be appointed by the Trust Board and report directly to it.
- to the “IFPT Executive Leadership” who focus on the education performance and operations of the academies. The Executive Leadership team operate under the leadership and direction of the CEO, who is by virtue of position a Trustee of the Trust.
- to the “Principal” or “Head of Academy” who are accountable for the operation of each academy. The duties, responsibilities and authorities of a Principal/Head of Academy may vary between academies as determined by the Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Trust Board.
The role of the Members
The role of the Members is laid out in the Articles of Association and in company law. The members role is that of guardians of the constitution, ensuring the charitable objective is fulfilled and to conduct the oversight of the Trust Board. Members have limited governance and no day to day management responsibilities. The Members agree, and can amend, the Trust’s Articles of Association, appoint and remove Trustees and appoint the Trust’s external auditors. The Members should receive information about the Trust’s business and receive the Annual Report and accounts (prepared by the Trustees) at a general meeting of the Trust. The Academies Financial Handbook recommends that a majority of members should be independent of the Board of Trustees, to ensure a significant degree of separation between the individuals who are members and those who are directors. Distinction between the two layers ensures that members, independent of trustees, provide oversight and challenge.
The role of the Trust Board and the Trustees
The Trust is a charitable company and so Trustees are both charity Trustees (within the terms of section 177(1) of the Charities Act 2011) and company directors (within the terms of the Companies Act 2006). Trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the Trust, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the Articles of Association and its funding agreement are legally accountable for all statutory functions and for the performance of all the academies within the trust; they do this by carrying out the core governance functions. The Trust Board will set the strategic direction of the Trust, maintain legal oversight, monitor all activities, assess the performance of the academies and establish and review material policies and practices governing the life of the academies. The board of trustees must approve a written scheme of financial delegation and if they choose to delegate to board committees and academy committees, must approve committee terms of reference and formally adopt a written scheme of delegation. The Trust creates information pathways between the Trust Board, the Academy Committees and the CEO so that Academy Committees can share with them any concerns (or celebrations) they may have.
The Role of the Chief Executive Officer
The Trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the Trust to the Chief Executive, line managing them in line with the Trust’s appraisal and performance management policies. The Chief Executive is also the Accounting Officer and so is not only responsible for the performance of the trust as a whole but has a personal responsibility to parliament for the regularity, propriety and value for money, and for assuring the board about compliance with the funding agreement and the Academy Trust Handbook. The chief executive is responsible for the leadership and management of the Trust’s central administration team and IFPT’s Executive Leadership Team and will report to the Trust board and its committees.
The Role of the Academy Committee
The Trust Board has determined to establish an “Academy Committee” for each academy. The overarching purpose of an Academy Committee is to support and provide effective challenge around the strategic direction and performance of the relevant academy within the framework and parameters set by the Trust Board. Those serving on an Academy Committee are accountable to the Trust Board and must ensure that at all times they act in good faith and in the best interests of the academies and the Trust, exercising reasonable care and skill having particular regard to the personal knowledge and experience. The role and responsibilities of the Academy Committee is detailed in the Academy Committee Terms of Reference.
An Academy Committee’s core duties are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Effective challenge of the principal for the educational performance of the academy and its pupils
- Effective review and challenge of the financial performance of the academy to ensure that its money is well spent.
The Role of the IFPT's Executive Leadership Team
IFPT’s Executive Leadership team” is made up of the Principals/Heads of Academies and other key senior leaders from across the Trust who oversee functional operations and resources. IFPT’s Executive Leadership team have a strong focus upon teaching and learning and academy standards and improvement to support the educational performance of all academies.
IFPT’s Executive Leadership are responsible for:
- to support academies to improve educational outcomes through the provision of academy improvement services
- to provide operational and management support to the Principals/Head of Academy and senior leadership teams within the academies
- to assist the Trust, by working with the various tiers of governance, to achieve the collective strategic aims and objectives of the academies
- to advise on staffing structures within each academy, identifying areas and implementing plans where collaboration will lead to improvements in teaching and learning and/ or efficiencies.
The proposed structure is designed to provide effective and cost-efficient governance for our MAT whilst it is in its infancy. We anticipate the need to restructure our MAT governance as we grow and further develop our understanding of MAT governance and respond to changing DfE governance requirements. The DfE will scrutinise our governance structure each time we look to add another Academy. This will present a natural opportunity for the Trust to self-evaluate and secure improvements in structure and procedure.
IFPT Finance and Resources Committee (Including Audit and Risk)
This committee will have nominated representatives who are expected to attend the IFPT Finance and Resources Committee meetings, all other Trustees are encouraged to attend along with the Chief Finance Officer. At these meetings the focus will be upon Trust level finances and resources. This committee will approve individual Academy budgets and engage in all Trust auditing and risk requirements as per the Academies Financial Handbook.
Interested in joining IFPT's governance?
The Trust is always looking to strengthen our Board of Trustees and Academy Committees with committed professionals and parents/carers who can offer relevant skills, experience time and energy. Applications are sought from suitable candidates irrespective of gender, race or ethnicity, disability, age or religion. Trustees and Academy Committee Representatives will be required to make a public declaration of interests when appointed and if it is anticipated that any significant conflict of interest could occur on appointment, this could impact an application/nomination. If a candidate’s application/nomination is successful, an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check will have to be obtained.
If you would like to express interest in becoming either a Trustee or Academy Committee Representative, please complete the expression of interest form found by following this link
For more information about becoming a Trustee please email the Trust office: HR@IFPTrust.co.uk
For more information about becoming an Academy Committee representative please email the Academy office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Academy Committee Terms of Reference Nov 2022