Governance

GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY STRUCTURE

Chair of Board of Trustees: Michala Worrell

Chief Executive Officer: Julia Patrick

Chief Finance & Operations: Maxine Adams

Trust Governance

Apollo Partnership Trust (APT) was established in November 2017. Governance of ATP has three levels of accountability, overview and scrutiny: the Apollo Member Board, the Trust Board (MAT) and its Committees and Local Academy Governing Bodies (LGBs).

Members
Members are the guardians of the organisation: they have ultimate responsibility for the Trust achieving its’ charitable objectives. They approve the Articles of Association of the Trust and hold the Trust Board to account for effective delivery of strategy in accordance with the values, vision and ethos of the Trust. Member have powers, amongst other things, to appoint and remove Trustees.

The Articles provide for a maximum of five Members. Currently there are four:

Adrian Stephenson (Chair of the Member Board), Simon Phelps, Andrew Pritchard* and Simon Reed

*also a Trustee

Trustees

APT was established with ten Trustees. Together with the Chief Executive, Trustees form the Trust MAT Board. The Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the Trust, developing policy and strategies to further Trust objectives and monitoring and holding the Executive to account for effective delivery of those policies and strategies. Trustees also ensure compliance with company and charity law and with the Trust’s funding agreement with the Secretary of State.

Trustees are currently:
Michala Worrell (Chair), Roger Cairns, Ray Dennis, Joy Knifton (Vice-Chair), Julia Patrick (Chief Executive), Andrew Presland, Andrew Pritchard, Bev Smith and Gill Stacey.  (There are currently two Trustee vacancies).

Principles of Trust Governance
Trust governance consists of the principles set out below, the Trust Articles of Association and the detail set out in the Scheme of Delegation.

  1. The Trust undertakes an annual self-review off effectiveness of governance. This is led by the Chair of the Board and includes a questionnaire to all Trustees and reference to the ‘Twenty-one Questions for Multi-academy Trust – Key questions a board should ask itself’, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership.
  2. The Trust does not enter into any connected party transactions with trustees on the Trust’s Board.
  3. Governance is underpinned by the Scheme of Delegation : this establishes and documents who is responsible for policy and operational decision making. Part 1 of the Scheme sets out the decisions reserved to the Board and the Terms of Reference of each of the Board Committees.
  4. The Chief Executive acts in accordance with Part 2 of the Trust Scheme of Delegation and, through that Scheme, delegates authority to act to members of TLT and SLT and others in the organisation. The Executive, not Trustees or Governors, are responsible for all operational activity and decisions. Trustees and Governors hold the Executive to account for their actions through the system of assurance reporting.
  5. The Trust operates a differentiated Scheme of Delegation for Local Governing Bodies (Part 1 of the Scheme). Subject to this, governance for each academy is delegated by the Trust Board.
  6. The Board is committed to, and ensures, that financial governance is compliant with the principles and regulations of the Academies Financial Handbook.
  7. The Central Trust provides a range of services to Trust academies. A statement of the services provided, and their cost and funding, is reviewed annually by the Board and provided to each Local Governing Body.
  8. The Trust Board has overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the activities of the Trust, including establishment and management of the academies and admission of additional schools to the Trust.
  9. Effective governance in the Trust is supported through:
    1. Trust Members – the guardians of the constitution.
    2. Trust Board – the trustees
    3. Trust Board Committees – of which there are four : Audit and Risk, People and Remuneration, Finance and Resources and Performance and Standards. An overview and summary of the Terms of Reference of each Committee is attached at Appendix A to this document. Full details of Committee Terms of Reference and Parts 1 and 2 of the Scheme of Delegation are available on request from the Trust Governance Officer.
    4. The Chairs’ Forum – whereon the Chair of the Trust Board meets termly with the Chairs of the Local Governing Bodies.
    5. Local Governing Bodies – technically also Committees of the Board, overseeing and providing assurance to the Board as to the effectiveness of the local academy governance.
    6. The Trust Leadership Team (TLT) – the Chief Executive, Headteachers and Chief Financial and Operations Director. The wider Senior Leadership Team (SLT) supports the TLT.
  10. The Trust operates Strategic (Board level) and operational (Local Governing Body level) risk management. The Risk Registers and related risk management processes are overseen by the Audit and Risk Committee.
  11. Annual Business Plans are agreed and in place for the Trust Board, Trust Board Committees and LGBs. These include an agreed Programme of Policy Review and assurance reporting.

Intervention Powers
The Board attaches great importance to the role of the Local Governing Bodies which underpin the performance of the Trust. Whilst through the Scheme of Delegation, LGBs are granted a varying degree of autonomy, the Trust Board remains ultimately responsible for the conduct and performance of the Trust and of Trust academies. The Trust Board therefore reserves the right to review, vary or remove any power or responsibility which it has delegated, where it considers this to be necessary in the best interests of the Trust.

For example, and as an exception, circumstances may arise which require the Trust Board to intervene and, for example, withdraw or modify delegated authority from an LGB, or from the Executive. Where this became necessary, the Trust Board would work closely with the Chief Executive, TLT and (where required) the academy. Those involved in governance would be expected promptly to implement any advice or recommendations made by the Trust Board and/or TLT.

Local Governing Bodies

The Trust Board is legally responsible for the performance of each Academy. The Board requires the active support of LGBs to provide assurance and oversight of effective governance at individual Academy level.

The Trust operates a differentiated Scheme of Delegation for Local Governing Bodies, of which there are currently three:

Broom Leys Primary Academy (ages 4 – 11 ( 2 – 11 from September 2021) : (Chair appointed annually – currently Collette Parker)

Castle Rock School (ages 11 – 18) : (Chair yet to be appointed (September 2020))

Newbridge High School (ages 11 – 16) : (Chair appointed annually – currently Martin Clifford)

Broom Leys and Newbridge share a similar Scheme. The Scheme for The Castle Rock LGB is more constrained because the Governing Body of that school is newly established from September 2020. Because of this and the significant challenges facing the school, which in effect, is a new school formed from the merger in summer 2020 of the former Castle Rock and King Edward VII School, the Board has retained some aspects of delegation to itself. These include selection of non-elected governors, approval of governor terms of office and constraints relating to budgeting and financial management of the school. The intention is that delegations be kept under review and relaxed as the performance of the new school and of the new governing body is established.

LGBs do not have Committees. In summary, and subject to the position at Castle Rock, their terms of reference are to provide assurance to the Board that the quality of education, academy improvement and strategic direction of their Academy are consistent with the educational objectives of the Trust, the Partnership Improvement Plan (PIP) and the Vision, Values and Ethos of the Trust. LGBs are also required to hold school leaders to account for the quality of education and educational performance of the school. The effectiveness of each LGB is kept under review by the Performance and Standards Committee, which is required to maintain close liaison with each LGB and to draw the attention of the Board to any concerns or emerging trends in relation to which Governors may have concerns or consider they have not received satisfactory assurance.

Register of Attendance and Business Interests

Funding Agreements