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GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY STRUCTURE

Chair of Board of Trustees: Michala Worrell

Chief Executive Officer: Julia Patrick

Chief Finance & Operations: Maxine Adams

Apollo Trust Governance : Governance Statement 2021 and overview of Committee Terms of Reference

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 minimum of three Members. There is no maximum. Currently there are three Members:

Adrian Stephenson (Chair of the Member Board), Simon Phelps and Andrew Pritchard.*
*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 and Gill Stacey. (There are currently three Trustee vacancies).

Trustees are appointed by Members. Under current Trust articles, all Trustees are appointed for a four year term of office. The terms of office of all current Trustees expire on 31st October 2021.

Arrangements are in place to fill the vacancies and to review the re-appointment (or otherwise of serving Trustees).

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 MAT undertakes an annual self-review of governance effectiveness. This is led by the Chair of the Board and includes a questionnaire to all Trustees developed from National Governance Association (NGA) advice and reference to the ‘Twenty-one Questions for Multiacademy Trusts – 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 MAT Board.
  3. Governance is underpinned by the Trust Scheme of Delegation : this establishes and documents who is responsible for policy and operational decision making. The Scheme is in two parts. 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. Part 2 of the Scheme sets out the scope of delegations to the Executive. The Chief Executive acts in accordance with this part of the Scheme, delegating authority to act to individual members of the Trust Leadership Team (TLT) 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. The Scheme and any amendments thereto is approved by the Trust Board and reviewed annually. The Trust Board may enhance or withdraw delegations at any time, subject to report from the Chief Executive.
  5. The Trust operates a differentiated Scheme of Delegation for Local Governing Bodies (Part 1 of the Scheme). Subject to this, governance arrangements for each academy are 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 MAT 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:
    a)Trust Members – the guardians of the constitution.
    b) Trust Board – the trustees
    c) Trust Board Committees – of which there are five : Audit and Risk, People and Remuneration, Finance and Resources, Performance and Standards and Governance. 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.
    d) The Chairs’ Forum – comprising the Chair of the Trust Board and the Chairs of the Local Governing Bodies. This meets at least termly.
    e) 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.
    f) The Trust Leadership Team (TLT) – the Chief Executive, Headteacher (Broom Leys(Primary Lead), Chief Financial and Operations Director and Trust Governance Officer. 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 each Trust academy. 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)
  • The Castle Rock School (ages 11 – 18) : (Chair yet to be appointed (September 2020))
  • The Newbridge 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.

APPENDIX A : Overview and Summary of Trust Board Committee Terms of Reference

Audit and Risk Committee (Chair appointed annually – currently Joy Knifton)

The purpose of this Committee is to support the Board through detailed consideration, assurance and where the Committee considers appropriate, recommendations to the Board regarding oversight and review of the arrangements for independent checking of financial, governance, risk management and
internal control systems and transactions. This extends to review of the risks to the internal control framework of the Trust and development and oversight of the Annual Progamme of Internal Audit, working closely with independent internal auditors. The Committee takes the lead in oversight and monitoring of the termly review of the Trust Strategic Risk Register and receives reports and provides assurance to the Board on e.g. any incidents of fraud or breaches of procurement regulations.

People and Remuneration Committee (Chair appointed annually – currently Gill Stacey)

This Committee considers reports and provides assurance to the Trust Board regarding People Resource policy, ensuring that procedures and practice are compliant with legislative requirements and Trust ethos. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding Leadership and other Pay arrangements, Performance Management and Performance Related Pay and associated criteria. The Committee also has oversight of Trust human resource policies and practices and receives termly reports on aspects of human resource management, alerting the Trust Board as it considers necessary to any concerns.

Finance and Resources Committee : (Chair appointed annually – currently Andrew Pritchard)

The Committee oversees, on behalf of the Board, Financial and non-staff Resource Strategy (e.g. the forward Financial Plan and supporting financial policies of the Trust in support of delivery of the Strategic Plan and including the Estates and Infrastructure Plan).This role includes development for consideration by the Board and oversight for assurance to the Board of financial strategies and non-staff resource and supporting policies including budget allocation, capital spending and financial management, GAG funding, estate management and resource allocation and Reserves Policy. The Committee gives detailed consideration to, and makes recommendations to the Board on the annual Trust Budget and any variations thereto during the year.

Any expenditure proposed by the Executive or by a Committee that is not included within the agreed budget must first be considered by this Committee which will take a view and make a recommendation to the Board. The Committee also has an important role in satisfying itself, through assurance reports, that the financial management and practices of the Trust are in line with current requirements of the ESFA and holding to account / constructively challenging the Trust Leadership Team (TLT) as to the effectiveness and impact of (non-staff) resource management deployment, policies, procedures and practice. This includes regular benchmarking review of overall financial performance in comparison to regional and national standards and to the performance of other comparable Trusts.

Performance and Standards Committee (Chair appointed annually – currently Andrew Presland
Acting Chair)

This Committee supports and provides assurance to the Board through oversight, reports and, where the Committee consider appropriate, recommendations to the Trust Board regarding standards and performance having regard to the agreed objectives and targets of the Trust Strategic Plan. This extends to the effectiveness and impact of policy, proposals and practice in relation to Teaching and Learning strategies including systems of assessment of attainment, progress and outcomes at all year groups across the Trust. The Committee monitors progress against the Partnership Improvement Plan (PIP), the standards and performance of individual Academies and the impact and effectiveness of their Improvement Plans (SIPs) and related quality assurance, including Trust Care, Guidance and Wellbeing Strategy, Curriculum implementation, intent and impact, Safeguarding, Governance, delivery across the Trust (and in all Academies) of the values, vision and ethos of the Trust and the effectiveness of Local
Governing Bodies.

Governance and Membership Committee (Chair – Michala Worrell)

This Committee was appointed by the Trust Board in April 2021 expressly to develop proposals for recommendations to Members regarding the appointment of new Trustees and re-appointment (or otherwise) of existing Trustees having regard to expiry of all Trustee terms of office on 31st October 2021.

The Committee has recommended the Board to establish a standing Governance Committee. Terms of Reference for which will be considered by Trustees in July 2021.

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 ( 3 – 11 from September 2021) : (Chair appointed
annually – currently Collette Parker)

The Castle Rock School (ages 11 – 18) : (Chair appointed annually – currently Liz Seymour)

Newbridge Academy (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 was 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 variations for Castle Rock LGB, 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.

 

Local Governing Bodies

 

Register of Attendance and Business Interests

 

Governance Handbook

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academies-financial-handbook