The Boston Witham Academies Federation is a limited company by guarantee, with charitable status, operating under the direction of a Board of Directors.
The operation of The Boston Witham Academies Federation is detailed within the Master Funding Agreement, along with Supplemental Funding Agreements between the Trust and the Department for Education for each Academy.
The current governance structure is as follows:
As a charitable company limited by guarantee the Trust has Members who have a similar role to the shareholders of a company limited by shares. They:
- Are the subscribers to the Trust’s memorandum of association
- May amend the articles of association subject to any restrictions in the articles, the funding agreement or charity law
- May, in certain circumstances, appoint new Members or remove existing Members
- Have powers to appoint and remove Trustees /Directors in certain circumstances
- May, by special resolution, issue direction to the Trustees to take a specific action
- Appoint the Trust’s auditors and receive the Trust’s audited annual accounts (subject to the Companies Act)
- Have power to change the name of the company and, ultimately, wind up the academy trust.
As responsibility to conduct the Trust’s business sits with the Trustees/Directors, Members should be ‘eyes on and hands off’ and avoid compromising the Board’s discretion. However, if the governance of the Trust by the Board of Trustees becomes dysfunctional the Members will have a strong interest in ensuring the Board has plans to address. This could involve removing the Board or individual Trustees and re-appoint Trustees with the skills necessary for effective governance.
There must be no less than 3 Members at any one time.
The current Members of the Trust are:
|Mr T Elmer||24 July 2012||12 September 2019|
|Mrs M Fox||13 July 2016|
|Mrs A Buxton||10 August 2016|
|Mr P Coote||14 September 2016||9 January 2019|
|Mrs J Ashton||5 September 2019|
The liability of each member of the Trust is limited. Every member of the Trust undertakes to contribute such amount as may be required (not exceeding £10) to the Company’s assets if it should be wound up while he or she is a member or within one year after he or she ceases to be a member.
Board of Directors
The Directors of the Academy Trust are both charity trustees and company directors. The Board of Directors considers the vision and aims of the Trust and its Academies, as well as strategy and policy to deliver its key objectives:
- To advance for the public benefit education in the United Kingdom, in particular but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing by establishing, maintaining, carrying on, managing and developing the Academies by offering a broad and balanced curriculum: and
- To promote for the benefit of the inhabitants of Boston and the surrounding area the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need for such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of the said inhabitants.
The Directors should focus on the three core functions of governance:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.
The Directors must ensure regularity and propriety in use of the Trust’s funds, and achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness–the three key elements of value for money.
The number of Directors at any one time shall not be less than three and is not subject to any maximum.
The Board must meet a minimum of three times a year, in addition to the AGM. Additional meetings maybe arranged depending on the circumstances of the Trust at any given time.
The current Directors of the Trust are:
|Mr D Elkington||3 November 2016||22 July 2019||Appointed by the Members|
|Mr T Elmer||26 July 2012||31 August 2019||Appointed by the Members|
|Mrs J Gale||22 September 2015||Appointed by the Members|
|Mr J McGarel||26 July 2012||Appointed by the Members|
|Mr C Penney (Chair)||11 February 2016||Appointed by the Members|
|Mrs C Shepheard||26 July 2012||Appointed by the Members|
|Mrs J Wrigglesworth||20 March 2017||Appointed by the Members|
|Mrs Rachel Chatterton||14 January 2020||Appointed by the Members|
The Trust has four committees which reviews the data and performance of a particular area in detail. Each committee consists of a majority of Directors, with the Chair reporting to the Board of Directors at each meeting. Each committee must meet at least three times a year and has the following roles and responsibilities.
Curriculum and Standards
- Recommending to the Trust Board for approval challenging educational targets of the Academies (in consultation with the CEO).
- Considering and evaluating performance of the Academies against KPIs set by the Trust Board (in consultation with the relevant Local Governing Bodies) in relation to academics and other matters.
- Holding each academy’s leadership to account for pupils’ outcomes, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
- Monitor and challenge the use of Pupil Premium in raising attainment.
- Receiving reports on the quality of teaching and learning and making recommendations to the Trust Board.
- Understand the headlines from ASP and analyse performance trends over time.
- Commenting and advising on the self-evaluation process and the areas for improvement with particular regard to outcomes.
- Considering the aims and priorities for raising standards of achievement in each of the Academies’ strategic plans.
- Ensuring that the legal requirements for children with special needs are met and that they are given support for learning.
- Ensuring that each Academy fulfils its legal requirement to publish information about their Academy’s performance and curriculum.
- Review policies in line with the Trust’s scheme of delegation.
- Ensure each Academy complies with its commitment to training and professional development for all personnel in order to ensure quality first teaching in each Academy.
- To establish and monitor a Building Development Plan for each Academy within the Trust.
- Ensure procedures are in place across the Trust to meet all health and safety legislation, requirements and recommendations of good practice.
- Review the Trust Health and Safety Policy to ensure that it is line with national current guidelines annually.
- Check that the Academy’s procedures and risk assessments are in line with the policy and actions from the annual Health and Safety Audit.
- Provide advice and guidance to the Directors on the health and safety issues.
- To review and approve proposed major capital projects (expected to cost in excess of £30,000) in relation to estates, who will pass recommendations onto the Chief Financial Officer who will discuss cost implications with the Finance and Audit Committee.
- The Estates Committee to view and examine work completed on a regular basis.
Finance and Audit
- To determine and recommend to the Board of Directors the annual budget plan.
- To establish and maintain a financial plan for, (as a minimum), each period of three years.
- To monitor the budget position against the current and projected annual position, and to ensure good financial management and effective internal controls.
- To assess the implications for each Academy of the funding stream in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer, in advance of the financial year and for future years, drawing any matters of significance or concern to the attention of the Board of Directors.
- To contribute to the formulation of the Trust’s Development Plan, through the consideration of financial priorities and proposals, in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer, and in accordance with the stated and agreed aims and objectives of the Trust.
- To ensure the annual accounts are produced in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006, the Charities SORP’s and the DfE guidance issued to academies.
- To monitor and review expenditure on a regular basis and ensure compliance with the overall financial plan for the Trust, and with the financial regulations of the DfE (including those contained within the Academies Financial Handbook), drawing any matters of concern to the attention of the Board of Directors.
- To advise the Board on compliance with the Master Funding Agreement and each Supplemental Funding Agreement;
- The Committee will be responsible for the detailed consideration as to the best means of fulfilling the Trust’s responsibility to ensure sound management of the Trust’s Human Resources (HR).
- To review and recommend HR policy and strategy and to monitor the impact on organisational performance.
- To monitor and review the pay budget as a % of income including monitoring pay awards and to conduct reviews across the Trust annually to ensure such awards and reviews remain in line with expectations in terms of the Pay Policy and the budget.
- To develop, review and oversee the implementation of the Trust’s personnel policies and to monitor the impact of these via KPIs, i.e. in relation to such matters as turnover, sickness absence, recruitment, grievances and employee satisfaction.
- To draft and keep under review staffing structures in consultation with Chief Executive Officer.
- To approve the Trust Pay Policy for recommendation to the Board following appropriate consultation as required and to ensure that it is applied equitably across the Trust.
- To approve for recommendation to the Board, following an annual review, the Trust Pay Awards.
- To receive, review and propose to the Board recommendations from the CEO relating to the pay of all members of staff outside the guidelines of the Pay Policy.
- To keep under review arrangements for staff work/life balance, working conditions and well-being.
The Trust has developed an assurance reporting framework which the Board of Directors are required to complete twice a year. The completed assurance document is then shared with the Local Governing Bodies to help provide transparency and ensure they are aware of any areas for improvement across the Trust.
Local Governing Bodies
Each Academy within the Trust will have its own Local Governing Body. This will ensure that, although part of a single organisation, each Academy will draw governors from its own community and parents and thus maintain their distinctive characters.
The Local Governing Bodies must meet a minimum of three times a year. Additional meetings may be arranged depending on the circumstances of the Academy at any given time.
Their principal responsibilities will concern curriculum, standards of attainment, pupil/ student progress and individual premises issues. They will receive a report from the Head of Academy, with members of the Trust Executive Team attending upon request/ invitation of the Chair of the Local Governing Body or Head of Academy.
At each Board of Directors meetings, the Directors review the minutes of each Local Governing Body. The Directors are able to use the minutes to challenge the Governors and Head of Academy, holding them account to performance and decisions that have been made.
The Trust has developed an assurance reporting framework which each Local Governing Body is required to complete twice a year. This framework provides the Board of Directors with assurances over the performance and running of each academy and identifies areas for improvement.
Local Governors are subject to a maximum term of office of four years.
Local Governing Body Chairs Forum
The Trust also operates a Chair of Local Governing Bodies forum. The forum meets on a termly basis, its main purpose is to:
- Promote the values of the Trust – Aspire, Achieve, Succeed.
- Build relationships.
- Generate new ideas and share good practice.
- Influence policy development, and
- Discuss Trust wide strategies for the benefit of all stakeholders.