The operation of Leigh Academies Trust is detailed within a 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:
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The Members are, in essence, the shareholders of the company. They currently comprise a group of seven people, appointed by the Sponsors, which always includes the Chair of the Trust Board. The Members have several functions:
- To sign the memorandum, to sign/amend the articles of association and to determine the name of the Trust;
- To receive the Trust’s accounts and report, and to appoint/remove the auditors;
- To appoint Members and Trustees (also known as Directors);
- To ensure that the Trust’s charitable objective is being met; and
- To dissolve the Trust.
This group holds an annual general meeting (AGM).
The Directors of Leigh Academies Trust, who sit on the Trust Board, are legally required to carry out a range of powers and responsibilities, working in close partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Academies Directors and academy Principals, to ensure that the academies provide the best possible education for all students.
The Trust Board sets the vision and aims of the Trust and its academies, as well as the strategy and policy to deliver its key objectives. It appoints the Chief Executive Officer and has ultimate responsibility for all budgets, salaries and safeguarding.
Apart from ensuring good governance, the Trust Board’s primary objectives are to assist the Executive in delivering the best possible outcomes for all students, and to hold the Executive to account for the ways in which this is carried out. It does this through the Academy Boards (in the secondary academies) and Development Groups (in the primary academies).
The Academy Boards are responsible for the day-to-day management and governance of all the academies under their jurisdiction. The majority of leadership and management tasks is delegated to the Principal of each academy. Chairs of some Academy Boards are represented on the Trust Board to ensure effective, coherent governance across the Trust. The Development Groups provide an opportunity for more bespoke consideration and oversight of the work of their primary academies and report to the relevant Academy Boards.
Governors are expected to make several visits to their academies during each academic year, enabling them to understand and monitor the academies’ work and progress. Following their visits, they submit reports for consideration by the relevant Academy Board or Development Group to ensure that important lessons are learned and outstanding issues addressed.
In addition to the Boards and Groups, there are three Committees that consider cross-cutting Trust issues: the Standards Committee, the Resources Committee and the Audit Committee, each reporting direct to the Trust Board. The Committees are made up of Directors and governors from across the Academy Boards and Development Groups.
The current governors on each Board, Group and Committee of Leigh Academies Trust are shown in the diagrams below, each of which relates to a particular geographical cluster of academies: