All members of the Trust Board share an unceasing ambition to contribute towards providing an outstanding education for all young people regardless of ability, gender, social background, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. The Trust has been built upon the success of Rochdale Sixth Form College and is testament to the life-changing opportunities that can be afforded to young people through talented and inspirational leaders and teachers, alongside effective assessment, intervention and support. Altus Education Partnership wishes to continue improving the life chances of young people in the area through developing a family of outstanding academies.
The Trust is committed to the highest standards of governance across the Trust Board, its committees and all Local Academy Councils (LACs) to ensure robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. This will enable the Trust to achieve the three core functions required of its 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 effective and efficient performance management of staff
- overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and ensuring its money is well spent
There is significant separation between members and trustees to enable members to exercise their powers objectively.
The members have overall nominal responsibility for the Trust but they exercise their functions through the Trust Board.
The main powers and duties of the members in broad terms are:
- to appoint and remove trustees
- through a collaborative process to monitor and evaluate the performance of the Trust Board
- to maintain the membership and appoint members
- to approve any proposed changes to the Articles of Association
- to receive the annual accounts of the Trust
The Trust Board focuses on the three core functions of governance as set out above.
Key areas of responsibility retained by the Trust Board include:
- setting the strategic direction of the Trust and academies
- establishing new academies
- approving the overall budget for the Trust and its devolution to each academy
- approving the annual accounts of the Trust
- approving policies that the Trust, by law, is required to maintain
- appointing the CEO
- reviewing the Scheme of Delegation
The Trust Board has overall responsibility for the operation of the academies. It delegates functions that are specific to each academy to the LACs and it delegates certain of its functions that relate to the Trust as a whole to other committees of the Trust Board.
The Trust supports individual academies by taking on some of the responsibilities and functions that detract from the focus on learning. Scrutiny and oversight of these areas are reserved to the Trust Board and its committees.
The trustees are the directors of the Trust and have a similar role to governors in a local authority-maintained school. As directors their duties are to:
- act within their powers
- promote the success of the Trust
- exercise independent judgement
- exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
- avoid conflicts of interest
- not accept benefits from third parties
- declare any interest in proposed transactions or arrangements
Edgar Wood LAC has delegated autonomy and authority to drive improvement within the school. The role of the LAC is to provide focused governance for an academy at a local level. It monitors the academy’s key performance indicators and acts as a critical friend to the headteacher, providing challenge where appropriate. It will also play a part in representing the views of the academy’s stakeholders. The LAC’s delegated responsibilities requires them to monitor and report to the Trust Board on the overall performance of the academy. Membership of the LAC includes staff and parent members, who are elected by their peers to serve.
Altus Education Partnership has a Governance Professional who is a clerk to the trustees and is responsible for:
- the strategic management of all governance and policy compliance objectives throughout the Trust
- ensuring that Trust governance procedures, the requirements of the Governance Handbook, the Trust code of conduct, Nolan Principles in public life and all terms of reference are embedded across the Trust
- ensuring effective procedures and systems link the various layers of governance – Trust Board, committees and LACs – so that information flows efficiently both ways
- leading the recruitment strategy for trustees and LAC governors to ensure that appointment is based on the skills, knowledge and experience of those appointed
- leading the recruitment and peer election process for staff and parent members of LACs
- identifying and supporting the delivery of a professional annual programme of training and development for all tiers of governance, including an effective induction programme for new trustees and LAC governors
- ensuring good quality reporting by leaders to the Trust Board, committees and LACs
- ensuring accurate records of meetings and decisions reached are maintained