There are two models of academy governance:
- Independent oversight of the academy by the Local Governing Body (LGB); and
- Oversight of the academy under a Model B framework where it has not been possible to recruit members to constitute a LGB (Model B framework).
Up until Easter 2022, the Trinity Partnership had a LGB in place with an experienced Chair of Governors. However, she had to resign owing to her professional commitments.
Consideration was given as to whether it would be possible to put in place an effective LGB making use of the existing members. It was concluded that this was unlikely to work as:
- The resigning chair had provided the bulk of the professional expertise in directing the LGB with the existing members not being strong enough to take it forward;
- Efforts to recruit replacement Governors had not been successful.
It was concluded that to ensure that there was effective oversight in place over the Trinity Partnership academy, it was appropriate to put in place a Model B framework. The appropriateness of a Model B framework for the Trinity Partnership will be reviewed on an annual basis or earlier if there is an expectation that a LGB can be put in place.
Governance and reporting
An overview of how the framework works for the Trinity Partnership is set out in Appendix 1.
At academy level
The Model B framework provides independent oversight over the academy through the establishment of termly meetings with the Head Teacher and the following DEMAT Central Functions:
- The DEMAT Hub Director
- The DEMAT Director of Education or their designate
- Other representatives of the DEMAT Education team, as appropriate
- The DEMAT Head of Governance
- Other representatives of the DEMAT Central team covering the Finance, HR and Premises functions, as appropriate
The meetings are broadly in line with the agenda of normal LGB meetings and include the Headteacher tabling a Headteacher report for discussion and challenge. They also consider the outcomes of audits of the academy such as Health and Safety and Safeguarding.
Local policies applied at Duchy are approved by the DEMAT Head of Governance. Central Policies developed by DEMAT are approved by the DEMAT Trustee Board.
The Model B also require the school to run a Parent Forum to ensure that the Model B termly oversight meeting properly considers parental feedback at the academy. The rationale for this approach is that it is:
- a pre-requisite of local oversight under the Articles of Association of DEMAT;
- the right thing to do.
At a Trust level
Oversight of academies within the Trinity Partnership is carried out for Education and for non-Education areas of the academies’ activities.
On the non-Education side, the academies fall under the oversight of the DEMAT central functions, being:
- Premises, incorporating Health and Safety and IT;
- Governance, incorporating Data Protection
On an ongoing basis, all issues arising in any of these areas are processed and reported in summary on a weekly risk dashboard.
On a monthly basis, all issues/key risk identified are reported to the DEMAT Executive Team at a monthly meeting attended by the Heads of these section. The Governance report to the DEMAT Executive includes a specific section on Model B DEMAT academies.
On a quarterly basis or as directed by the DEMAT Trust Board, these reports are summarized and presented to the DEMAT Trust Board Committees as appropriate (DEMAT Standards & Ethos, Finance & Estates, Personnel and Audit and Risk).
On an annual basis, the DEMAT Head of Governance carries out a review of the effectiveness of the Model B framework across DEMAT.
A record of all documents held and created for the LGB and Model B structures applied to the academy are held on GovernorHub .
Parent and Community Forum
The Model B framework also requires The Trinity Partnership to run a Parent and Community Forum to ensure that the Model B termly oversight meeting properly considers parental feedback in The Trinity Partnership. There are at least two Parent Forum Members from each school. Any parent wishing to attend Forum meetings is welcome to attend. The Parent and Community Forum ("PAC") may also include people in the community who have an interest in the school such as local clergy or council representatives.
Purpose of the Forum
- This group of parents and community members provide valuable input on school initiatives and programmes from a parental/community perspective. They also raise issues that parents/community feel need to be addressed by the schools and help develop recommendations on how to continually improve the school particularly regarding the pupil and parent experience.
- Promote and encourage parent and community participation in the school.
- Provide a communication link between the school and the community.
- Help identify the concerns of pupil, parents and community members and assist in developing solutions.