Strong governance is essential to the successful running of any academy trust. REAch2 Academy Trust is a charitable voluntary organisation, which relies on the valuable input of a considerable number of non-executive volunteers, supported by an experienced team of staff.
Due to the size of the organisation and the number of schools for which it is responsible, coupled with its drive for accountability, it is also a complex organisation with various important elements of governance. This is reviewed regularly to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose and to identify areas for improvement.
Effective governance in our large Academy Trust is supported by the following:
The guardians of the constitution.
Made up of Trust Board members.
Including the Cluster Non-Executive Representatives.
The Local Governors.
The Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer (together with the Executive Leaders) and their respective teams.
The Trust Board delegates authority to the following key groups to ensure the effective leadership and governance of the Academy Trust:
- Trust Board Committees populated entirely or largely by trustees (Education Standards and Performance, Executive Nominations, Finance & Resources, Remuneration and Risk & Audit Committee)
- Executive leadership and management team (the Executive Team)
- Cluster Boards: there are 10 which provide additional cluster governance oversight, support, and challenge, for the associated cluster academies
- Local Governing Bodies for each Academy
In September 2019, a new Cluster-based Governance model was introduced. With two Directors of Education, each Cluster is led by a Deputy Director of Education.
The relationship between the Trust Board and the Executive Team, the Cluster Boards, and the Local Governing Bodies is characterised as a partnership to realise a common vision and a common purpose.
In the case of the Cluster Boards and the Local Governing Bodies the relationship between the three tiers of governance is also based on the principles of:
- no duplication of governance
- governance should be as close as possible to the point of impact of decision-making
- risk management is key responsibility for each tier with clear lines of responsibility and accountability
The Scheme of Delegation and various Terms of Reference provide clarity as to the responsibilities of the different groups and who the decision-makers using a Responsible, Accountable, Support and Consulted methodology.
The Effectiveness of management and governance is supported through clarity over who holds the decision-making responsibility and who supports and advises the decision-makers.