Terms of Reference
The Governing Body
The Governing Body needs to take a strategic role, act as a critical friend to the School and be accountable for its decisions. It should set aims and objectives and agree, monitor and review policies, targets and priorities
Terms of reference:
- To act in accordance with directions given by the Members
- To act in accordance with the Governors Handbook for School Governors, the Articles of Association and the Funding Agreement for Blockley Educational Academy
- To hold at least three Governing Body meetings a year
- To approve/reject Governors apologies
- To appoint or remove the Chair and Vice Chair
- To appoint or remove a Clerk to the Governing Body
- To appoint and remove Co-Opted Governors as necessary
- To establish the committees of the Governing Body and their terms of reference
- To appoint or remove a Clerk to each committee
- To decide which functions of the Governing Body will be delegated to committees, groups and individuals
- To review the delegation arrangements annually
- To receive reports from any individual or committee to whom a decision has been delegated and to consider whether any further action by the Governing Body is necessary
- To approve the first formal budget plan of the financial year
- To keep the Health and Safety Policy and its practice under review and to make revisions where appropriate
- To be aware of generic teacher appraisal arrangements
- To be responsible for all aspects of Safeguarding
- To be mindful of staff workload and wellbeing
Disqualification – As per Articles of Association (and The Governors Handbook)
Terms of Reference:
The Resource Committee is responsible for establishing practices and procedures to ensure the best use of personnel, financial and capital resources available to the school. This to include; reviews to maximise available resources to the school; monitoring to ensure ‘best use’ of resources to achieve School objectives; audit to ensure compliance with regulator/contractual conditions that apply to the School.
Many of the roles of the Resource Committee coincide with the responsibilities of the Audit Committee and therefore the Resource Committee will also act as the Audit Committee.
The Resource Committee includes the Pay Panel and the Terms of Reference of the Pay Panel are therefore deemed to be part of the Resource Committee Terms of Reference. Appendix 1.
Activity is broken down into the 3 main areas of Governance; Budgeting; Monitoring. Specific activity within these areas are:
- To ensure that the school operates in accordance with regulations/legislation/guidelines/contracts/agreements that are applicable to the school based on its status and contractual obligations.
- To ensure that an adequate and appropriate system of Internal Control and Risk Management is in place.
- To annually review benchmarking data, where this is available and relevant, to ensure the best utilisation of school resources.
- To invest monies gifted to the school ensuring a balance between financial return and capital security so as to achieve the best long term return. Review that the utilisation of such funds (capital or income) is in accordance with the donor’s wishes.
- To establish and maintain all relevant policies (including but not limited to a salary policy, a non-teacher pension policy, a Performance Management policy, an accessibility plan) and be responsible for their administration and review on a 3 year rolling basis.
- To make recommendations on the appointment of external auditors to the Full Governing Body.
- To determine the trust’s mechanism and programme of internal scrutiny and ensure that audit reports are being addressed appropriately and report to the board on the adequacy of the trust’s internal control framework.
- To ensure that the Terms of Reference of the Pay Panel are adhered to (Appendix 1).
- To consider the longer term viability of the school resource model by reviewing 3 year budget information incorporating, where appropriate, changes in the School status. This will include review of staffing structures and premises requirements.
- To review and approve the budget (including the staffing structure) for the forthcoming financial year (income and expenditure), ensuring that it is balanced, sustainable and consistent with funding models.
- To oversee capital funding bids.
- To review and approve recommendations from other committees or stakeholders where these have an impact on school resources.
- To recommend to the Full Governing Body current and future premises requirements and when approved liaise with County Planning and Diocese officers regarding these matters.
- To review the provision of ‘extended schools’ and make recommendations to the Full Governing body.
- To establish medium to long term plans for capital projects and oversee the execution of their implementation.
- To review the current year budget position, and to approve full year forecasts including virement decisions per the Financial Policy and Management Procedures at least termly.
- To monitor expenditure of all funds maintained and controlled by the school.
- To ensure that the system of internal control and risk management is operating adequately.
- To ensure that the premises are maintained to an acceptable standard (including Health and Safety) to accommodate its use by relevant parties and to prioritise maintenance requirements.
- To oversee staff appointment procedures.
- To review staff work/life balance, working conditions and well-being.
- To establish an Appeals Committee from eligible governors to consider appeals against any pay grading or pay award decisions.
Pay Panel Terms of Reference
Refer to the Pay Policy
Terms of reference:
- To consider and advise the governing body on standards and other matters relating to the school’s curriculum, including statutory requirements, the School’s Curriculum Policy and the School Development Plan.
- To consider curricular issues which have implications for Finance and Personnel decisions and to make recommendations to the relevant committees or the Governing Body
- To approve the annual appointment of an Independent School Improvement Partner in order to support and challenge the schools self-evaluation process.
- To make arrangements for the Governing Body to be represented at discussions with the Independent School Improvement Partner, Ofsted or other review officers and for reports to be received by the Governing Body
- To oversee arrangements for individual governors to take a leading role in specific areas of provision, eg SEND, Literacy, Numeracy.
- To oversee arrangements for educational visits, including the appointment of a named co-ordinator
- To review all policies as per schedule and to revise them on a 3 year rolling programme (specific policies reviewed annually)
- To consider and advise the governing body on standards and other matters relating to the school’s curriculum, including statutory requirements and the School’s Curriculum Policy in accordance with the Articles of Association in relation to the school’s Christian Ethos.
Terms of reference:
To ensure compliance with the school’s Articles of Association in relation to its Christian foundationTo promote and monitor the impact of the distinct Christian ethos within the school and across the whole curriculum, particularly as they relate to our British and Christian value.
- To regular evaluate the content and impact of Collective Worship and review the CW policy as part of an on-going programme of review
- To review policies allocated to the Ethos Committee as part of the rolling programme
- To monitor the content and impact of RE through subject leader action plan and reports
- To ensure the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is nurtured throughout the school
- To regularly update and use the SIAMS toolkit as a monitoring and evaluative tool
- To promote community links, including links with Blockley Church, applying the values learnt in school to all aspects of life
Delegation of Responsibility to IndividualsAny individual to whom responsibility has been delegated is expected to work within the following terms of reference.
Terms of reference:
- To liaise with the appropriate member(s) of staff
- To visit the school with the purpose of gathering information concerning their area of responsibility and to increase their knowledge of the School
- To report when necessary to the Governing Body, the Standards Committee or any other sub committee, whichever the Governing Body deems most appropriate, on developments and progress within their area of responsibility
- To raise the profile of the area of responsibility when related matters are considered by the Governing Body
- To attend training as appropriate
DELEGATION (as per Articles of Association)
102. The Governors may delegate to any Governor, committee, the Principal or any other holder of an executive office, such of their powers or functions as they consider desirable to be exercised by them. Any such delegation may be made subject to any conditions the Governors may impose and may be revoked or altered.
103. Where any power or function of the Governors is exercised by any committee, any Governor, Principal or any other holder of an executive office, that person or committee shall report to the Governors in respect of any action taken or decision made with respect to the exercise of that power or function at the meeting of the Governors immediately following the taking of the action or the making of the decision.
Scheme of Delegation
Detailed roles and responsibilities
The role of the members
- The members of the trust are guardians of the governance of the trust and must ensure it carries out its charitable objective.
- There must be at least three members, although Blockley Educational Academy has four; members are not permitted to be employees of the academy trust.
- The members agree the trust’s articles of association, appoint trustees and appoint the trust’s external auditors.
- The members receive information about the trust’s business in the form of the Full Governing Board Minutes and receive the annual report and accounts. If they have concerns that the trust is not carrying out its charitable objective, members should remove trustees that are failing to fulfil this responsibility.
The role of the trustees (governors)
- The trust is a charitable company and so trustees are both charity trustees (within the terms of section 177(1) of the Charities Act 2011) and company directors (within the terms of the Companies Act 2006).
- Trustees are bound by both charity and company law so the terms ‘trustees’ and ‘directors’ are often used interchangeably. NGA uses the term trustee as it avoids the possible confusion caused when executive leaders are called directors but are neither company directors nor trustees. The use of trustee also serves to highlight the overarching charitable purpose of the organisation, distinguishing it from other directorships that may be held in the private sector.
- Trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the trust, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the memorandum and articles of association and its funding agreement are legally accountable for all statutory functions and for the performance of all the schools within the trust; they do this by carrying out the core governance functions.
- The board of trustees must approve a written scheme of financial delegation and if they choose to delegate to board committees, must approve a written scheme of delegation and committee terms of reference.
The role of trust board committees
- Trustees delegate some governance functions to board committees, one of which must include audit and risk which advises on the adequacy of the trust’s controls and risks.
- Board committees must have at least three trustees in membership, and trustees must be in the majority for voting purposes; it is usual for the trust board to appoint board committee chairs and committee members according to their skills.
- Trusts will delegate detailed scrutiny of financial management and school performance to board committees.
- The trust delegates the performance management of the head teacher to the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee.
The role of the head teacher
- The trustees delegate the day to day management of the trust to the head teacher, line managing them in line with the trust’s appraisal and performance management policies.
- The head teacher is also the accounting officer and so is not only responsible for the performance of the trust as a whole, but has a personal responsibility to parliament for the regularity, propriety and value for money, and for assuring the board about compliance with the funding agreement and the Academies Financial Handbook.
- The head teacher will be responsible for the leadership and management of the staff and will report to the trust board and its committees.
Reading the grid
ü – governance function and decision making is at this level
C – to be consulted prior to decision being made
Note: Decisions delegated to the trust board may be delegated to a board committee but not the CEO, academy committee or HT
Head Teacher / accounting officer
Governance framework: people
Parent trustees appoint when elected
Committee chairs: appoint and remove
Named safeguarding trustee: appoint and remove
Clerk to board: appoint and remove
Clerk to committees: appoint and remove
Governance framework: systems and structures
Articles of association: review and agree
Governance structure for the trust: establish and review annually
Committee terms of reference and scheme of delegation: agree annually
Annual schedule of governance business: agree
Self-review of trust board and committees: complete annually
Chair’s performance: carry out 360° review periodically
Trustee member contribution: review annually
Governance framework: reporting
Publish governance arrangements on trust and schools’ websites: ensure
Annual report on the performance of the trust: submit to members and publish
Annual self-review/triannual external review of board effectiveness: submit to members
Annual report and accounts including accounting policies, signed statement on regularity, propriety and compliance, incorporating governance statement demonstrating value for money: submit to members and Companies House
ESFA required reports and returns submit
Determine policies which reflect the trust’s ethos and values: approve
Management of risk: establish register, review and monitor
Engagement with stakeholders: ensure
Determine trust’s vision, strategy and key priorities: approve
Head Teacher: appoint and dismiss
Accounting officer: appoint and dismiss
Budget plan to support delivery of trust key priorities: agree
Trust’s staffing structure: agree
Holding to account
Ensuring compliance (e.g. safeguarding, H&S, employment): agree auditing and reporting arrangements
Monitoring progress on key priorities: agree reporting arrangements
Performance management of the head teacher: undertake
External auditors: appoint
Chief financial officer: appoint
Trust’s scheme of financial delegation: establish, monitor and review
External auditors’ report: receive and respond
Head Teachers’ pay award: agree
Staff appraisal procedure and pay progression: review and agree
Benchmarking and trust wide value for money: ensure robustness
Monitoring budget: agree reporting