Governance

The Bicester Learning Academy is committed to continual improvement, growth and support. It is about a shared vision of what makes great teaching and great learning. We are building, growing and collaborating with robust structures which enable us and our teachers to improve, continually develop, to facilitate and encourage collaboration. We want our teachers to be free and able to observe, to coach, to evaluate and ultimately, provide a first class experience for all of our learners. Our learners have unlimited potential. With our support, perseverance and effort we will recognise each and every excellence, each and every passion and each and every ambition. The Bicester Learning Academy is committed to providing the best opportunities for learning, encouraging moral responsibility and to build confidence.


Bicester Learning Academy Trust: Trust Governance Structure Chart (effective from Summer Term 2019)

Notes:

  • The Members of the Trust are guardians of the governance of the trust and as such have a different status to trustees.
  • Members cannot also be Trustees.
  • Trustees can also serve on Academy Committees/Councils and some Trustees being on each School’s Committee will facilitate oversight of the schools.
  • There is significant delegation to the Academy Committees/Councils as agreed in the BLAT ‘Scheme of Delegation’. There will be parent and staff representation on these Committees/Councils.
  • There will be reduced levels of delegation as appropriate for new schools and any school judged RI or Inadequate by Ofsted

The role of the members of the trust

The original members were signatories to the memorandum of association and   agreed the trust’s first articles of association. The articles of association also describe how members are recruited and replaced, and how many of the trustees the members can appoint to the trust board.  The members appoint trustees to ensure that the trust’s charitable objective is carried out and so must be able to remove trustees if they fail to fulfil this responsibility.  Accordingly, the trust board submits an annual report on the performance of the trust to the members.  Members are also responsible for approving any amendments made to the trust’s articles of association.

Under our model there must be at least five members and members are not permitted to be employees of the academy trust.

The role of the trustees

The MAT 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 trustees.  The trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the trust, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the memorandum and articles of association and its funding agreement, are legally responsible and accountable for all statutory functions, for the performance of all schools within the trust, and have approved a written scheme of delegation of financial powers that maintains robust internal control arrangements.  In addition it must carry out the three core governance functions:

  1. Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. Hold the executive to account for the educational performance of the trust’s schools and their pupils, and the performance management of staff
  3. Oversee the financial performance of the trust and make sure its money is well spent

The board of trustees has the right to review and adapt its governance structure at any time which includes removing delegation.

The role of board committees

The trustees establish committees to carry out some of its governance functions which may include making decisions, although any decisions made will be deemed decisions of the trust board.  The membership and responsibilities of board committees are set out in the committee’s terms of reference.  The trust board  appoints board committee chairs and committee members according to their skills.

As is stated in The Academies Financial Handbook 2018 our board of trustees does ‘…have a finance committee to which the board delegates financial scrutiny and oversight’.

Accounting Officer & Trustee – Mr B Baxter. (Please see Governing Body