The governance of a multi-academy trust differs from those of maintained schools. The White Horse Federation (TWHF) believes that placing statutory responsibilities firmly at its centre, in the remit of the trustee board, allows the local governing body (LGB) to focus on providing support, overcoming challenges in the delivery of educational excellence, and achieving outstanding outcomes for all pupils.
There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the LGB chair and central services. The clerk to the trustee board will hold contact details for all members of LGBs within TWHF. However, routine communication for day-to-day school business should come from the chair of that LGB, managed by the school or through an LGB clerk, if such a position is deemed necessary.
The principal and the chair of the LGB are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all material needed to keep LGB members well informed about the school and TWHF. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the LGB are well communicated to the board of trustees. This can be done via the elected chair’s representative on the trustee board. Senior executives from TWHF will be nominated by the CEO to sit on an LGB. Trustees reserve the right to attend any LGB meeting.
The White Horse Federation has a very clear and shared understanding of what constitutes good and effective governance. Schools within TWHF will be judged to have outstanding governance when members of the LGB:
- Talk about teaching and learning.
- Know a great deal about the school and its community.
- Are ambitious for the school and its community.
- Ask questions which make colleagues reflect, and that these discussions lead to delivering the very best outcomes for every child and adult within the school community.
- Maintain strong and effective relationships within TWHF.
In order for the shared model of governance to be effective for TWHF and the schools, it is essential that there is effective communication between the board of trustees, the LGBs, chairs groups, principals, the central team, and the executive leadership team.