Hartley Brook Primary Academy is part of the Astrea Academy Trust.
See here for the trust’s overall governance policy. Information about the local governance for the academy, including details of individual governors, will follow shortly.
As a charitable Trust, Astrea is accountable for:
- the educational outcomes and welfare of all children attending Astrea schools;
- the livelihoods of our employees;
- the prudent management of taxpayers’ money; and
- the stewardship of public buildings and land.
The quality and effectiveness of our governance is pivotal to ensuring all of those resources are used most effectively in delivering learning opportunities for children and best value to the taxpayer.
At the heart of governance in a charity like Astrea is the non-executive team, made up entirely of volunteers. These individuals bring their experiences and judgement and accept accountability not for personal material benefit but for the greater public good and in particular to improve the life chances of the pupils in our schools.
The law places accountability for the educational outcomes and financial diligence of the Trust firmly with the Trustees and the CEO as Accounting Officer. However, a fundamental principle for us is that effective governance is best delivered as close as possible to the point of impact of decisions.For this reason we have developed a governance structure that delegates significant accountability to our LGBs (Local Governing Bodies). These bodies provide the overview and scrutiny of the management and governance of Astrea academies.
Vision and Values: “Inspiring Beyond Measure”
The shared vision and values of Astrea and all the Academies underpins the governance arrangements of the Academy Trust.
Astrea supports the independence and distinguishing characteristics of each of the Academies and seeks to provide a level of autonomy proportionate to the success of the Academy. This gives Astrea its distinctiveness.
Recognising the value of collaboration and the advantage of a public association, Astrea will provide a voice on national issues affecting the Academy Trust and our academies, helping to communicate the Academy Trust’s needs and concerns to those responsible for the funding and regulation of publicly funded schools.
Astrea has a commitment to supporting the schools within the Astrea family for the benefit of the communities served by the schools. Astrea expects academies to work together in the spirit of solidarity. The relationship between the Academy Trust, Regional Boards and Local Governing Bodies is one of partners sharing a common goal, drawing on each other’s strengths in order to overcome any weaknesses and respond robustly to any challenges.
Astrea provides a strong, responsible foundation from which every academy develops and grows. It provides a subtle yet crucial role, aiming always to be a trustworthy, reliable and inspirational organisation, delivering the best possible learning experiences.
As an Academy Trust we are committed to creating a culture that strongly reflects our five core “Value Partners”, which are equally applicable to pupils, staff and the work of the Trust itself: Responsibility and Leadership, Enjoyment and Innovation, Aspiration and Development, Collaboration and Inclusion, and Honesty and Integrity.
Principles of the Governance Charter
Astrea Academy Trust has established a Governance Charter.
- The Astrea Charter sets out the fundamental principles of the organisation and lays down the rules for its governance. The Charter consists of the principles set out here, the Trust Articles of Association and the detail set out in the Scheme of Governance and Terms of Reference.
- The governance principles of Astrea recognise the importance of developing relationships with common purpose as much as they are about developing processes and structures.
- The “21 questions that every Multi-academy Trust should ask itself”, set out by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership (January 2015), provide a foundation by which we will assess the effectiveness of our governance.
- Financial governance must as a foundation, be compliant with the principles and regulations set out in the Academies Financial Handbook. The Trust aims to go beyond this foundation to provide excellence in its governance.
- Governance is underpinned by a common understanding about who is responsible for providing valuable input to decision making and who has the decision-making responsibility.
- Effective governance in our Trust is supported through the following tiers:
- Trust Members – the guardians of the constitution.
- Trust Board – the Directors / Trustees
- Trust sub-committees
- Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) – The Academy Governors.
- The Executive Team – the Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO“) and other senior management.
- As the Trust grows beyond a single region or hub then the capacity for governance, overview and scrutiny of LGB decisions will be increased through the development of Regional Boards. The middle tier of governance will then be Regional Boards and their sub-committees – To avoid confusion with the role of Board Trustees and LGB Governors, the regional board members will be known as ‘Regional Ambassadors’. Regional Boards will not be a necessary tier of governance until the scale and geographical reach of the Trust requires them. Until that point the MAT Board will assume all of the functions of the Regional Board.
- The Trust Board has overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the work of the Trust, including the establishment and maintenance of the Academies.
- The Trust Board will have four sub-committees: Finance; Risk and Audit; Educational Standards; Human Resources.
- Regional Boards will have three key functions:
- Provide regional overview, scrutiny and challenge of academy education and financial performance;
- Support regional locality forums for academy leaders and governors to shape and influence Trust thinking; and
- Ensure an effective flow of communication between the Local Governing Bodies, Regional Boards and the Trust Board.
- The governance of each Academy shall be delegated to the relevant Local Governing Body.
- The governance relationship between the Trust Board, Regional Boards and LGBs are set out in a clear scheme of delegation and terms of reference.
The Trust has a scheme of executive delegation to clarify the relationship between the executive and non-executive functions of the Trust’s leadership and governance.