Church of England

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Academy Trust

Structure, Governance and Management

The Bishop Perowne Church of England Academy Trust (the School) is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity.  The charitable company's Memorandum and Articles of Association are the primary Governing documents of the School.

The Trustees of Bishop Perowne Church of England College are also the directors of the charitable company for the purposes of company law.

The Trust operates an School for students aged 11 to 16 in Worcestershire.

Governance structure and lines of accountability

The Board of Trustees delegate responsibility for the day to day running of the School to the Headteacher. The Trustee Board will hold the Headteacher to account for the performance of the School.  The Headteacher in turn holds other Members of the senior leadership team to account by line managing them. While the board cannot never delegate its accountability, it can delegate some of the detailed scrutiny, oversight and decision making. 

The Headteacher will report to the board on the performance of the School, although this will be supplemented by the monitoring of the School Improvement committee and individual Trustees with any delegated responsibilities.

The Headteacher is performance managed by the Trust Board.

The role of Members

The Members of the Trust have a different status to Trustees. Originally they will have been the signatories to the memorandum of association and will have agreed the Trust's first articles of association (a document which outlines the governance structure and how the Trust will operate).  The articles of association will 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 object 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.

The role of the Trustees

The School 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.  As Trustees are bound by both charity and company law, the terms 'Trustees' and 'Directors' are often used interchangeably.

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, it is legally responsible and accountable for all statutory functions, for the performance of the the Trust, and must approve 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 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 Trust Board committees

The Trustees may 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 (there must be at least three Trustees) and responsibilities of board committees are set out in the committee's terms of reference.

The role of the Headteacher

The Headteacher has the delegated responsibility for the operation of the Trust

The Headteacher is the accounting officer so has overall responsibility for the operation of the School's financial responsibilities and must ensure that the organisation is run with financial effectiveness and stability; avoiding waste and securing value for money.

The Headteacher leads the senior leadership team (SLT) of the School. The principal will delegate management functions to the SLT and is accountable to the Trust Board for the performance of the SLT.

Members' Liability

In the event that the charitable company is wound up, each Member undertakes to contribute, both while they are a Member, and within one year after they cease to be a Member, such an amount as may be required to cover the debts and liabilities contracted before they ceased to be a Member, but not exceeding the amount of £10.

Trustees' Liability

The School has opted into the Department of Education's Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA), an alternative to private sector insurance whereby the UK Government covers losses that arise.  The scheme protects Trustees and officers from claims arising from negligent acts, errors or omissions occurring whilst on School business.

Method of Recruitment and Appointment of Election of Trustees

Article 45 of the Articles of Association sates that the number of Trustees shall not be less than three, but shall not be subject any maximum.  The Governing Board shall comprise:

  • Two parent Trustees,
  • The Headteacher
  • Seven Trustees who may be appointed by the Worcester Diocesan Academy Trust
  • One Trustee shall be appointed by the Archdeacon of Worcester
  • Any additional Trustees, if appointed under Article 62, 62A or 68A
  • Any further Trustees, if appointed under Article 63 or 68A.

Policies and procedures adopted for the induction and training of Governors

New Governors attend full Governing Board meetings as well as being given the opportunity to view the workings of the School on Governor days in the School. The opportunity also exists for Governors to join planned induction days for new staff as well as being offered copies of policies and appropriate handbooks. All Governors are consulted by a nominated training Governor and relevant training and literature are disseminated throughout the year

Organisational structure

A unified leadership structure operates to help improve the way the School is run.  The structure consists of the Governors and the Senior Leadership Team.  The aim of the management structure is to devolve responsibility and encourage decision making at all levels.

The Governors are responsible for the strategic development of the School, adopting an annual School Development Plan and budget, monitoring the School by the use of budgets and management accounts and making major decisions about the direction of the School, capital expenditure and senior staff appointments.

  • School Improvement Committee

We also have panels for the appraisal of the Headteacher, pupil exclusions, staff grievances, staff discipline, and complaints. These meet when they are needed.

The Senior Leadership Team consists of the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, and the Assistant Headteachers and the Chief Financial Officer. These leaders direct Bishop Perowne College at an executive level implementing the policies laid down by the Governors and reporting back to them.  The Senior Leaders are responsible for the authorisation of spending within agreed budgets and the appointment of staff, though appointment boards for posts in the Senior Leadership Team always contain a Governor.  Some spending control is devolved to members of the Senior Leadership Team, with limits above which the Headteacher must countersign.

Heads of Department are responsible for the day to day operation of curriculum subject areas and accordingly organise their teaching staff, budgetary resources, facilities and students.

Objectives, Strategies and Activities

All at Bishop Perowne Church of England College are committed to providing students with an exciting, appropriate and challenging education where achievement and enjoyment are paramount.  As a Church of England School, the School's concern for the development of the whole child extends to care for students' spiritual development alongside their academic success.

Public Benefit

In setting the objectives, the Trustees have given consideration to the Charity Commission's general guidance on public benefit and in particular to its supplementary benefit guidance on advancing education.

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