Welcome to the Governance section of the Robert Smyth Academy (RSA) website.
This section describes what academy governance is, what governors endeavour to do for ‘their’ academies, how governance ‘works’ and where you can find additional information. Some of the more important ‘additional information’ can be found elsewhere on the opening page of the Governance and in the Statutory Policies sections of the RSA website.
If you are unable to find what you want to know please contact the Clerk to the Local Governing Body (LGB), Mrs Alishia Read at ARead@robertsmyth.tgacademy.org.uk
Mrs Kay Goddard
Chair of the LGB
WHAT ARE GOVERNING BODIES?
In England most schools, colleges and academies have a Governing Body (GB), or a Local Governing Body (LGB) if schools are part of a multi-academy trust (MAT).
GBs and LGBs work under terms described in the Education Act 2012 and Regulations associated with that Act that have come into force after 2012. What GBs and LGBs do is framed by this guidance, some of which advisory and some statutory. LGBs are also subject to decisions made by MAT Boards (MATB) about governance in that MAT’s academies. At RSA the MAT is Tudor Grange Academies Trust (TGAT). Further details about TGAT can be found at: https://www.tgacademy.org.uk/ TGAT’s guidance for its LGBs can be found in the Governance Handbook on this section of the website.
WHAT DO GOVERNING BODIES DO?
LGBs have three core functions that they share, by delegation, with the MATB. These functions are:
* Overseeing the academy’s strategic direction by:
* Seeking to ensure (supporting and challenging) the educational performance of the academy and the safety and welfare of all of its pupils; and the
* Oversight (support and challenge) of the academy’s financial performance and the use of resources, including staff
LGBs also have some statutory duties, for example ensuring that pupils are safe, ensuring compliance with employment regulations, providing an independent view, for instance with disciplinary and exclusion hearings within the Academy and publishing some information.
At RSA most of the functions and statutory duties are dealt with in LGB meetings. Because of the amount of work involved three sub-committees handle much of the detailed work and then report to the LGB. Members of the Academy’s senior leadership team are present at sub-committee and LGB meetings. The Principal is a standing member of the LGB. There is frequent contact between members of the LGB and other members of the Academy’s staff. All LGB meetings are formally conducted and a full record of them, their minutes and a register of attendance is maintained.
Governance is subject to inspection by The Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED). During an inspection the LGB’s performance is assessed and that assessment forms part of the Leadership and
Management section in OfSTED reports. The last OfSTED inspection at RSA was in September 2017 (published in October 2017). A direct link to that report can be found on the RSA website; the section of that report that dealt with Governance can be found on page 4.
LGBs that seek to be self-improving assess their own performance; at RSA an annual evaluation (and a skills audit) is conducted against measures published by the National Governance Association. These measures include attendance at meetings (meeting attendance in 2016-2017 was 81% and in 2017-2018 was 84%).
Academies work best when the relationships between its stakeholders (students, their parents and carers, staff, the MATB and the LGB) are based on trust and openness. This trust comes with systems of reporting, particularly from the Academy to the LGB, knowledgeable governors who understand what is being done and meetings with others where the Academy’s strategic direction, policy decisions and the development of educational practice can be discussed. Openness means, for example, that details of examination results are reviewed, policies intended to improve behaviours for learning are considered and key indicators such as attendance, exclusion data and financial reports are scrutinised. This is why staff governors are so important. Finally, these comments emphasise that the LGB is an important central point of contact for many others – including parents – which is why parent-governors are so important.
WHAT IS THE LGB’S CURRENT FOCUS?
RSA’s long-term planning, fully supported by TGAT with expert and specialised staff and appropriate levels of resourcing to improve the physical conditions for teaching and learning, seeks to develop an outstanding academy for Market Harborough and the surrounding area. These plans are based on a shared vision, a critical evaluation of existing work, seeking to ensure that student welfare and safety are of the highest standard and that all provision is appropriately resourced – the three core functions. Improvement planning is intended to build between the outcomes of that evaluation and where RSA wishes to be. The LGB has contributed to the evaluation, agreed the vision and the subsequent planning.
WHO ARE THE GOVERNORS?
Academy, college and school governors are the largest single group of volunteers working in Britain today. These volunteers have a passionate interest in education – and give their time and energy to improve the academy they serve. RSA governors are no different.
Currently (September 2021), there are eleven governors. The names of all RSA governors since RSA became a member of TGAT in September 2017, together with their category (the constituency from which they come or their rôle) and the dates when they were appointed or left the LGB is shown separately in the Governance section of the website.
The Chair of the LGB is Mrs Kay Goddard and the Clerk to the LGB is Mrs Alishia Read.
Declarations of interest of governors The LGB is committed to upholding to highest standards in public life – hence the importance attached to maintaining good records, running effective and efficient meetings, adherence to the Trust’s policies (for example with regard to Freedom of Information procedures) and ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest between what governors may do as governors and their life and work more widely. All governors are obliged to make a declaration of interests at the start of each academic year and at the beginning of every LGB meeting. It is a statutory requirement to publish a summary of these declarations and this too is shown separately in the Governance section of the website.
The GB would always be pleased to hear from those who may be interested in taking part in the LGB’s work. Please contact the Clerk to the LGB if you would like to have more information.
GOVERNING BODY MEETINGS
The LGB normally meets on six occasions in an academic year. Other meetings will be arranged if circumstances demand that. As noted earlier, there are many other contacts with RSA by individual and groups of governors.
In the academic year 2020-2021 the major meeting dates are:
|21st September 2021||18:00||Full LGB meeting|
|23rd November 2021||18:00||Full LGB Meeting|
|11th January 2022||18:00||Full LGB Meeting|
|15th March 2022||18:00||Full LGB Meeting|
21st June 2022
Full LGB meeting