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  • The Governance Plan sets out:
  • The vision for Cornerstone Academy Trust
  • The structure and operational procedures of the Members’ and Trustees
  • The structure and organisation of the Trust Board
  • Processes for strategic planning for developing the schools within the Trust
  • Processes for securing accountability

The Trust’s constitution and framework for governance arrangements are set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association for Cornerstone, as recommended for academies.

 

Please navigate through the tabs for further information or download the full 'Governance Plan 2019' document here:

  • Mission Statement:

    “The Cornerstone Academy Trust creates and promotes a challenging learning environment that inspires children to achieve high standards and become life-long learners. The Trust has high-expectations, builds children’s confidence, and ensures success for all.

    We seek to foster creative thinkers, inquisitive questioners, avid problem solvers with flexible skills, who are successful communicators. Children learn to collaborate effectively at all levels, including working with our international partners and are able to adapt to the needs of a diverse and fast changing society.”

    We know that education in the 21st Century is a key to securing economic growth and the social fabric of society. In our ever-changing world today’s learners will need to be confident, adaptable citizens who are able to take advantage of the many employment opportunities in the ever-increasing digital and creative industries.

    Each Digital Academy creates and promotes a challenging learning environment that inspires children to achieve high standards and become life-long independent learners. The academies set consistently high expectations, build children’s confidence and ensure engagement for all. The aim of each academy within the Trust is to give all the pupils a strong foundation for the future, not just in terms of a core education but the ability to question and challenge the world they live in, interact effectively with others and think imaginatively and creatively.By embracing technology as part of everyday teaching, each school can take a new approach to digital tools, embedding their use within a broad and balanced curriculum. Each school creates a challenging computational learning environment where children learn from an early age to program, to develop good logical thinking skills, to solve problems and to collaborate effectively with their peers.

    Our ethos of being fully inclusive and having unlimited aspirations for all, ensures that all individuals and target groups are encouraged, supported and inspired – so that everyone achieves and any barrier (potential or real) will be overcome. We work extensively with parents and carers – offering a wealth of enrichment opportunities after schools as well as wrap-around care facilities from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm, and a daily community café for families to use after school. We ensure that the requirements of the national curriculum will be fulfilled in an innovative, relevant and exciting way by giving, for example, children the opportunities to sing, play musical instruments, sail boats, ride bikes and many other activities.

    Educational Excellence

    The schools within the Trust will provide a creative and exciting curriculum, which enables children to exceed national standards with a clear emphasis on spoken English, reading, writing, maths and computing.

    The schools are committed to:

    • • Being fully inclusive and meeting the needs of all children;
    • • Delivering the National Curriculum in creative and exciting ways;
    • • Ensuring high standards of achievement that exceed national standards;
    • • Challenging all children to achieve their full potential and preparing them to move to next stage of their education with confidence.

    Development of the Whole Child

    The Trust is committed to all aspects of a child’s development, supporting them to become responsible and moral members of the community, to make healthy lifestyle choices and to become creative and inquisitive life-long learners. Children will have opportunities for reflection and spiritual growth. High standards of behaviour will be expected, and through education inside and outside the classroom, the Trust will raise awareness of core British values and prepare children for life in modern Britain. High standards of behaviour will be maintained.

    Community

    The Trust will ensure that each of the schools with the MAT will forge strong links with the local communities. The schools offer remote attendance, as well as in person, to Parent Evenings and Information events, to give opportunities to those that usually could not attend. This also includes training on the school systems and IT, to encourage parents to be involved in and support their children’s education. The Trust has made many international links, forging great working relationships between schools. We have been twined with schools in Ethiopia, to which, we send teachers from across the Trust. We work closely with a school in The Netherlands, and have established an annual exchange residential, hosting the Dutch for a week, and vice versa for our Year 6 children at Broadclyst.

    Broadclyst Community Primary School has very close links with the local National Trust estate. Children will use the grounds of Killerton House for PE activities such as running and bike riding. Killerton House will host several school choir concerts in a year, including a summer concert on the lawn, and a Christmas carol concert in the chapel.

    Following the opening of the new Free School, Westclyst Community Primary School, at its new site in September 2019, we will arrange a number of events that will encourage engagement with the local residents and this will be the blueprint that we will use for Monkerton. To support the local parents and reduce the traffic congestion around the school at drop off and collection time, we offer a bus service, that currently avoids 50 family cars from coming to the school. The school has been built to enable use from external parties outside of school hours. This will support local groups such as dance clubs and martial arts / yoga classes. This also applies to the community sports field adjacent to the new school.

    Yeo Valley Primary School, which became part of the Trust in January 2019, is currently finalising plans to enable a Family & Children’s Centre to use part of the buildings on the school site. This is an important and exciting step in engaging with families in the local area.

  • Composition of the Trust and Member’s Pen Portraits

    The Members of the Trust are:

    • 1. Angie Hurren
    • 2. Alan Leach
    • 3. Chris Bradley
    • Roles and responsibilities of the Members

    • The members will meet at least once a year for an Annual General Meeting. Other meetings may be held in addition if deemed necessary.

      The members may appoint up to two of the Trustees of the Trust. They will consider the needs of the trust and the skills and expertise that are required by the Trust Board to fulfil its functions effectively based on a skills audit of the Trustees. It will be carried out again with appointed Trustees and Local Advisory Board representatives whenever new appointments are required, and subsequently repeated each school year.

      The Members will oversee the financial management of the trust, being responsible to the Secretary of State for Education for the school’s effectiveness in providing value for money. Members will receive a finance report three times a year, will agree the final accounts and will appoint the auditors annually.

      • Conflict of Interests

      • A conflict of interests register is in place to ensure no conflict of interests between Members and Trustees and the school. The Clerk to Trustees provides administrative support to both Members and Trustees and is responsible for setting up the register. The register will be maintained by the clerk and will be published on the school website. An item on the Trust Board agenda will always be to ask for any conflict of interests relating to the maters to be discussed at the meeting. The person concerned would then be asked to leave the meeting while that item is discussed.
      • Trustees will carry out an annual skills audit as part of their self-evaluation, and incorporate their own development objectives into the School Development Plan. The aim of the self-evaluation process is to identify how Trustee skills, expertise and experience are having a positive impact on the development of the school and holding it to account for its performance. The outcomes of the annual Trustee self-evaluation will be reported to the Trust each year.
  • The Trust Board structure

    There will be no fewer than three Trustees and no maximum number of Trustees on the Trust Board. Trustees will be appointed by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Articles of Association for Cornerstone, under the Companies Act 2006.If the CEO is willing she / he will be appointed to the Board by the Trustees.Each school will have a Local Advisory Board (Local Governing Body) and parents will be elected to sit on this Board by the parents of children on roll at the school. Staff will also be invited to join this board. The LAB has responsibility for reviewing the curriculum, teaching and learning in each school and reports into the Trustee Board.3.2 Trust Board skills and attributesWhen appointing Trustees, The Trust will seek to fill these posts with people who live in the local area where possible whilst having regard for the balance of skills and experience that the Trust Board needs to fulfil its functions. It is aimed to include the following skills/experience:

    • Education: experience of secondary education; understanding of current education policy, the Ofsted framework and school performance indicators

    • Financial expertise and commercial experience

    • Ability to analyse school data, ask questions and hold to account

    • Legal expertise• Community engagement/community cohesion

    • School governance

    • Premises management

    • Strategic planning

    • Human resources management, including performance appraisal

    • Marketing

    A skills audit was carried out in September 2019 to establish the skills, knowledge and experience of the Trust Board and to identify gaps in skills to enable planning for future recruitment. The audit revealed a spread of skills and expertise across the Trust Board, but areas where Trustees need to develop skills will be addressed through a training schedule.A skills audit was carried out in September 2019 to establish the skills, knowledge and experience of the Trust Board and to identify gaps in skills to enable planning for future recruitment. The audit revealed a spread of skills and expertise across the Trust Board, but areas where Trustees need to develop skills will be addressed through a training schedule.

    Skills in Finance need to be strengthened within the Trust Board. It is planned to address these gaps when recruiting parent Trustees.

    The Trust has appointed Trustees who can provide the necessary skills to ensure a strong and effective Trust Board. Trustees with specific expertise will be co-opted as necessary.

    The Trust Board will review its own performance annually using a standard Trust Board audit procedure which will include analysis of the impact of the Trust Board on the educational standards and organisational effectiveness of the Academies. This will enable each Trustee to reflect on his/her individual impact on the school and so identify training needs for the coming year. Results will be analysed and actions will be identified for the Trust Board development plan for the coming year.Every two years, or at other times if deemed necessary or helpful, an external review of governance will be commissioned to enhance the Trust Board’s self-analysis.

     

    The Board Pen Portraits

    Members

    Angie Hurren – Angie is Clerk to Broadclyst Parish Council with 4 children who have all been pupils at the school. The family is very much involved in the local community. She is doing a Community Governance degree as a mature student with De Montfort University, and advises other Local Councils on governance and fiscal matters.Angie Hurren – Angie is Clerk to Broadclyst Parish Council with 4 children who have all been pupils at the school. The family is very much involved in the local community. She is doing a Community Governance degree as a mature student with De Montfort University, and advises other Local Councils on governance and fiscal matters.

    Allan Leach – Allan works for LV= Life Insurance as a project and programme manager. His two children both attended Broadclyst Primary so he understands the school’s ethos and goals and is keen to ensure the school can continue to deliver the outstanding primary education his children benefited from. He’s also a keen sailor and runs the Junior Racing section for Exe Sailing Club.

    Chris Bradley – (to follow)

    Trustees

    Henry Massey - Henry is Chair of the Trustees. He is an accredited National leader in Governance (NLG). Henry led the governing body over the summer of 2010 to become one of the first primary Academies in the UK, converting on 1st September 2010. Since conversion, Henry has ensured a rigorous remodelling of the governing body to enable effective and high quality governance of the school. He was also involved in extending the age range of the school to include 2 year olds. During 2015, Henry led the remodelling of the board of trustees as the academy converted to a Multi Academy Trust. Through his role as an NLG, he has worked with a number of other schools and Multi Academy Trusts within the South West region, helping to improve governance and effective accountability for school leadership.

    Outside of the academic world, Henry is Managing Director of an IT Development company employing a team of people working with clients throughout the UK (and overseas). Henry is also Vice Chair of Broadclyst Parish Council and an active committee member and head of Training at Exe Sailing Club. He is a father to 3 children and lives locally to Broadclyst.

    Jonathan Bishop - Jonathan is the CEO and Executive Headteacher of the school and sits on all sub-committees. He has been at the school for 24 years, initially as a class teacher, Deputy and then Headteacher.

    Ken Dyson - Ken joined the Trustees in 2010 and is the Chair of both the Standards Committee and the Broadclyst Local Advisory Board. He also sits on the Personnel and Admissions sub-committees. He is now retired but worked as an HMI Inspector for schools in England for 18Ken Dyson - Ken joined the Trustees in 2010 and is the Chair of both the Standards Committee and the Broadclyst Local Advisory Board. He also sits on the Personnel and Admissions sub-committees. He is now retired but worked as an HMI Inspector for schools in England for 18years, including 5 years as the national lead for ICT and as a regulator for Ofsted Inspections. He has a wealth of experience from working with various national educational bodies.

    Rachel Billen - Rachel is an associate solicitor at Browne Jacobson LLP and is Chair of the Personnel Committee. She specialises in employment law working in the public and private sector. She joined the Governing Body in 2012.

    John Waddingham - John has been a Trustee for the Trust for 3 years. He is employed as a CEO Hydrologist for the Environment Agency’s Hydrology service. John has three daughters currently at the school. He will be looking to work with parents to seek ideas on how they can be involved with their children’s education.

    Matthew Pitts - Matt has been a teacher at the school for 8 years and acts as a teacher representative on the board. He sits also on the Broadclyst Local Advisory Board and the Standards sub-committee. He is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) with the Cornerstone Teaching School. In addition, Matt has a strong IT background and has been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for several years.

    Bronnie Williams - Bronnie has been a teacher at the school for 3 years, having trained to teach on the school’s School Direct Programme. She acts as a teacher representative for the Trustees. Bronnie sits on the Broadclyst Local Advisory Board and also the Standards sub-committee. Her background is in the Creative Arts, with her specialism being Drama in Education.

    Myles Gordon - Myles sits on the sub-committees for Finance, Admissions and Personnel. He joined the Trustees in 2014. He is an Independent Mortgage Consultant and he has a child in year 5 at the school.

    Stephen Taylor - Stephen is Vice Chair of Trustees. He has been a Trustee since December 2014. He has a strong business background and is a Chartered Member of the Institute for Logistics and Transport (CMILT). Stephen moved to Broadclyst in August 2013 and has a daughter in Year 5.

    Samantha Chapman – Samantha joined the trustees board in September 2017 and has enjoyed developing and learning about the role. She has taken on the role of Chair for the local area board for Westclyst. She has a background in teaching and education and currently works for Babcock Education with responsibility for improving outcomes for disadvantaged children and has particular expertise in the early years.

    Paul Whitmarsh - Paul Whitmarsh is the Practice and Compliance Manager at Aquila Financial Management and has over 30 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry. Paul previously acted as a parent representative on the Westclyst Local Advisory Board before becoming a Trustee in July 2018; he continues to work on the Westclyst LAB and is Chair of the Finance Committee and also part of the Admissions Committee. Paul and his family moved to Exeter from the Midlands in 2016 and his son was in the first intake of pupils at Westclyst.

    Training

    The Trustees receive ongoing training to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities as Trustees. Training includes the following:

    The Trustees receive ongoing training to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities as Trustees. Training includes the following:

    • Safeguarding Training

    • Duties and Responsibilities of a Trustee (external training by Browne Jacobson Solicitors)

     

  • Meeting structure

    The full Trust Board will meet monthly, totalling 11 meetings a year. Minutes of meetings will be sent to the members of the Trust.

    Trust Board Committees

    Committees will carry out the delegated roles of the Trust Board. The committees will ensure that the school is performing effectively in all areas in accordance with its targets and vision. The Trust Board will delegate decision-making powers to committees, but the Trust Board will always retain overall accountability.

    i) Finance and Premises CommitteeThe remit of this committee will include finance, site, staffing and health and safety. This committee will work with the CEO, as accounting officer, and the business manager to ensure that financial decisions enable the school to provide value for money, and to ensure that processes are compliant with The Academies Financial Handbook, as follows:

    • Appoint a lead trustee for finance with professional experience of compliance, modelling and budgeting. Paul Whitmarsh is the acting chair of the Finance Committee whilst we are actively seeking an individual with a more formal accountancy background to assume the role.

    • Follow the Financial Scheme of Delegation• Provide training for all members of the Finance and Resources committee

    • Propose to members external auditors with experience of academy finances

    • Receive termly reports from the Trust Business Manager to the Finance and Premises Committee, Initial review and recommendation to the Trustees of the annual budget;

    • Ensure all priorities in the school development plan are costed and reflected in the budget

    • Set out the budget in a standard format, which allows transparent benchmarking against other schools and easy monitoring, for example, the use of Pupil Premium funding.

    • Set out the budget in a standard format, which allows transparent benchmarking against other schools and easy monitoring, for example, the use of Pupil Premium funding.

    • Regular monitoring of actual expenditure and income against budget;

    • Ensuring the annual accounts are produced in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 1985 and the DfE guidance issued to academies and appoint auditors for the accounts;

    • Authorising the award of contracts up to the amount stated in the Scheme of Delegation

    • Monitor the effectiveness of the staffing structure in terms of supporting best outcomes for pupils

    • Reviewing the reports of the Responsible Officer on the effectiveness of the financial procedures and controls. These reports must also be reported to the Trust Board.

    • To review the financial policies of the Trust in the light of any changes to the Academies Financial Handbook and where necessary make recommendations to the board.

    The whole Trust Board will be responsible for approving the budget, and the committee will provide financial reports to the Trust three times a year.

    The whole Trust Board will be responsible for approving the budget, and the committee will provide financial reports to the Trust three times a year.This committee will also contribute to the recruitment process for new staff and support the CEO in dealing with human resources issues as they arise.

    It will make decisions about the development of the school premises to ensure that the learning environment is safe and appropriate for pupils. It will have overall responsibility for health and safety.

    The committee will be responsible for ensuring compliance with charity commissions and company law.

    All Trustees will be expected to have read The Academies Financial Handbook and Keeping Children Safe In Education 2019.

     

    Standards Committee

    The remit of this committee will include curriculum, attainment and progress, SEND and inclusion, safeguarding and behaviour. The committee will work with school leadership on the development of the curriculum, ensuring the implementation of the plans as the school expands.

    The committee will ensure the quality of education provision as follows:

    • Termly comprehensive monitoring of data, including progress and attainment by cohort and groups (including by ability, ethnic background, EAL, gender, Pupil Premium, SEND); punctuality and attendance. Trustees will closely monitor the attainment gap between disadvantaged and advantaged pupils.

    • Termly comprehensive monitoring of data, including progress and attainment by cohort and groups (including by ability, ethnic background, EAL, gender, Pupil Premium, SEND); punctuality and attendance. Trustees will closely monitor the attainment gap between disadvantaged and advantaged pupils.

    • Ensuring educational priorities are reflected in the School Development Plan and monitored termly,

    • Visiting the school at least termly in the trustee capacity to help review the impact of initiatives and school policies and to support ongoing development of the curriculum and the learning environment as the schools expand.• Undertaking learning walks with the CEO or a member of the senior leadership team,

    • Receive termly updates from the SLT on the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

    The committee will triangulate information from school data, reports from independent and external moderations and inspections and observations from school visits and monitor progress against targets to enable its contribution to the school self- evaluation process.

    One trustee on this committee will have specific responsibility for SEND pupils to ensure that individual pupils are making good progress and that delegated SEND funding is being used cost effectively to secure best outcomes.

    One trustee on this committee will have specific responsibility for Pupil Premium pupils to ensure that delegated funding is being used appropriately to improve outcomes and close the gap between disadvantaged and advantaged pupils.

    The committee will ensure that all safeguarding procedures are up to date and compliant with national requirements.

    It will report to the full Trust Board and ensure that necessary steps are taken to ensure improvement, if underperformance or under-achievement is identified. Committee minutes and reports will be presented to the Trust termly.

     

    Admissions Committee

    This committee will oversee the admissions process to ensure that the admissions criteria are fairly adhered to. It will propose changes to the admissions. It will be responsible for ensuring Devon admissions follow the academy policy. It will meet termly as a minimum.

     

    Personnel Committee

    The committee will oversee:

    • Pay

    • Grievances

    • Staff discipline & dismissals

    • Staff appeals

    • Personnel

    It will meet termly as a minimum.

     

    Local Advisory Boards

    Each school within the Trust will have a Local Advisory Board (LAB). The structure of the Boards will be as follows:

    • 1 x Head of School

    • 1 x Head of School

    • 2 x Trustees

    • 2 x Parents (if parents are not on board of Trustees)

    • 2 x Staff Members of the Teaching Staff (if staff are not on board of Trustees)The Trust Board will delegate the following functions to the LABs:

    • Achievement

    • Teaching

    • School Engagement

    • Curriculum

    • Safeguarding

     

    Delegation of authority and terms of reference

    Delegation of authority to committees and individual Trustees

    At the first Trust Board meeting of each academic year, Trustees will agree the Terms of Reference of each committee, and Trustee lead roles and responsibilities for the year.

    Terms of reference set out the following:

    • The role of the Trust Board / committee / panel / working group

    • The role of the Trust Board / committee / panel / working group

    • Membership• Voting rights

    • Appointment of Chair and Vice-chair

    • Individual responsibilities

    • Delegated decision-making rights

    • Powers of delegation

    • Frequency of meetings• Quorum

    • Clerking arrangements

    The committees will have agreed delegated powers to make decisions on behalf of the Trust Board but will be required to report back to the full Trust Board in order to keep all Trustees fully informed, and to have decisions formally endorsed. The Trust Board retains overall accountability for the performance of the school.

     

    Committee Composition

    The membership of the committees will include members of the Trust Board, co-opted Trustees and others who would be able to contribute to the work of the committee. The Trustees will always be in the majority on the committee. Only Trustees and co-opted Trustees will be able to vote on any decisions. Committee structure as detailed in above diagram.

     

    Clerking Arrangements

    The trust has appointed three clerks.

     

  • Core Functions

    The Trust Board will focus on three core strategic functions:The Trust Board will focus on three core strategic functions:

    • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
    • Holding the CEO to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
    • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

     

    The Trust Board needs to be strategic in function, providing overall leadership for the school without being involved in the day today management. Trustees are expected to hold the school to account for its performance and be accountable to the Trust.

    Developing the Schools

    Trustees will work with the CEO, the financial plans and development plans developed by the Steering Group to determine the key priorities for establishing and developing the schools, with a focus on the new schools in their first three years. These will be based on the strategic objectives in the Education Brief all which were agreed with the DfE prior to opening. The Standards Committee will shortly set targets for each cohort of pupils, which will be endorsed by the Trust Board.

    Key performance indicators and targets will be set for the first year of operation, and longer term targets relating to pupil progress and attainment have been presented at the Standards Committee. These have been based on benchmarking against local and similar schools, and on national data and expectations.

    The Standards Committee will be involved in determining academic priorities for the school and setting education targets for future years. This process will be driven by internal assessment data indicating attainment and progress, the results of national tests and assessments, and published hard data as in Analyse School Performance. When determining the strategic direction of the school, Trustees will also take into account ‘soft’ data i.e.

    • The CEO’s & Head of Education reports on the quality of teaching (classroom observations, work scrutinies)
    • The CEO’s & Head of Education reports on the quality of teaching (classroom observations, work scrutinies)
    • Feedback from parent, pupil and staff surveys
    • Pupil Voice
    • Curriculum Review outcomes
    • Information gathered through trustee visits (see below)

    Hard and soft data gathered will feed into the school self-evaluation process before the strategic priorities for the following year can be determined. Trustees will also set objectives for the year on year growth of the school and the annual addition of a new cohort.

    The school development plan for the following academic will consist of:

    • Consultation period involving all staff, Trustees, parents and pupil voice (surveys/questionnaires)Consultation period involving all staff, Trustees, parents and pupil voice (surveys/questionnaires)
    • Collection and analysis of pupil performance data [SLT with Standards committee] Evaluation of school performance and final review of previous SDP report to Trustees
    • SLT and Trustees to determine priorities for following year for the School development Plan
    • Trustee ratification of SDP
    • Review of progress against priorities – Pupils and Standards Committee + FGB
    • Final review of plan

    Monitoring and School Performance

    The Trustees will be expected to make regular visits to the school during the school day and Trustees on appointment must commit to taking time off work, if necessary, to fulfil this requirement of their role. The purpose of the visits is to gain a good understanding of how the school is operating to enable them to evaluate and challenge school performance. Visits will also support positive relationships between staff and Trustees. Some Trustees will have specific areas of responsibility e.g. special educational needs, safeguarding, pupil premium. A manageable programme of visits will be set up at the beginning of each school year to ensure that each visit has a relevant focus, and enables Trustees to see how the school is addressing improvement priorities. A secure knowledge and understanding of the school will enable Trustees to be involved in strategic planning and setting targets for improvement.

    Trustees will be responsible for ensuring that the views of parents, staff and pupils, and the wider community are sought on an annual basis during the consultation period for the School Development Plan. This will be carried out as follows:

    • Parents: online survey
    • Pupils: through an age appropriate online survey + pupil voice samples
    • Staff: online survey with staff meeting or face to face follow up
    • Community groups and employers: online survey of those already involved in the Academy, with public invitation to groups not involved in the Academy to also make returns

    Monitoring data: The CEO will provide Trustees with all relevant information to enable them to have a fuller picture of school performance. Trustees will be trained to understand and analyse school data, which will include Ofsted’s school performance dashboard, school performance tables, Analyse School Performance and financial benchmarking tables. Trustees will consider employing the services of an external partner to assist them in the task of understanding and monitoring performance. This will include overview of progress data, monitoring the quality of teaching and learning provided by the school and guidance on setting future targets.

    If Trustees judge that there are shortcomings in any aspect of school performance, school leadership may be challenged through direct questions in committee meetings or in meetings of the Trust Board, or through meetings with the senior leadership team. If improvement does not progress according to plan, Trustees will seek the advice of the school improvement partner in order to set timed targets for improvement. This will be monitored by the Trust Board and reported to the Trust. Improvement priorities for the school will be linked to performance appraisal objectives to secure accountability for progress and improvement.

    There will be an expectation that the Trustees are fully committed to the school and its development and are responsible for ensuring that the school complies with all legal requirements.

    Performance Management of the CEO

    The performance management of the CEO is the process whereby the CEO is held to account for school progress. Two Trustees will be nominated to carry out the performance appraisal of the CEO each year. They will be appointing an external professional adviser to lead the process who has the necessary skills, experience and objectivity to provide them with advice and support. This will take place in the Autumn Term of each academic year. The purpose of this process is to appraise the performance of the CEO during the past year, assessing performance against the responsibilities of their role and against the National Standards for Headteachers. Objectives will be set for the coming year to support the improvement and development of the school and the CEO’s own professional development. Progress against objectives will be reviewed in March each year, and finally in September.

    A clear Pay and Appraisal Policy will set out the rewards, sanctions and processes so that this is a transparent process.

    A clear Pay and Appraisal Policy will set out the rewards, sanctions and processes so that this is a transparent process.The Chair of the Trustees will not be one of the nominated Trustees to allow for a fully open relationship between the Chair and the CEO and to enable the Chair to act as mediator if necessary.

    Accountability for Financial Processes

    The CEO will be the Accounting Officer, and has overall responsibility for the school’s financial affairs, including ensuring value for money. Specifically the accounting officer will be personally responsible to the Trust Board for:

    • Ensuring regularity and propriety
    • Ensuring regularity and propriety
    • Prudent and economic administration
    • Avoidance of waste and extravagance
    • Efficient and effective use of available resources; and
    • The day to day organisation, staffing and management of the Trust

    The Accounting Officer has the duty to take action if the Trust Board or chairperson is contemplating a course of action, which he or she considers an infringement of propriety or regularity. Objections should be put in writing to the Trust Board details sent to the Permanent Secretary and the Trust’s external auditors.

    Along with the Finance and Premises Committee, the CEO will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook, and this will be reviewed each year. Similarly, this committee will check that all requirements of the Funding Agreement are being adhered to. All members of the committee are required to have read and be familiar with the Academies Financial Handbook, Articles of Association, legal framework for the Charities Commission and company law as affecting the school, the school’s finance policy and procedures manual, procurement policy and Scheme of Financial Delegation.

    The Finance and Premises Committee will meet monthly to enable rigorous monitoring of the budget and ensure the school continues to provide value for money. This will include monitoring the cost-effective deployment of staff to ensure best outcomes for pupils.

    Termly reports on financial monitoring by the Finance and Premises Committee will be submitted to the Trust.

    Full information on how financial transactions will be carried out and monitored is detailed in the Finance Policy. The policy includes:

    Organisation and responsibilities: the structure for reporting Financial planning and budget management

    Management of bank accounts and cash management Financial accounting systems

    Keeping and maintaining full and accurate accounting records Process for carrying out financial transactions

    Value for money procedures + how the trust will use resources and ensure value for money

    Tendering, purchasing, and payment procedures Measures to prevent losses or misuse of funds Scheme of Delegation

    Reporting to the DfE

    Procurement

    Arrangements for procurement are outlined in the Finance Policy.

    Register of Business Interest

    All members of the Trust Board, the CEO and other senior staff are required to complete a declaration of business interests.

    Declarations will include all business and pecuniary (monetary) interests such as directorships, shareholdings and other appointments of influence within a business or other organisation. They should also include interests of related persons such as a parent, spouse, child, cohabitee and business partner where that person could exert influence over a Trustee or member of staff.

    The existence of a register of business interests does not of course detract from the duties of the Trustees and staff to declare interests whenever they are relevant to matters being discussed by the Trustees or a Committee.

    Where an interest has been declared, Trustees and staff should not attend that part ofWhere an interest has been declared, Trustees and staff should not attend that part ofthe meeting.

    The Register is in place and will be kept up to date by the Clerk to the Trustees. The Trust Board has appointed a Responsible Officer to provide an independent oversight of the Academy’s financial affairs. The Responsible Officer, Bishop Fleming, will provide the Trust Board within on-going independent assurance that:

    • The financial responsibilities of the Trust Board are being properly discharged;
    • Resources are being managed in an efficient; economic and effective manner;
    • Sound systems of internal financial control are being maintained; and
    • Financial considerations are fully taken into account in reaching decisions (further details in Finance Policy).

    Trustee responsibilities for Safeguarding, Prevent, SEND and Pupil Premium

    Safeguarding: The Trust Board must ensure that:

    • They comply with statutory safeguarding procedures;
    • They have regard to the DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019’ to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools and colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.
    • The school contributes to inter-agency working in line with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018;
    • Their safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the Devon Children and Families Partnership (DCFP).

    The Trust Board should also:

    • Ensure that a member of the Trust Board, usually the Chair, is nominated to liaise with the designated officer from the LA or DCFP and partner agencies in the event of an allegation of abuse made against the CEO
    • Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities within the curriculum e.g. through PSHE and SRE;
    • Ensure that the child’s wishes are taken into account and there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback;
    • Ensure that staff members do not promise confidentiality to a child and always act in the interests of the child.

    One trustee will take responsibility for ensuring that all safeguarding requirements are met in terms of DBS checks, the Single Central Record and up to date training and safeguarding policies. This trustee will draw up an annual report on safeguarding for the Trust Board, and this will be submitted to the members of the Trust. The annual report on safeguarding will include:

    1. A record of all training relating to safeguarding:

    • DSP and DDSP trainingDSP and DDSP training
    • Safeguarding training for staff• Safeguarding training for Trustees
    • Safer Recruitment training for those with recruitment responsibilities
    • Reducing and Managing Allegations against staff (HT, trustee)
    • Staff induction training relating to safeguarding

    2. A dated record of all policies relating to safeguarding:

    • Anti-bullying
    • Attendance
    • Child Protection (with up to date references to current guidance on safeguarding requirements)
    • Children looked after
    • Complaints procedures
    • Drugs and substance misuse
    • Equality statement
    • First Aid (including management of medical conditions and intimate care)
    • Health and safety
    • Management of allegations
    • Positive Behaviour
    • E Safety
    • Staff Code of Conduct
    • Use of force and restraint
    • Whistle blowing

    3. Confirmation that all staff have read ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019’.

    4. How the school ensures that all policies have been read, understood and implemented by staff, and how this is monitored.

    5. Confirmation that school safeguarding policies are published on the school website. Single Central Record in place and up to date; all DBS checks for staff, Trustees and volunteers up to date.

    6. Total number of Children Looked After on role throughout the academic year

    7. Number of allegations made against staff.

    8. The safety of the physical environment.

    9. Updates on the school’s Prevent arrangements with regard to training, policy and concerns.

    10. Completion of the Safeguarding Annual Checklist, and report on any areas, which need further action.

    Safeguarding will be a standing item on the agenda for meetings of the Trustee Board

    Safeguarding will be a standing item on the agenda for meetings of the Trustee Board.All Trustees will attend safeguarding training once every year, and Trustees involved in recruiting staff will attend Safer Recruitment training.

    A lead trustee for Health and Safety will be nominated with a remit to ‘walk the site’ termly and to support the school with review and development of health and safety policies.

    Safeguarding Risks

    Trustees have a legal responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe in school. In the event the any of the safeguarding requirements are not being met, the Trust Board will take immediate remedial action. The actions taken will depend on the area of non-compliance. If there is any immediate risk to children, the Safeguarding Trustee and Chair of Trustees in liaison with the CEO will act straightaway to remove this risk. Officers from the LA or DCFP will be called in to advise if this is deemed necessary.

    The Chair will be responsible for liaising with the designated officer from the LA or DCFP in the event of an allegation of abuse made against the CEO. If any member of staff poses an alleged risk to the safety of children, he/she will be suspended from her role, until investigations have been carried out.If a parent/carer or volunteer poses an alleged risk to the safety of children on the school premises, he/she will not be allowed to enter school premises until an investigation has been carried out.

    If any adult working with children has been removed or dismissed because of safeguarding concerns, this will be reported immediately to the DBS by the CEO or the Chair in the case of the CEO. There is a policy in place for managing allegations against staff.

    Full information on keeping children safe is detailed in the Child Protection Policy.

    Prevent: The Safeguarding trustee will ensure that the school, in exercise of its functions, will have due regard to the guidance in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. A training session to raise awareness of the Prevent duty will be set to take place in the Autumn Term. The Safeguarding Trustee will be responsible for ensuring that new staff are familiar with the Prevent strategy, and for checking whether there are any concerns in relation to individual pupils. The Trust Board will take into account the policies and procedures of the DCFP, with reference to the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 document. The school’s Prevent arrangements with regard to training and policy will be reported to the Trust Board.

    SEND: There will be one Trustee designated to take responsibility for the support and progress of SEND pupils. To carry out his role, he/she will meet with the SENCO twice a year to monitor the provision of support and the progress of pupils and to ensure that allocated SEND funding is being used to improve outcomes for SEND pupils. The Trustee will monitor the tracking processes for these pupils, scrutinize the progress data (using the school’s online tracking system), and also look at end of year outcomes. The SEND Trustee will discuss the cost and effectiveness of interventions and 1:1 support for pupils to ensure value for money in terms of securing best outcomes for SEND pupils. This will be reported to the Trust Board and the Trust annually. The SEND Trustee will attend training as appropriate to develop knowledge and understanding of pupils with special needs and disabilities.

    Pupil Premium: One trustee on the Standards Committee will have specific responsibility for the progress of Pupil Premium pupils. He/she will be responsible for ensuring the Pupil Premium funding is being used to secure the best possible outcomes for pupils receiving it and to enable the gap to be closed between disadvantaged and advantaged pupils. The Trustee will meet with the SENCO each term to discuss progress and monitor the impact of the funding. This will be reported back to the Standards Committee termly and through the committee’s minutes to the whole Trust Board. If progress is less than good, the Trustees will meet with the SENCO and CEO to discuss alternative strategies for supporting these pupils.

    Compliance with Charity Law

    This will be reviewed each year by the Business Manager, and reported to the Trust Board. Trustees will be encouraged to subscribe to DFE updates, including the Trustees’ Handbook and termly reminders about dates and deadlines, especially those relating to compliance. Trustees will be expected to attend regular training relating to their lead area to ensure they are fully aware of the legal responsibilities in that area.

     

     

     

  • Meeting Structure

    Trust Board: The full Trust Board will meet 11 times a year, normally monthly. Minutes of meetings will be sent to the members of the Trust.

    Sub-Committees:

    Admissions

    Finance and Premises

    Pay

    Standards

    Personnel

    LAB for BCPS

    LAB for WCPS

    LAB for YVPS

    LAB for MCPS (not yet established)

    Trustee succession plan

    A term of office for Trustees will last for four years and in normal circumstances Trustees will serve no more than two terms. The serving chair of Trustees will create as succession plan for preparing Trustees to take a leadership role on the Trust Board, and to plan a rolling programme for the recruitment and induction of new Trustees.

    Conflicts of interests

    A register has been set up, and conflict of interests will be addressed at the beginning of each meeting of the full Trust Board and meetings of sub-committees. The Clerk maintains this register during the pre-opening period. Post opening, this will be maintained by the Clerk to the Trust Board.

    Where there is a conflict of interest relating to specific items under discussion, Trustees will be requested to absent themselves from the meeting until the discussion is concluded.

  • Training:

    An annual skills audit will be carried out. Trustees will be expected to commit to at least one training session during the school year. Training sessions for the whole Trust Board will be put in place as necessary to cover issues relating to the school’s expansion and development.

    Induction

    Induction for new Trustees will take place once being appointed to the Board. These procedures will be followed for all new Trustees, including the staff and parent Trustees appointed after opening. The induction process will include:

    Trustee induction training as soon as possible after appointment

    Induction meeting with the Chair of Trustees Induction pack containing:

    • Education Brief
    • School Development Plan
    • Governance Plan
    • Trustees’ Handbook
    • Details of all Trustees
    • Details of Committees
    • Schedule of Committee Dates for all meetings
    • Trust Board Code of Conduct
    • Committees’ Terms of Reference
    • Term Time Dates (including holidays and INSET Days)
    • Forthcoming Events
    • Summary of latest Ofsted Report (when these are available)
    • Summary of any DFE officer visits▪ Trust Board Visits Policy
    • Minutes of the last two years Full Trust Board meetings
    • Minutes of the last two years sub-committee meetings
    • School Budget details
    • Useful website and contact information

    All Trustees are required to have read:

    • The Academies Financial Handbook
    • The Trustees Handbook (DfE)
    • The Funding Agreement for Cornerstone
    • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2019)

    If the school attracts more Trustees than the number specified for a vacancy on the Trust Board, a selection and recruitment process will be put in place, ensuring that there is balance of skills and experience.

  • Background

    The Risk Management Strategy aims to ensure that Cornerstone Trust complies with risk management best practice as adopted by academies. It forms the start point for Corporate Governance with the requirements of the Turnbull guidance and sets out the current processes and responsibilities for risk management in Cornerstone

    The Turnbull guidelines for Corporate Governance were published in 1999, updated in 2005and can be summarised as:

    • The Trust Board acknowledges responsibility for the system of internal control
    • The Trust Board acknowledges responsibility for the system of internal control
    • An ongoing process is in place for identifying, evaluating and managing all significant risks
    • An annual process is in place for reviewing the effectiveness of the system of internal control
    • There is a system in place to deal with internal control aspects of any significant issues disclosed in the annual report and accounts

    In assessing what constitutes a sound system of internal control regards risk management, theIn assessing what constitutes a sound system of internal control regards risk management, theTurnbull report states that consideration should be given to:

    • The nature and extent of the risks facing the organisation
    • The extent and categories of risk which it regards as acceptable
    • The likelihood of the risks concerned materialising
    • The organisation’s ability to reduce the incidence and impact of the risks that do materialise

    Objectives

    The objectives for managing risk across the Trust are:

    • To comply with risk management best practice;
    • To ensure risks facing the Trust are identified and appropriately documented;
    • To provide assurance to the Trust Board that risks are being adequately controlled, or identify areas for improvement;
    • To ensure action is taken appropriately in relation to accepting, mitigating, avoiding and transferring risks.

    Risk Management Strategy

    The strategy aims to:

    • Outline the roles and responsibilities for risk management.
    • Identify risk management processes to ensure that all risks are appropriately identified, controlled and monitored
    • Ensure appropriate levels of awareness throughout Cornerstone Roles and Responsibilities. The Trust Board has overall responsibility for risk management.

    The designated Risk Management Trustee has lead responsibility for risk management processes and Cornerstone Risk Register. This responsibility includes:

    • Monitoring the performance of risk management processes
    • Ensuring that appropriate controls are in place to manage identified risks
    • Preparation of periodic reports to the Trust Board• The Risk Register is formally and an update on risk status is a standing agenda item at the monthly Trust Board meeting.The Risk Management Plan is monitored by the CEO and Business manager regularly.

    Identification of Risks

    The Risk Management Standard states that risk identification should be approached in a methodical way to ensure that all significant activities have been identified and all the risks flowing from these activities have been defined. Our approach to risk management is linked to Cornerstone’s strategic aims and objectives. These have been set and agreed by the Trust Board and encompass 5 key aims:

    • Control risk to create capacity for sustainable and managed growth
    • Engender a culture of acute awareness of financial risks throughout the trust
    • Create clear lines of sight of accountability
    • Ensure clarity with all use of public funds
    • Provide efficient central support for the trust

     

    The structure and organisation of Cornerstone Trust’s risk register follows the above structure to ensure that all significant objectives and activities have been identified and the risks associated with each area have been identified. Through the register, accountabilities and the use of public funds can be both identified and protected.

    Addressing risks

    When responding to risks, Cornerstone Trust will seek to ensure that it is anticipated and managed early so risk does not develop into an issue where the potential threat materialises. The main tool for doing so is projected monthly cash flow.

    Risk Reporting and Communication

    The aim of reporting risk is to provide assurance to the Trust Board, Senior Management and Internal Auditors that Cornerstone Trust is effectively managing its risks and has a robust system of internal controls.

    Risk register

    The reporting mechanism will be Cornerstone Trust’s Risk Register. This will highlight the key risks facing Cornerstone Trust, as well as a breakdown for each key strategic aim. Any significant changes in risk impact or probability, or the occurrence of an event which raises the profile of a risk will be recorded on the risk register as it occurs. Any new or increased risks identified in Finance sub-committee or FTB meetings, or raised by a member of staff will be evaluated and, if appropriate, recorded in the Risk Register.

    Communicating Risks

    The Finance sub-committee monitors the risk management plan each term. The Business Manager will ensure that any perceived new or increased risks or significant failure of risk management control measures are considered by the Finance sub-committee along with a summary of actions taken.

    The Business Manager will endeavour to raise awareness that risk management is a part of Cornerstone Academy Trust’s culture and seek to ensure that:

    • Individual members of staff are aware of their accountability for individual risks
    • Individuals report promptly to senior management any perceived new risks or failure of existing control measures.

    Annual Risk Review and Assessment

    The internal audit reviews will aim to provide an annual assessment of the effectiveness of Cornerstone Trust’s management of risk.This will enable the Trust Board to identify:

    • The significant risks facing Cornerstone
    • The effectiveness of the risk management processes
    • That Cornerstone Trust has published a risk management policy covering risk management philosophy and responsibilities

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