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How will the new MAT governance structure work?

The proposed WSF MAT will be established as a new charitable company which would be responsible for the four founding schools and any additional schools in future.

Within a MAT there are three layers of governance to reflect company law requirements:

  • Members: in the proposal made to the DfE, it is envisaged that there will be five members. Members have a limited role within the Academy Trust, with the main functions being to appoint the Directors/Trustees and to determine any proposed changes to the Articles of Association of the MAT.
  • Trustees/Directors: this is the legal ‘decision-making’ group for the Trust and is able to exercise all the powers of the Academy Trust. The Trustees/Directors of the MAT will be responsible for the overall performance of the MAT and its schools. It is anticipated that the Board of Trustees/Directors will be appointed on the basis of the skills they bring to the governance of the MAT and would partly be drawn from the existing Governing Bodies of the founding schools. The Warwick Schools Foundation would also appoint Trustees, under the terms of the Academy Trust’s Articles, to safeguard the link, close cooperation and benefits resulting from the relationship between WSF and the MAT and its schools.
  • Governors: Local Governing Boards (LGBs) will be established to govern each of the WSF MAT’s schools, as committees on behalf of the WSF MAT Board of Trustees/Directors; the Governing Bodies will transition to become WSF MAT’s LGBs. The WSF MAT will adopt a Scheme of Delegation that enables each LGB to have the necessary powers to manage the schools effectively. The aim of the WSF MAT is to delegate as much responsibility as possible to LGBs.
How will the MAT remain accountable to children, parents/carers and the communities?

The Trust has agreed a model of parent representation that requires each Local Governing Body to have at least two parent governors. Trustees can be parents/carers if they have the relevant skills and experience.

All the Members and Trustees are members of the local community in that they either live, work or are active in the local community. Each Local Governing Body will continue to have governors from the local community.

How are Academies held to account?

Before an Academy opens it agrees to a set of rules and guidelines set out in a legal document called a Funding Agreement. The Academy Trust is accountable to DfE through the requirements of the Funding Agreement. Once a school becomes an Academy, it will need to comply with the Academy Handbook21 to meet the terms of the funding agreements that the WSF MAT will need to sign with the DfE.

Academies are still subject to the same Ofsted inspection arrangements as other state-maintained schools.