Good corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a multi-academy trust is directed and controlled in a consistent and transparent manner. Governance involves balancing the interests of the Trust's many stakeholders, such as students, staff, parents, the wider community, central and local government, trades unions, and other schools and trusts operating in the sector.
The Lion Academy Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charitable trust. Responsibility for the schools that make up the Lion Education Trust, and for the funds (used for providing education services in those schools) granted by Parliament as a result of our Funding Agreement, is entrusted to the Board of Trustees. These trustees are also the directors of the company. We ask that every member of the governance function sign up to a common code of conduct that calls on staff and volunteers to work in accordance with the Seven Principles of Public Life, as defined in the Nolan Principles.
Governance in the Lion Education Trust is delivered across four tiers, and is designed to minimise duplication of functions and to provide timely, robust and transparent oversight of the workings of the Trust:
- Members: Members oversee the work of the Board of Trustees and how well the Trust is delivering and adhering to the agreed vision and values of the organisation. Meeting annually, members have the power to dissolve the Trust Board, should they believe the direction of the Trust is no longer aligned to the guiding principles that founded it. The Lion Education Trust has three members, one of which is the Lion Academy Trust in a corporate-member capacity.
- The Board of Trustees: The Lion Education Trust Board is made up of eight trustees from a variety of professional backgrounds and with a range of experience. Meeting termly, the Board is responsible for overseeing the work of the Executive within the Trust and providing the strategic direction for the Trust and schools on an annual basis. Formed in line with the requirements set out in the Articles of Association, the Board of Trustees delegates work through the defined sub-committees of the Board and holds these groups to account for ensuring the quality of provision across all the sites is consistent and the very best it can be.
- Sub-committees of the Board: The work of the Board is carried out via four dedicated sub-committees focusing on School Improvement, Finance and Resources, Infrastructure, ICT and Premises, and an Audit Committee. These sub-committees are made up of Trustees, experts from industry in relevant fields, consultants and advisers, and parents drawn from the parental advisory bodies.
- Parental Advisory Bodies: Local governance at each school in the Trust is delivered through a dedicated parental advisory body. With a tightly defined remit to oversee standards and safeguarding at each school, the parental advisory bodies provide a critical oversight of how each school is performing and have a line of communication with the Board through the sub-committees. The Lion Academy Trust provides dedicated clerking and member training to ensure our school leaders are supported by appropriately challenging and supportive volunteers who are able to monitor and query how each school is performing.