The First Federation Trust Board of Directors
There is one board of directors (also called trustees) which is the governing body for all the schools within the First Federation Trust.
The board of directors has three core functions:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to account for the educational performance of the Trust schools and their pupils, and the performance management of its staff; and
Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and making sure the Trust money is well spent.
The board of directors recognises that the CEO is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust schools and the implementation of policies and the curriculum.
The board of directors meets four times a year: in September to elect the Chair and agree principles of delegation, and then at the end of each term.
The board of directors is chaired by Mr Alex Walmsley.
The board includes the following director positions:
- Foundation directors: five positions appointed by EDEN (Exeter Diocesan Network of Education) and one position appointed by Salisbury DBE (Diocesan Board of Education). EDEN and Salisbury DBE are both Foundation Members of the First Federation Trust.
- The CEO (appointed as director by the Members)
- Two co-opted directors: appointed by directors
The board has chosen to have parental representation at hub board level. There are parent hub council members from each school on each hub board.
There are currently three main committees of the board of directors with delegated power: the Education committee, the Strategic & Finance Committee and the Audit & Risk Committee.
The Education committee meets half termly and focus on school improvement, curriculum and inclusion. It is chaired by Mrs Ann Denner. Its remit is:
- To regularly review the success of the Trust strategic plan and the schools school improvement plans with a particular focus on outcomes for vulnerable children, and to plan for the year ahead.
- To monitor the progress and impact of the Maths, English, Pupil Premium and Assessments projects.
- To review the leadership and governance structures of the Trust to ensure they are still fit for purpose and make recommendations for appropriate changes to the board of directors
- To consider recommendations made by the hub / transition boards and act on the key points raised by them.
- To review the yearly cycle of decision making for recommendation to the board of directors.
- To ensure that the Trust educational/child-related policies comply with statutory requirements
- To ensure that the necessary structure is in place to implement safeguarding policies and procedures, and to monitor their effectiveness.
The Strategic & Finance committee meets half termly and focus on strategic planning and resources. It it chaired by Mr Alex Walmsley. Its remit is:
To plan for the year ahead, ensuring resources are used and targeted appropriately.
To review the leadership and governance structures of the Trust to ensure they are still fit for purpose and make recommendations for appropriate changes to the board of directors, in particular to ensure directors have the right standards to achieve a good level of financial health and resources management, in the line with the ESFA school resource management self-assessment tool.
To act on requests from schools interested in joining the Trust, ensure due diligence is conducted and make recommendations to the board of directors as to the expected impact on the Trust in accordance with the agreed growth policy.
To review the yearly cycle of decision making for recommendation to the board of directors.
To establish and review a governance code of conduct.
To ensure that Trust non educational/non child related policies comply with statutory requirements.
To monitor Finance, Personnel and Health & Safety matters and ensure they fit with the strategic plan for the First Federation Trust and that resources are deployed efficiently
- To establish and review a code of conduct for the board of directors
- To act ensure value for money
- To offer additional support to the Chief Executive Officer on difficult and sensitive issues
The Audit & Risk committee meets termly and focus on internal scrutiny and risk management. It is chaired by Mrs Andrea Gosling. Its remit is:
- To act as the Audit Committee for the trust, as defined by the Academies Financial Handbook
- To liaise with external and internal auditors, in particular to agree an appropriate programme of internal scrutiny and ensure recommendations from audit reports are implemented.
- To ensure information that affects funding submitted by the Trust to the DfE and ESFA is accurate and in compliance with the funding criteria
- To report to the board of directors on significant audit matters.
There are four other committees of the board of directors with delegated powers, which are named according with their remit: the Admissions Committee (chair: Mr Alexander Walmsley), the CEO Performance Management Committee (chair: Mr Alexander Walmsley),the Pupil/Staff Discipline Committee (chair appointed for each meeting o ensure availability and impartiality) and the Complaints/Appeals Committee (chair appointed for each meeting o ensure availability and impartiality) – which meet as needed.
Hub boards have delegated responsibilities but no delegated powers. Their remit is as follows:
- To support and challenge senior education leaders for the educational performance of the hub schools and the progress made against the school specific improvement priorities;
- To monitor and evaluate the agreed intent, implementation and impact of the schools' curriculum, and to consider evidence about how effectively the curriculum is achieving its aims for pupils;
- To review detailed pupils’ progress and attainment data for the schools, and how they compare with national and Trust targets and with local, regional and national averages, for the whole schools and for specific sub-groups of pupils (e.g. Pupil Premium Children and SEN children);
- To assess the impact of the Trust internal consistencies/non negotiables on school improvement, including the quality of teaching, pupils’ academic and personal development, pupils’ behaviour, pupils’ attendance and pupils' welfare (including safeguarding arrangements).
Ethos and and links with parents and the community:
- To review parental and community engagement;
- Where appropriate, to monitor how Church schools are maintaining and developing their Christian distinctiveness;
- To monitor formal parent complaints.
- To monitor the risk register for the hub, identify any significant changes / additional to be made to the risk registers and how/whether these can be mitigated.
- To report on the above to the Education and/or Audit committee, highlighting key issues, risks and successes, and making recommendations where appropriate.
You can find more information about the Hub Boards, including chairs, membership, attendance and register of interests here.
Local Academy Committees
These are for schools that wish to retain a local governance body and/or which the board believes would benefit from having a local governance body. They have delegated responsibilities but no delegated powers. Their role is to be an advocate for the pupils and the school, to be knowledgeable about the key strengths and areas needing improvement at the school, including the curriculum, to monitor the progress made against the school improvement plan, to contribute to the school ethos and to monitor engagement with parents, staff and the wider local community.
Information about Local Academy Committees is available on the relevant schools' websites.
Other advisory groups
Advisory groups are used to inform and support the work of the board. They are not committees of the board of directors.
Ethos groups: please find more information about these groups here.
Parent Council: one for the Trust, composed from at least one parent elected from each Trust school. Please find more information about parent council members here.
Scheme of delegation
The document below summarises the governance structure of the Trust and incorporate the scheme of delegation agreed by the board during their first meeting of the year.