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Documents and Governance Information

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Southern Academy Trust is a charitable private company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales.  It is governed at a number of levels. The Members of the Company in simple terms are the ‘owners’ of the Company. They comprise of the signatories to the Memorandum which include the current Chairman of Directors, the Chair of the Trustees of the Shaftesbury School Foundation and two Foundation (SDBE) Members comprising the SDBE corporately and one other individual appointed by the SDBE.


Directors The Directors are responsible for the governance and supervision of the Academy Trust and its committees (including the Local Governing Bodies) and executives (Headteachers). They are also Trustees of the charity with responsibility for protection of the assets of the Academy Trust. There are twelve Directors appointed in accordance with the Company Articles.

  • Mr M Blackman Chief Executive Officer ex officio
  • Mr C Brickell (Chairman) Member Appointed
  • Rev H Dawes SDBE Appointed ex officio
  • Mr N Hiscock Member Appointed
  • Mr C Wilkins (Vice-Chairman) Member Appointed
  • Mrs S Lacey Co-opted
  • Mrs M Pearson SDBE Appointed
  • Mr A Kennard Member Appointed


Audit Committee Mr C Wilkins (Chair), Mr C Brickell, Mrs S Lacey

Audit Committee Terms of Reference
  • To advise the Board on the effectiveness of the Trust’s internal control system, i.e.: the whole system of controls – financial, management and otherwise, established in order to carry on the business in an orderly and efficient manner, ensure adherence to management strategies, policies and directives, safeguard assets, secure as far as possible the completeness and accuracy of records, and promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • To oversee procedures and controls in respect of fraud and irregularity including the supervision of any action taken under these.
  • To advise the Board on the criteria for the selection and appointment of responsible officer and external auditors.
  • To advise the Board on the adequacy and effectiveness of systems of internal control relating to the quality and robustness of data submitted in statutory returns.
  • To monitor and advise the Board on the effectiveness of the external audit service and promote the work of the responsible officer.
  • To receive, consider and advise the Board on audit reports, including value for money reports (including reports from the National Audit Office, EFA and others) and to monitor the implementation of approved recommendations.
  • To advise the Board on the effectiveness the Trust’s Risk Management statement of internal control within the financial statements.
  • To receive, consider and advise the Board in respect of the Annual Health & Safety Report to the Board.
  • To review the audited financial statements with reference to control issues and the external audit report.
  • To report to the Board as frequently as necessary and to submit an annual report on the work done in the year and including the Audit Committee’s opinion on overall internal control.
  • To carry out such additional duties as may be delegated by the Board including the power to make decisions on specific issues where delegated by the board.

Finance Committee Mr N Hiscock (Chair), Revd H Dawes, Mr C Brickell, Mr A Kennard

Finance Committee Terms of Reference
  • To consider all matters of financial strategy and policy and recommend them to the Board for approval
  • To consider the financial forecasts and annual budgets and recommend them for approval by the Board.
  • To review significant variance against budgets.
  • To consider and advise the Board on the financial implications and any significant financial risks associated with significant new (non-personnel) contracts referred to the committee by the CEO.
  • To consider and advise the Board on levels of fees and income generation activities.
  • To be consistent with Academy financial regulations as laid down by the EFA with regard to delegated powers of expenditure authorisation.
  • To consider the financial statements and accounting handbook and policies and recommend them to the Board for approval.
  • To advise the Board on strategic matters relating to estate management.
  • To advise the Board on the performance related pay for staff procedures in each financial year.
  • Delegated authority: To evaluate and approve proposals for significant capital investment or expenditure above the CEO’s budgeted/authorised limit.
  • To carry out such additional duties as may be delegated by the Board including the power to make decisions on specific issues where delegated by the board. 

Standards Committee  Mrs M Pearson as Chair

Standards Committee Terms of Reference

 The main function of the committee is to advise the board on matters concerning the outcomes for students in particular:

  • To monitor school based, local and national performance data relating to the schools in the Trust, and evaluate achievement and progress across the Trust
  • To monitor pupil progress and attainment through regular updates of the collation and analysis of both Teacher Assessment and Test data.
  • To monitor the progress and achievement of specific groups of pupils including SEN, pupil premium, looked after children, more-able, English as an additional language, gender, ethnicity and FSM.
  • To review the school generated Self Evaluation and Improvement Plan documents and review progress towards the goals set within these documents.

Local Governing Bodies Each school in the Trust has its own Local Governing Body.  These are also committees of the Board of Directors and so report to the Board.  They have their own Terms of Reference and have the role of providing focussed governance at a local school level. See each school’s website for the details of their Local Governing Body.