Role of Chief Executive Officer

The CEO leads the SUAT Executive Team and works closely with the Trustees and academy Princpals to ensure the continuous improvement of educational progress and pupil outcomes.  The role includes:

  • Translating SUAT’s vision and the Board’s priorities into a plan of action with agreed milestones
  • Ensuring even-handed treatment of academies and balances their different interests and challenges
  • Leading a strong, open culture of accountability between leaders within the Trust and the directors, staff, students and parents
  • Lead in a clear but open way by working closely with chairs of local academy councils and empowering senior and middle leaders
  • Reviewing and acting on monitoring data on weekly / regular basis
  • Reporting to and engaging with sponsors
  • Attending relevant meetings of governing bodies
  • Seeking and/or negotiating for new schools to join the Trust
  • Developing the teaching and learning model of the Trust
  • Liaising with DfE
  • Communicating with relevant staff across the Trust
  • Liaising/communicating with external stakeholders
  • Where relevant, coach and mentor new Principals and the senior leadership teams
  • Help to deliver the SUAT leadership programmes
  • Quality assure the quality of education including observing lessons and sharing best practice with the senior leadership teams
  • Lead learning reviews across the academies
  • Facilitate teacher exchanges
  • Talent spot and ensure succession planning is in hand
  • Develop strategic planning and plans
  • Report to the SUAT Board
  • Manage relations with the unions and the media, sponsors and external agencies
Chair of the Trust Board

The Chair has particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership on matters such as:

  • Formulating the Board’s strategy for discharging its statutory duties
  • Encouraging high standards of propriety and promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources throughout the academies in SUAT
  • Ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of guidance provided by the responsible Minister or sponsor department
  • Representing the views of the board to the general public; and
  • Providing an assessment of the performance of individual board members, on request, when they are being considered for reappointment to the board or for appointment to the board of some other public body.
Principals of SUAT Academies

Under the direction of the CEO the Principals are responsible for:

  • Creating and communicating a shared vision which expresses core values and moral purpose
  • Motivating others to create a shared learning culture and positive climate
  • Modelling the values and visions of the Academies
  • Translating the vision into agreed objectives and operational plans
  • Ensuring a continuous and consistent SUAT – wide focus on students’ achievement
  • Using data and benchmarks to monitor progress
  • Establishing creative, responsive and effective approaches to learning and teaching
  • Developing an ethos which enables everyone to work collaboratively
  • Ensuring individual staff accountabilities are clearly defined, understood and agreed
  • Developing and maintain effective strategies and procedures for staff induction, professional development and performance review
  • Developing and maintaining a culture of high expectations for self and others
  • Ensuring effective planning, allocation, support and evaluation of work of teams and individuals.
The Clerk to the Governing Body

Under the direction of the Chair of the Board the Clerk is responsible for:

  • Minutes of all meetings
  • Issuing notices under the direction of the Governing Body
  • Other administrative tasks requested by the Governing Body
  • Maintaining statutory registers
  • Ensuring minutes of meetings are maintained and available for inspection by keeping copies with the Statutory Registers
  • Ensuring forms filed within time limits with the Registrar of Companies and the Charity Commission
  • Overseeing changes to the membership of the company
  • Overseeing changes to the membership of the Board and the LACs
  • Liaising with members on behalf of Board and the LACs
  • Supplying copies of accounts and Directors reports
  • Monitoring compliance with Articles of Association and other legal requirements
  • Ensuring procedures are in place for Board to seek professional advice
  • Ensuring proper process for induction of directors/Governors
  • Other administrative tasks requested by the Board
Education Committee Terms of Reference




  • The Education Committee is empowered to act and make decisions on behalf of the Trust Board in relation to responsibilities determined by the Trust Board.
  • On all other specified responsibilities the Committee shall submit proposals and recommendations to the Trust Board for its consideration and determination.
  • The Committee can co-opt to it such members, as it deems appropriate. Co-opted members will not have any voting rights.
  • The Committee will work in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Director of Learning and School Improvement (DLSI) and Local Academy Councils (LACs) and receive such support and guidance as is necessary in carrying out its duties.


  • To submit annually, to the Trust Board, a programme of meetings and other activities by which it is planned to address its allocated responsibilities.
  • To operate at all times within its allocated budget.
  • To formulate, on behalf the Trust Board, all curriculum, assessment and pupil welfare policies required by legislation.
  • To work closely with the CEO, DLSI and LACs and academies’ leadership teams and other staff in all of its work.
  • To carry out reviews of all such documents in order that they remain appropriate and effective and that the Trust Board meets all its legislative requirements with regard to curriculum, standards and pupil welfare issues.
  • To submit such other non-statutory curriculum, assessment and pupil welfare proposals, recommendations, policies and reports which it deems appropriate to the Trust Board for consideration and determination.
  • To monitor and evaluate the academies’ curriculum, standards and welfare provision.
  • To ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils within the academies’ curriculum, standards and welfare provision.
  • To consider and report to the Trust Board on any curriculum, standards and welfare statements prepared by the academies or the CEO / DLSI.
  • To prepare annually a submission to the Audit Committee for funding levels and priorities to be applied to the curriculum, standards and welfare provision.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the academies’ SEN, Pupil Premium and inclusion provision.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the standards of pupil progress throughout the MAT’s academies.
  • To consider all aspects of the academies’ practice pertaining to pupil behaviour and safety.
  • To oversee the development of the use of pupil voice as part of planning processes and self-review.
  •  To oversee all aspects of pupil behaviour systems.
  • To be responsible for monitoring the attendance of all pupils, particularly that of vulnerable groups and persistent absentees.
  • To have oversight of all aspects of SEN work.
  • To take overall responsibility for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and  cultural development
  • To be responsible for compliance with Disability and Equality legislation.
  • To ensure that the academies promote community cohesion and fundamental British Values.
  • Overseeing the cycles of data collection in each of the academies.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the progress of Pupil Premium pupils.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the standards of pupil progress throughout the MAT’s academies.

Committee Chair

The Chair will be appointed by the Committee and will be responsible for ensuring that:

  • He/She provides effective leadership to the Committee across the full range of its responsibilities.
  • All meetings are called and conducted under the same rules applying to the full Board of Directors.
  • Agendas and minutes are drawn up for all meetings and are subsequently submitted together with all committee papers to the earliest possible full Board of Directors meeting.
  • The Committee discharges all the responsibilities set out in its remit.
  • The Committee will work in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Director of Learning and School Improvement and Local Academy Councils (LACs) and receive such support and guidance as is necessary in carrying out its duties.
Governors' Responsibilities

The Governors (who act as Trustees for charitable activities of SUAT and are also the Directors of the Charitable Company for the purposes of company law) are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with the Annual Accounts Requirements issued by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), United Kingdom Accounting Standards and applicable law and regulations.

Company law requires the Governors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under company law the Governors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Charitable Company and of its incoming resources and application of resources, including its income and expenditure, for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the Governors are required to:

  • Select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
  • Observe the methods and principles in the Charities SORP (Statements of Recommended Practice);
  • Make judgments and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
  • State whether applicable UK Accounting Standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and
  • Prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Charitable Company will continue in business.


The Governors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Charitable Company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Charitable Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Charitable Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The Governors are responsible for ensuring that in its conduct and operation the Charitable Company applies financial and other controls, which conform with the requirements both of propriety and of good financial management. They are also responsible for ensuring grants received from the EFA/DfE have been applied for the purposes intended.

The Governors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Charitable Company’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

The Governors are responsible for ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are maintained. They should exercise their powers and functions with a view to fulfilling a largely strategic leadership role in the running of the academies, addressing such matters as:

  • Policy development and strategic planning, including target-setting to keep up momentum on school improvement
  • Ensuring sound management and administration of the academies, and ensuring that managers are equipped with relevant skills and guidance
  • Ensuring compliance with legal requirements
  • Establishing and maintaining a transparent system of prudent and effective internal controls
  • Management of the academies’ financial, human and other resources (in particular control over the spending identified in the academies’ development plans)
  • Monitoring performance and the achievement of objectives, and ensuring that plans for improvement are acted upon
  • Helping the SUAT academies be responsive to the needs of parents and the community and making them more accountable through consultation and reporting
  • Setting the SUAT academies’ standards of conduct and values
  • Assessing and managing risk.
The Accounting Officer

The Funding Agreement requires the SUAT to identify an Accounting Officer.  In SUAT the duties of the Accounting Officer are fulfilled by the Chief Executive Officer. This role confers ultimate responsibility for financial and administrative matters. This is a vital role, as the Accounting Officer is personally responsible to the Governing Body for:

  • Ensuring regularity and propriety;
  • Prudent and economical administration;
  • Avoidance of waste and extravagance;
  • Efficient and effective use of available resources; and
  • The strategic direction of the SUAT and its academies

Included in the responsibilities of the Accounting Officer is a duty to take appropriate action if the Governing Body, or the Chairman, is contemplating a course of action which he  considers would infringe the requirements of propriety or regularity (including the provisions of the Funding Agreement, the SUAT Development Plan, or other documents setting out the financial duties of the Governing Body or of any other rules governing the conduct of the Body),or would not represent prudent or economical administration, or the efficient or effective discharge of the Governing Body’s functions.

In such circumstances, the Accounting Officer would be required to put his objections in writing to the Governing Body and to advise them of the requirement to inform the DfE Accounting Officer (the Permanent Secretary) and SUAT’s external auditors, as well as the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Such notification should occur without undue delay, and the Departmental Accounting Officer will need to consider whether to intervene in such cases.

The Accounting Officer may delegate, or appoint others to assist in these responsibilities, for example to a Finance Director or one of the Principals of the Trust’s academies.

Chief Operating Officer

The COO is a key part of SUAT’s Executive Team and leads the promotion and delivery by the whole organisation of good financial, human resource and property management so that public money is safeguarded at all times and used appropriately, economically, efficiently and effectively.  The COO leads SUAT’s Finance Director and each individual academy’s office and finance staff.  The role includes:

  • The development and implementation of strategy and to resource and deliver the organisation’s strategic objectives sustainably and in the public interest
  • Contributing to strategic planning of SUAT
  • The day to day oversight of financial matters, internal and external audit
  • Ensuring that the monthly management and annual accounts are Properly presented and adequately supported by the records of each of the Trust’s academies
  • Liaising with EFA
  • Planning the strategic development of SUAT’s financial position
  • Oversight of estate management
  • Ensuring equity and fairness in Human Resource issues
  • Efficient deployment of staff and resources fairly across academies according to need and maximise economies of scale
  • Ensuring that SUAT academies deliver a professional service to its community
Full Board Terms of Reference



Meetings of all Committees, and of the Full Trust Board, will take place a minimum of once per term.  For any meeting to be quorate a minimum of 50% of Directors eligible to vote must be present

The role of the Trust Board is:

  • To review the MAT’s goals and how they are being met.
  • To ensure adherence to the Articles of Association and Master Funding Agreement.
  • To appoint, suspend or remove Directors.
  • To appoint associate members and determine voting rights on the three committees.
  • To elect or remove the Chair.
  • To elect or remove the Vice-Chair.
  • To appoint designated Directors, for example performance management, child protection and complaints.
  • To decide on additional attendance at Trust Board meetings.
  • To decide the arrangements for meetings of the Trust Board.
  • To regulate the procedures of meetings, for example, code of conduct.
  • Establishment and membership of committees and their remits, including selection panels.
  • To appoint or remove a Clerk to each committee.
  • To appoint and dismiss the Clerk to Directors.
  • To participate in the MAT self-review process including the review of the effectiveness of the Trust Board.
  • Setting the Individual School Ranges (ISR).
  • Decision to collaborate or form joint committees with other MATs.
  • To consider requests for additional academies to join the MAT.
  • To consider whether or not to exercise delegation of functions to individuals, committees or Local Academy Councils.
  • To publish proposals to admit additional academies to the MAT.
  • To approve (or agree delegation of these powers) new policies and amendments to existing policies.
  • To agree targets for pupil achievement as advised by the LACs.
  • To recruit a new CEO, COO, DLSI and Academy Principals.
  • Ratification of the appointment of those posts.
  • To determine the arrangements for the appointment of all other staff in consultation with the LACs.
  • To suspend the CEO and Head teachers.
  • To end the suspension of the CEO and Academy Principals.
  • To dismiss the CEO and Academy Principals.
  • To establish the Directors’ register of pecuniary and business interests and oversee its maintenance.
  • To consider details of any significant matters affecting the academies’ staff, to include intervening in a case where the Trust Board has been advised by its HR provider that the LAC is pursuing the wrong course of action
  • To consider details of any significant matters affecting the pupils’ education.
  • To ensure that there is constant review of the management structures to ensure they are operating effectively.
  • To review the risks to which the MAT is exposed and determination of whether systems are in place to mitigate those risks.
  • To review all planning decisions that may impact upon staffing levels and structures within the MAT’s academies.
  • To carry out or receive reviews of relevant documents in order that they remain appropriate and effective and that the Trust Board meets all its legislative requirements.
  • To consider such other non-statutory proposals, recommendations, policies and reports which it deems appropriate for the Trust Board to receive.
  • To monitor and evaluate the academies’ curriculum, achievement and welfare provision.
  • To ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils within the MAT’s provision.
  • To consider any major developments prepared by the Local Authority or National Government.
  • To ensure that there are adequate funding levels to enable the MAT, and its academies, to achieve its priorities in relation to the curriculum and staffing levels.
  • To work closely with the CEO, COO, DLSI and Academy Principals and LACs in all of its work.
  • To ensure that the MAT operates at all times within its allocated budget.
  • To ensure that the LACs monitor and evaluate the academies’ SEN, Pupil Premium, safety and inclusion provision.
  • To monitor and evaluate the achievement of pupils at all Key Stages, throughout the MAT.
  • To submitting annually to the auditors a programme of meetings and other activities by which it is planned to address its allocated responsibilities.
  • To oversee the development of policy and strategic planning processes.
Risk, Audit and Resources Committee Terms of Reference
  1. Responsibilities
  • to maintain an oversight of the Academy Trust’s financial, governance, risk management and internal control systems
  • to report findings termly and annually to the Trust Board and the Accounting Officer as a critical element of the Trust’s annual reporting requirements.
  1. Authority
  • the Risk, Audit and Resources Committee is a Committee of the Academy Trust Board and is authorised to investigate any activity within its terms of reference or specifically delegated to it by the Board.
  • the Risk, Audit and Resources Committee is authorised to:
    • request any information it requires from any employee, external audit, internal audit, or other assurance provider.
    • obtain outside legal or independent professional advice it considers necessary, normally in consultation with the Accounting Officer and/or the Trust Board.
  1. Composition
  • the membership of the committee will comprise a minimum of 3 Trustees.
  • employees of the Trust should not be Risk, Audit and Resources Committee members, but the Accounting Officer / Chief Financial Officer / Finance Direction / Operations Manager should attend to provide information and participate in discussions.
  • the Chair of Trustees should not be chair of the Risk, Audit and Resources
  • where the Risk, Audit and Resources Committee is combined with another committee, employees should not participate as members when audit matters are discussed.
  • until otherwise determined by the Board of Trustees, a quorum shall consist of 2 members of the committee.
  • at least one member of the Risk, Audit and Resources Committee should have recent or relevant accountancy, or audit assurance, experience.
  • any Trustee may attend a meeting of the Risk, Audit and Resources Committee, including those who are not members of the Risk, Audit and Resources
  1. Reporting

The Risk, Audit and Resources Committee will:

  • report back to the Trust Board regularly every term
  • provide an annual summary report provided by the internal scrutineer / auditor and areas reviewed by internal scrutiny / audit covering key findings, recommendations, and conclusions
  1. Coverage

The Risk, Audit and Resources Committee will:

  • advise the board on the effectiveness and resources of the external/internal auditors or scrutineers to provide a basis for their reappointment, dismissal, retendering, or remuneration. Considerations may include:
    • the auditor’s/scrutineer’s sector expertise
    • their understanding of the Trust and its activities
    • whether the audit process allows issues to be raised on a timely basis at the appropriate level
    • the quality of auditor/scrutineer comments and recommendations in relation to key areas
    • where relevant the personal authority, knowledge and integrity of audit partners and their staff to interact effectively with, and robustly challenge, the trust’s managers
    • the auditor’s/scrutineer’s use of technology
  • ensure there is co-ordination between internal audit/scrutiny and external audit and any other review bodies that are relevant
  • consider the reports of the auditors/scrutineers and, when appropriate, advise the Trust Board of material control issues
  • oversee the capital programme and management of the estate, including health and safety, fire prevention, asbestos, legionella
  • ensure that there are appropriate business continuity plans are prepared and communicated
  • oversee data protection compliance and receive data breach reports
  • consider the assessment of IT systems for their resilience in terms of exposure to cyber security risks
  • encourage a culture within the Trust whereby each individual feels that he or she has a part to play in guarding the probity of the Trust, and is able to take any concerns or worries to an appropriate member of the management team or in exceptional circumstances directly to the Board of Trustees
  • provide minutes of all Audit and Risk Committee meetings for review at board meetings

External Audit

  • review the external auditor’s plan each year
  • review the annual report and accounts
  • review the auditor’s findings and actions taken by the trust’s SLT in response to those findings
  • produce an annual report of the committee’s conclusions to advise the board of trustees and members.

Internal Scrutiny

  • take delegated responsibility on behalf of the Board of Trustees for examining and reviewing all systems and methods of control both financial and otherwise including risk analysis and risk management; and for ensuring the Trust is complying with the overall requirements for internal scrutiny, as specified in the Academies Financial Handbook.
  • conduct a regular review of the risk register
  • agree an annual programme of internal scrutiny / audit, which is objective and independent, covering systems, controls, transactions, and risks
  • advise the Trustees on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s systems of internal control, governance, and risk management processes
  • consider the appropriateness of executive action following internal audit/internal scrutiny reviews and to advise the board on any additional or alternative steps to be taken
  • oversee the annual review of the Trust’s risk register
Director of Learning and School Improvement

The Director of Learning and School Improvement (DLSI) leads SUAT’s team of Education Improvement Partners (EIPs) and works closely with the Trustees and Academy Leaders to ensure the continuous improvement of educational progress and pupil outcomes.

The DLSI supports the Chief Executive Officer and the Trustees in order to

  • Develop and implement SUAT policies and practices which reflect the SUAT Academies commitment to high attainment and progress and which are consistent with local, national, Trust, Ofsted and individual Academy strategies and policies.
  • Establish short, medium and long term plans for the development and resourcing of the various improvement priorities.
  • Monitor progress made in achieving Academy Development Plans and targets, and evaluate the effects on learning and teaching.
  • Provide guidance on a choice of appropriate learning and teaching methods.
  • Help to further develop systems for recording individual pupil’s and groups of pupils’ progress.
  • Support the development of the curriculum and schemes of work and assessment in SUAT academies.
  • Evaluate the quality of teaching and standards of attainment and progress, helping to set targets for improvement.
  • Advice, if required, in the recruitment and selection of teaching staff.
  • Help to further develop subject teams and individuals to enhance performance.
  • Help to plan, delegate and evaluate work carried out by team(s) and individuals.
  • Create, maintain and enhance effective relationships with the staff in the academies.