Roles
and Responsibilities

Roles
and Responsibilities


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 the SUAT 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
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.
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 the 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.
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.

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.
Chief Operating Officer

The COO is a key part of the SUAT 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 
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
Full Board Terms of Reference

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIES TRUST

TRUST 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.
Education Committee Terms of Reference

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIES TRUST

EDUCATION COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE

Powers

  • 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.

 

 

Responsibilities

 

  • 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.
Audit Committee Terms of Reference

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIES TRUST

AUDIT COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE

The remit of the Audit Committee is:

  • 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 ensure that income from the ESFA and grants from the DfE are used only for the purposes intended.
  • To ensure the academies are working to the relevant financial standards.
  • To establish and maintain a transparent system of prudent and effective Internal Controls and approve the Statement of Internal Control annually.
  • To approve the Annual Budget Plans and Best Value Statements as advised by the CEO / COO, academy Principals and LACs.
  • To approve each academy’s completed financial self-assessment forms.
  • To establish the financial limits of delegated authority to enter into commitments and to authorise payments.
  • To approve a written description of financial systems and procedures
  • To assess and manage risk.
  • To receive reports of the financial position of the academies, including their income and expenditure and financial commitments.
  • To ensure that adequate financial monitoring of the academies’ budgets and activities is being undertaken by the Central Finance Team.
  • To monitor the progress on any action identified to improve financial arrangements at academies.
  • To scrutinise significant contracts proposed to be entered into by the MAT or individual academies.
  • To consider details of any significant matters affecting the MAT’s assets.
  • To review of the performance of external providers e.g. services provided under SLAs.
  • To review and approve of the MAT’s annual consolidated accounts.
  • To review and approve the financial budgets for the following year.
  • To review and approve the levels of insurance cover for the MAT’s assets.
  • To receive the findings made by the various auditors and their management letter, and any other financial reviews, and consideration of what actions should be taken arising from their recommendations.

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 works closely with the CEO and COO, Academy Principals and the LACs.
Resources Committee Terms of Reference

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIES TRUST

RESOURCES COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE

Powers

  • The Resources Committee is empowered to act and make decisions on behalf of the Board of Directors in relation to responsibilities determined by the Board of Directors.
  • On all other specified responsibilities the Committee shall submit proposals and recommendations to the full Board of Directors 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 Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Finance Director (FD), the Operations Manager (OP) and Local Academy Councils (LACs) and receive such support and guidance as is necessary in carrying out its duties.

Responsibilities

  • To consider the academies’ indicative funding, notified annually by the DfE, and to assess its implications for the academies, in consultation with the Audit Committee, CEO, COO, FD and OP in advance of the financial year, drawing any matters of significance or concern to the attention of the Board of Directors.
  • Submitting annually to the Trust Board a programme of meetings and other activities by which it is planned to address its allocated responsibilities
  • To consider and recommend acceptance/non-acceptance of the academies’ budgets, at the start of each financial year.
  • To receive recommendations from the LACs on the broad budget headings and areas of expenditure to be adopted each year, including the level and use of any contingency fund or balances, ensuring the compatibility of all such proposals with the development priorities set out in the MAT Business and Development plans.
  • To liaise with and receive reports from Local Academy Councils, as appropriate, and to make recommendations to those committees about the financial aspects of matters being considered by them.
  • To monitor and review expenditure on a termly basis and ensure compliance with the overall financial plan for the academies, and with the financial regulations of the DfE, drawing any matters of concern to the attention of the Board of Directors.
  • To monitor and review procedures for ensuring the effective implementation and operation of financial procedures, on a regular basis, including the implementation of bank account arrangements and, where appropriate to make recommendations for improvement.
  • To assist in the preparation of the financial statement to form part of the annual report of the Board of Directors and for filing in accordance with Companies Act and Charity Commission requirements.
  • To receive auditors’ reports and to recommend to the Board of Directors action as appropriate in response to audit findings.
  • To recommend to the Board of Directors and the Members the appointment or reappointment of the auditors of the academies.
  • To oversee the LAC’s preparation of routine maintenance programmes, placement of contracts and monitoring of standards of work for buildings and grounds.
  • To oversee the LAC’s undertaking of building, decoration or environmental projects.
  • To receive reports from the LACs on their monitoring of the academies’ energy needs.
  • Carrying responsibilities for the implementation, by the LACs, of Health and Safety issues required by legislation.
  • To receive and approve requests to write-off broken equipment.
  • To receive annually submissions from the LACs of their annual costings for maintenance or repair work for both buildings and grounds.
  • To ensure that the academies operate at all times within their allocated budgets.

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 works closely with the CEO and COO, Academy Principals and the LACs.

 

 

Director of Learning and School Improvement

The Director of Learning and School Improvement (DLSI) leads the SUAT 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.