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 Officer 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
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