Members of the Trust are the signatories to the Memorandum of Association and have agreed the Trust’s Articles of Association (the document which outlines the governance structure and how the Trust will operate).
The Articles of Association describe how Members are recruited and replaced and how many Trustees the Members can appoint to the Trust Board. The Members appoint Trustees to ensure that the Trust’s Charitable Objects are carried out and so must be able to remove Trustees if they fail to fulfil this responsibility. Accordingly, the Trust Board submits an annual report on the performance of the Trust to the Members.
The Members have an overview of the governance arrangements of the Trust but are not involved in the day-to-day management. Members are also responsible for approving any amendments to the Trust’s Articles of Association.
Members are permitted to be appointed as Trustees. However, in order to retain a degree of separation of powers between Members and the Trust Board, and in line with DfE expectations, not all Members are Trustees.
Members are also not permitted to be employees of the drb Ignite Trust.
The drb Ignite Trust ordinarily has five members.
The Board is ambitious for all children and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. It is driven by inquisitive, independent minds and thorough conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience, and determination.
The drb Ignite Trust is a multi-academy trust operating as a single legal entity. Therefore, it entrusts ultimate responsibility for everything that goes on within the Trust to the drb Ignite Trust Board of Trustees. The Trust Board is majority comprised of voluntary, non-executive Trustees selected specifically to bring a range of knowledge, skills, and expertise. Together, this group is responsible for the strategic oversight and performance of the Trust and its schools. The Board also has responsibility for managing the finances of the Trust safely, mitigating risk and securing value for money and financial probity. Under the Companies Act 2006, Trustees have statutory duties to:
- act within their powers
- promote the success of the drb Ignite Trust
- exercise independent judgement
- exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence
- avoid conflicts of interest
- not accept benefits from third parties
- declare interest in proposed transactions or arrangements
The Board meets regularly, four to five times each year. The term of office for Trustees is four years after which they must be re-appointed. All governance work is designed to focus on achieving progress and impact within a culture of collaboration. Systems and processes are focused on supporting the effective sharing of information, helping the Board to know its schools well and ensuring efficient compliance with all statutory, mandatory, and regulatory requirements.
The core functions of the Board are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation, and its pupils and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organization, and making sure its money is well spent (Governance Handbook DfE 2017 pg9)
The key responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are:
- setting the vision, ethos, and values for the Trust
- strategic oversight, strategy, and policies
- ensuring appropriate governance and decision making takes place
- provide clarity, through the Governance Charter and Scheme of Delegation, of where the governance functions are exercised
- setting the level of accountability and authority of each level of governance through the Scheme of Delegation
- engaging with school communities, parents, pupils, and staff
- contributing to developing collaborative relationships and partnerships beyond the Trust
- overview and scrutiny of the Trust’s financial capability and management systems to ensure compliance with The Academy Trust Handbook and delivery of best value for money
- ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements
- ensuring senior leaders within schools are challenged to improve the education of their pupils
- developing the Trust board to ensure it has the capacity, skills, and succession plans in place to ensure outstanding governance
- carry our regular skills audits of the Trustees to ensure any missing expertise can be sourced to support challenge and scrutiny of specialist areas such as finance, audit, human resources, educational performance etc.
- setting appropriate targets and holding the CEO, School Improvement Lead and Operations Executive to account
- reviewing performance across the academies and Trust
- agreeing and monitoring the budget for the Trust and all Trust Academies
- dealing with contractual relationships with third parties
Parent and Community Forums represent the voice of each school’s local community. The forums facilitate two-way communication between parents, carers, community, stakeholders and each school. They work to provide feedback, offer constructive challenge and input into decision making and planning for future educational provision and school improvement. The Forums play a critically important influencing role to the Trust Board but have no formal statutory responsibilities or accountability. Each Forum is supported by a small Planning Group led by the school headteacher. This group provides clerking, support and oversight of the Forum business.