Turner Schools is an exempt charity; this means we operate like any other charity but as an Academy Trust (or MAT) we are regulated by the Secretary of State for Education. The main documents that set out how we operate are our Articles of Association, which define our internal structure, and the Master Funding Agreement (MFA), which is the legal contract with the Secretary of State under which we run our schools. In addition, there are separate Supplemental Funding Agreements (SFAs) for each individual school. We are also governed by the Department for Education’s Academies Financial Handbook, as well as various legislation relating to both schools and charities.
At Turner Schools we know that fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision begins with excellent governance; through strong governance we achieve direction, accountability, challenge, support and collegiality as well as compliance, value for money and collective responsibility. Under this corporate environment our pupils will be given the best chances of success.
We are established according to best practice principles of governance, with 5 Members overseeing the work of our 7 Directors (Trustees).
We are committed to the 7 Principles of Public Life
Full details on these can be found at the gov.uk website.
Our formal structures are designed to give robust oversight and management of our academies without unnecessarily restricting innovation.
At present, we have 7 Trustees who provide strategic oversight and ensure the Trust meets its legal obligations, both directly and through its sub-committees. Our Trustees meet four times a year and the Finance, Audit & Resources Committee meets three times a year. The Risk & Remuneration Committee meets twice a year. The Standards Committee meets twice a year.
Formulation of strategy and day-to-day operations are delegated to the Chief Executive, Dr Jo Saxton. She is supported by a Deputy Chief Executive, our Academy Principals or (and Executive Principals and Heads if in post) as well as by the professionals in our Central Team.
Our Principals are challenged and supported by Challenge and Community Committee’s (CCs). CCs meet between three and six times a year. Our CCs are advisory, with the exception of Exclusions and Conduct for which they may form committees as appropriate from the members of the CC and/or Trust Board as necessary and these are governed according to trust policy rather than by committee terms of reference. These may be individual to each Academy or – where appropriate – operate across a number of schools. Our governors are appointed by the Trust, ensuring we have a balance of skills required to oversee a modern school. Trustees may serve as CC Chairs. Chairs are appointed by the Trust Board.
Parental opinion is gathered through two elected parent governors. Pupil opinions inform the Principal and CC via a School Council. Pupil voice sessions take place in CC meetings from time to time within the year. Our Principals also meet frequently with parents at open evenings and other events throughout the year.
The Trust Board hears parent and pupil voice directly, where CC Chairs are also Board Directors, and indirectly via CC minutes and surveys.
The Governance Scheme is reviewed annually and/or in consultation with the Department of Education.