Governance

More detailed information about the structure, function & membership of the governing body appears below.

 

Members

In 2013 our original members told the government that they wanted to form a company.   They signed our “Memorandum of Association” – the document that allowed The Woodlands School to become The Woodlands Academy.

These members also agreed our first “Articles of Association”, which describes our purpose.

This is called our charitable object – in-short this is:-

“to advance, for the public benefit, education in the United Kingdom.”

Or current members are:

Name Appointed by From
*George Bernard Weekes GB/board 02/09/2019
Marie Jenkinson academy members 14/08/2017
Mark Woodburn academy members 03/07/2017

*also serves as chair of trustees

Members have a limited role in the running of the Academy.   Their key role is checking that the trustees are doing a good job and stay focussed on our charitable object.   The Department for Education (DfE) call this “hands-off, eyes-on”.

Members do:

  • appoint or remove trustees. (Appoint where a vacancy or skills gap exists.   Remove if a trustee is failing in their role.)
  • appoint or remove members.
  • appoint or remove auditors.

Members do not:

  • set agendas or priorities for the trustees
  • tell the trustees how to run the Academy
  • attend trustee meetings (unless they are also a trustee)
  • have voting rights at any board meeting

Members meet once per year at an annual general meeting.  However, they may call more meetings if required.

Details of pecuniary interests for Members are published to this web-site and updated annually

Definition:

A pecuniary interest covers a number of things.   A Member or Trustee would need to tell us if:

  • they or a relative are involved in a business or organisation that might get work or orders from the Academy.
  • they are related to someone who works in the Academy.
  • they act as a governor for any other school or charitable organisation

Board of Trustees – 2020/21

Name Appointed by From To
*George Bernard Weekes GB/board 11/06/2019 31/03/2022
**Michelle Georgina Hockham GB/board 02/09/2019 01/09/2023
Susan Mary Attwood GB/board 12/12/2019 (resigned 29/12/20)
William Chatt GB/board 01/04/2013 11/05/2024
Keith James Dobbie GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Cathryn Valentine Guest GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Elizabeth Anne Hobson GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Wendy Holton GB/board 19/12/2019 19/12/2023
Sarah Halliday Elected by school staff 14/11/2018 13/11/2022
Alastair James Thompson GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Simon Christopher Valente GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023

*chair of board of trustees

**Headteacher of the Academy

The board of trustees are the Academy’s key decision-makers.   However, their role remains strategic rather than operational; that is to say, deciding where the Academy should be going but not how to get there.

The board is in charge of making sure the Academy runs well.   They do this by checking that:-

  • there is a clear vision, ethos and strategic plan
  • Senior Leaders create and maintain an effective staff team
  • Educational performance of the Academy and its pupils is effective
  • Money is well-managed and well-spent

However, certain responsibilities will be delegated (passed on) to other committees or Senior Leaders.   Some delegated responsibility is described in the next sections.   Our full Scheme of Delegation appears near the bottom of this web-page.

The board will publish, to this web-site, an Annual Report & Financial Statement for the Academy.

Meeting attendance records are available here for the Full Governing Body and the committees described below.

Details of pecuniary interests for Trustees are published to this web-site and updated annually.

    Strategy Group

    “Terms of reference” describe what each group or committee will do as well as what it will not do.   The terms of reference this group can be found at: Strategy Group Terms of Reference

    In brief; the Strategy Group involves:

    • Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
    • The Headteacher
    • Chairs of all standing committees [see individual committee headings for details (below)]

    The Group will meet during term time.   The dates of these meetings will be agreed from time-to-time by the group.

    It is a group that advises the Board of Trustees.   It does not hold any delegated powers.

    Its job is to allow the chairs of the committees of the Board of Trustees to discuss things informally with the Headteacher so that:-

    • the work of the committees can be planned so that there are no gaps or overlaps;
    • approaches to governing are the same in all committees

    The Group has an important job in making sure that the School’s Vision Statement is kept in mind at all times by the Board of Trustees.  

    The Group will also check how well the Board of Trustees works and suggest further training and development.

    Standing Committees

    All standing committees meet 6 times during the year and report back to the full Board of Trustees.   Each committee will consist of three trustees with a chair being elected at the first meeting each year.   Full terms of reference for each committee can be found by clicking on the links below.

    Finance, Audit & Risk

    Finance & Audit Terms of Reference

    Current Chair: Al Thompson

    *Key delegated powers:
    • Review and approval of all financial policies.

    Areas of responsibility:
    • Financial policy and planning, and value for money
    • Financial monitoring and reporting
    • Risk management
    • Staffing
    • Audit

    Teaching, Learning & Safeguarding

    Teaching, Learning & Safeguarding Terms of Reference

    Current Chair: Cathryn Guest

    *Key delegated powers:
    • None – has an advisory role only

    Areas of responsibility:
    • Curriculum planning and delivery
    • Evaluation of teaching and learning
    • Special Education Needs and Disabilities
    • Safeguarding and pastoral care
    • Engagement and Communication

    Premises, Health & Safety

    Health & safety Terms of Reference

    Current Chair: Keith Dobbie

    *Key delegated Powers:
    • The creation of a project committee where necessary to oversee any major developments.
    • Instituting and maintaining a Health and Safety Policy

    Areas of responsibility:
    • Premises
    • Health & Safety

    * Our full Scheme of Delegation appears towards the bottom of this web-page.

    Senior Leaders

    Senior Leaders help with planning where the Academy is going, but also decide how this will be done and make sure this happens.   They must engage with, report to and support the work of the *Governing Body.

     

    *Explanation

    The term Governor is used to mean Member OR Trustee.   Governing Body covers Members AND Trustees

    In addition, our Headteacher acts as a trustee.   There are two roles for Senior Staff that are defined within school governance.

    Accounting Officer (AO)

    The AO is responsible for the Academy’s finances and reports to the trustees, Parliament, and to the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).   It is important for trustees to appoint a senior person to this role.   In our case, the role is filled by our Headteacher.

    Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

    The CFO manages the Academy’s finances.    They are expected to work closely with the finance & audit committee as well as contributing to other committees/groups where financial matters are raised.   In our case this is our School Business Manager.

    Our current Senior Leaders are:

    Role within the Academy Governance role Name From
    Headteacher Accounting Officer (AO) Michelle Georgina Hockham 02/09/2019
    School Business Manager Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Maurice Dobie 01/04/2019

    Parental & Community Engagement Arrangements

    An effective Governing Body

     

    *Explanation

    The term Governor is used to mean Member OR Trustee.   Governing Body covers Members AND Trustees

    is one that is in touch with what is happening nationally and locally within education. Speaking with, and listening to, parents and our local community will help us to make sure that The Woodlands Academy continues to serve the community, its families and its children well.

    Our Members will try to make sure we have the right balance of skills and experience in the Governing Body.   They will do this by recruiting new trustees and training those we already have.  

    Trustees will keep up-to-date with educational developments by reading and finding appropriate training opportunities.

    The Governing Body will gather the views of parents through an annual questionnaire.

    In addition, informal contact through parents’ assemblies, parents’ evening and other open events remain important.   The Governing Body will try to be represented at such events and will make themselves known to parents.

    Parents will receive an invitation to the Annual General Meeting of the Academy’s Board of Trustees.

    Parents can request a meeting with an individual Governor or group by contacting the clerk to the Governors via the Academy office or directly by email. 

    Name

    email

    Grant Lenton

    clerktogovernors@woodlands.n-yorks.sch.uk

    Scheme of Delegation

    The Headteacher has delegated powers and functions in respect of internal organisation, management and control of the Academy, the implementation of all policies approved by the Governing Body and for the direction of teaching and the curriculum.

    The Headteacher shall be responsible for:

    Budgetary Control

    • Reviewing income and expenditure reports and highlighting actual and potential overspending to the Finance Committee. The Headteacher shall submit to the Governing Body at least one each term, and on such further occasions as the Governing Body may specify, reports on all expenditure incurred and commitments entered into, together with details of any income generated, since the last such report to the Governing Body; this report to include a comparison of these latest figures with the budget for the year;
    • Ensuring that any proposal to incur expenditure on new or significantly different policies to be the subject of a report to the Governing Body; the report to include details of cost in both the current and future years;
    • Approving virements from one budget head to another any sum not exceeding £5,000 and reporting such approval to the Finance Committee.

    Financial Management

    • Ensuring the arrangements for collection of income, ordering of goods and services, payments and security of assets are in accordance with the financial regulations.

    Purchasing

    • Authorising orders and contracts up to £5,000 where monies are allocated within approved budgets. Where no such specific item exists in the budget he/she shall not enter into any financial commitment without the consent of the Governing Body or in the case of an urgent matter, the Chairman thereof;
    • Ensuring all contracts and agreements confirm to the financial regulations.

    Payroll & Personnel

    • Approval of new staff appointments within the authorised establishment, except for any senior staff posts which the governing body have agreed should be approved by them.
    • Certifying the payment of salaries each month, in conjunction with the School Business Manager.

    Security of Assets

    • Ensuring that proper security is maintained at all times for all buildings, furniture, equipment, vehicles, stocks, stores, cash, information and records etc under his/her control.

    Accounts & Audit

    • The operation of financial processes within the school, ensuring that adequate operational controls are in place and that the principles of internal control are maintained.
    • Ensuring that full, accurate and up to date records are maintained in order to provide financial and statistical information.
    • Ensuring that all records and documents are available for audit by the appointed external internal auditors.
    • The Headteacher shall have the power to nominate another named (senior) member of staff to exercise the powers of this delegation during any periods of absence;
    • The Headteacher and any person nominated as above shall ensure that all times financial regulations are complied with.