Governance

Wendy Holton

Wendy Holton

Chair of Governors

A message from our Chair of Governors.

“Our mission is to provide a safe, stimulating learning environment where everyone feels valued and respected. We aim to achieve this through continually reflecting on our work and striving for improvement thus providing a consistently high-quality learning experience that will support every individual to achieve their full potential.”

If you wish to contact the Chair of Governors please write or email: Mrs Wendy Holton, The Woodlands Academy, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 6QN  – w.holton@woodlands.n-yorks.sch.uk

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. Click to view our Original Funding Agreement and Deed of Variation To Funding Agreement

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 a trustee

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 – 2022/23

 Name Appointed by From To
*Wendy Holton GB/board 19/12/2019 19/12/2023
**Alastair James Thompson GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
***Michelle Georgina Hockham GB/board 02/09/2019 01/09/2023
William Chatt GB/board 01/04/2013 11/05/2024
Keith James Dobbie GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Elizabeth Anne Hobson GB/board 12/12/2019 12/12/2023
Sarah Halliday Elected by school staff 14/11/2018 13/11/2022
Tina Sutton GB/board 08/07/2021 08/07/2025

*chair of board of trustees

**vice-chair

***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 last academic year & for the current academic year.

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

    Both Standing Committees meet 6 times during the year and report back to the Full Governing Body.  Each committee consists of at least 3 trustees with a chair and vice chair elected annually.   Full terms of reference can be found by following the links in blue below.

    Finance, Audit & Risk

    Finance & Audit Terms of Reference

    Chair: Al Thompson

    Vice Chair: Bill Chatt

    *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 and Health and Safety Terms of Reference

    Chair: Li Hobson
    Vice Chair: Keith Dobbie

    *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

    STANDING COMMITTEES

    Both Standing Committees meet 6 times during the year and report back to the Full Governing Body.  Each committee consists of at least 3 trustees with a chair and vice chair elected annually.   Full terms of reference can be found by following the links below.   Areas of responsibility for each committee appear in our Scheme of Delegation at the foot 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

     

    Woodlands Academy Executive Pay Report

    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

    The Woodlands Academy Scheme of Delegation 2022-23

    This scheme is based on a template created by the National Governance Association https://www.nga.org.uk/Home.aspx

    Area

    Function

    Level

    01. Budgets

     

     

    a. The first formal budget of the year

    i. Review and recommend for approval

    FAR

    ii. Approve

    FGB

    b. Monthly expenditure

    i. Monitor

    HT

    ii. Review

    FAR

    ii. Oversee monthly expenditure

    FGB

    c. To establish a charging and remissions policy

    FAR

    d. Authorisation limits

    i. review (annually) & recommend

    FAR

    ii. approve (annually)

    FGB

    e. Enter into contracts

    i. within agreed authorisation limits for HT

    HT

    ii. within agreed authorisation limits for FAR

    FAR

    iii. above agreed authorisation limits

    FGB

    02. Staffing

    a. Appoint selection panel for all members of the senior leadership team

    FGB

    b. Appoint other staff

    HT

    c. To put in place a pay policy

    FAR

    d. To make pay decisions (in line with the pay policy and legal requirements1.)

    i. for HT

    FAR

    ii. for staff appraised by HT &/or teachers applying for UPS

    FAR

    iii. for all other staff

    HT

    e. Dismissal of headteacher

    Strategy Group

    f. Initial dismissal of other staff

    HT

    g. Suspending head

    CoG

    h. Suspending staff (except head)

    HT

    i. Ending suspension (head)

    CoG

    j. Ending suspension (except head)

    CoG

    k. Staffing structure

    i. Review & recommend 

    Strategy Group

    ii. Approve

    FAR

    l. Determining dismissal payments/ early retirement

    FAR

    m. To produce and maintain a central record of recruitment and vetting checks

    HT

    n. Establish and review procedures for addressing staff discipline, conduct and grievance.

    FGB

    03. Curriculum

    a. National Curriculum (NC)

    i. Ensure it is taught to all pupils.

    TLS/HSP

    ii. oversee the teaching of the NC

    FGB

    b. To consider any disapplication for pupil(s)

    HT

    c. In deciding which subject options should be taught having regard to resources, and implement provision for flexibility in the curriculum (including activities outside school day)

    i. recommend

    HT

    ii. agree

    TLS/HSP

    d. Establish and review a relationships & sex education policy (including in primary schools where the FGB must decide whether to teach sex education) and ensure that parents are informed of their right to withdraw their children.

    HT

    04. Religious Education

    a. Responsibility for ensuring that provision of RE meets statutory requirements and/or the requirements of any trust deed.

    TLS/HSP

    05.Collective Worship

    a. To ensure that all pupils take part in a daily act of collective worship in line with statutory requirements.

    HT

    06. Extra-curricular provision

    a. To decide whether to offer additional activities and what form these should take

    FGB

    b. To put into place the additional services provided

    HT

    c. To decide whether to stop providing additional activities.

    FGB

    07. Performance management

    a. To formulate and review teacher appraisal policy

    TLS/HSP

    b. To appoint the panel to carry out the appraisal of the head teacher.

    FGB

    c. To carry out appraisal of other teachers.

    HT

    08. Discipline/ exclusions

    a. To review the use of exclusion and to decide whether or not to confirm all permanent exclusions and fixed term exclusions where the pupil is either excluded for more than 15 days in total in a term or would lose the opportunity to sit a public examination.

    (Can be delegated to chair/vice-chair in cases of urgency)

    Clerk to governors will convene a panel consisting of not less than 3 trustees

    09. Discipline/ exclusions

    a. To produce a set of written principles for the school behaviour policy and present these to the headteacher, parents, staff and students for consultation.

    FGB

    b. To draft the content of the school behaviour policy and publicise it to staff, students and parents.

    HT

    10. Admissions

    a. Admissions: to approve application decisions taken by HT

    TLS/HSP

    b. To appeal against LA directions to admit pupil(s) (voluntary, foundation and special schools; also community and VC schools where LA is the admissions authority)

    TLS/HSP

    11. Premises & insurance

    a. Buildings insurance and personal liability

    FGB

    12. Health & safety

     

    a. To ensure a health and safety policy and procedures are in place.

    TLS/HSP

    b. To ensure that health and safety regulations are followed

    HT

    13. School organisation

    a. To publish proposals to change category of school

    FGB

    c. Propose to alter voluntary foundation or foundation special school

    FGB

    d. Propose to discontinue voluntary foundation or foundation special school

    FGB

    e. To set the times of school sessions and the dates of school terms and holidays (except in community, special and VC schools where this is the LA’s role)

    FGB

    f. To ensure that school lunch nutritional standards3 are met

    HT

    g. To establish a data protection policy and review it at least every two years.

    FAR

    h. Maintain a register of pupil attendance

    HT

    i. To ensure provision of free meals to those pupils meeting the criteria, including Universal Infant Free School Meals (if applicable).

    HT

    14. Information for parents

    a. To adopt and review the home-school agreement

    TLS/HSP

    b. To establish, publish and review a complaints procedure.

    FAR

    c. To establish and publish a Freedom of Information scheme and ensure the school complies with it.

    FAR

    15. GB procedures

    a. To draw up an instrument of government and any amendments thereafter

    FGB

    b. To appoint (and remove) the chair and vice-chair of a permanent or a temporary governing body

    FGB

    c. To appoint and dismiss the clerk to governors

    FGB

    d. To appoint and remove community or sponsor governors (if constituted under 2007 Regulations) or co-opted governors (if constituted under 2012 Regulations).

    FGB

    e. To appoint local authority governors if constituted under the 2012 Regulations

    FGB

    f. To order the setting up of a register of governors’ business interests & check that this is completed annually

    FGB

    g. To approve and set up a governors expenses scheme

    FAR

    h. To consider whether or not to exercise delegation of functions to individuals or committees.

    FGB

    i. To regulate the GB procedures (where not set out in law)

    FGB

    16. Federations

    a. To consider forming a federation or joining an existing federation

    FGB

    b. To consider requests from other schools to join the federation

    FGB

    c. To leave a federation

    FGB

    17. Inclusion and equality

    a. To establish and review a special educational needs (SEN) policy.

    FGB

    b. ‘Equality information and objectives statement’

     

    i. To establish and publish

    HT

    ii. To review every four years

    TLS/HSP

    c. To designate a ’responsible person’ for children with SEN (SENCO) in community, voluntary and foundation schools

    HT

    d. To designate a ’responsible person’ for looked after children in community, voluntary and foundation schools

    HT

    e. accessibility plan

    i. establish, review and update

    HT

    ii. review every three years

    TLS/HSP

    f. To establish and review annually a child protection policy and relevant procedures.

    FGB