The governance of a multi-academy trust differs from those of maintained schools. The White Horse Federation (TWHF) believes that placing statutory responsibilities firmly at its centre, in the remit of the board of trustees, allows the local governing body (LGB) to focus on providing support, overcoming challenges in the delivery of educational excellence, and achieving outstanding outcomes for all pupils.
There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the LGB chair and central services. The clerk to the board of trustees will hold contact details for all local governors of schools within TWHF. However, routine communication for day-to-day school business should be via the chair of that LGB, managed by the school or through an LGB clerk.
The principal and the chair of the LGB are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all materials needed to keep the local governors well-informed about the school and TWHF. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the LGB are effectively communicated to the board of trustees. Trustees reserve the right to attend any LGB meeting.
The White Horse Federation has a very clear and shared understanding of what constitutes good and effective local governance. Schools within TWHF will be judged to have outstanding local governance when the LGB:
- Talks about teaching and learning.
- Knows a great deal about the school and its community.
- Is ambitious for the school and its community.
- Asks questions which make colleagues reflect, and that these discussions lead to delivering the very best outcomes for every child and adult within the school community.
- Maintains strong and effective relationships within TWHF.
In order for the shared model of governance to be effective for TWHF and the schools, it is essential that there is effective communication between the board of trustees, the LGBs, chairs groups, principals, the central team, and the executive leadership team.