GovernanceRecord of attendance and declarations of interest
As trustees, we acknowledge we have overall responsibility for ensuring that The Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust has an effective and appropriate system of control, financial and otherwise. However, such a system is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve business objectives and can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss.
The board of trustees has delegated the day-to-day responsibility to the Chief Executive Officer, as Accounting Officer, for ensuring financial controls conform with the requirements of both propriety and good financial management and in accordance with the requirements and responsibilities assigned to it in the funding agreement between The Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. They are also responsible for reporting to the board of trustees any material weaknesses or breakdowns in internal control. The Trust’s Accounting Officer is Richard Cranmer (CEO). He has no pecuniary or personal interests.
A timeline of meetings is published for the year (Appendix 1). The Board has established two committees to carry out its functions. These have agreed terms of reference. Since the MAT was established in March 2018 the Board and its subcommittees have met to focus on how to ensure the MAT impacts positively on school improvement as schools join the Trust. The Standards and Performance Committee focuses on this aspect of work with the termly Academy Review Meeting at each academy being a crucial element of Trustees involvement in monitoring progress. The Finance, Audit and Resources Committee ensures that sound financial management is in place and there is compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook. This includes ensuring value for money in the Trust’s activities.
A Risk Management policy and Risk Register is in place. Risks are allocated to the appropriate committee for monitoring via standing agenda item at each meeting.
The Trust is committed to engagement with local school communities and ensures each academy has a Local Governing Body (LGB) working to a Scheme of Delegation. Where local governance has proved to be weak a Transition Board is established consisting of, usually three, experienced educationalists / governors. Their Terms of Reference focuses on rapid school improvement and then building a new LGB to take over from them in 12 – 18 months.
Appendix 2 shows diagrammatically how the committee structure has been established and how lines of reporting and accountability work.