Trust Structure & Governance
St Benet’s MAT is a Multi Academy Trust and therefore the responsibility for governance rests with the Members and the Trust Board. The Members are responsible for appointing Trustees and they hold the Trust Board to account for the effective governance of the Trust. The Trustees have a broad range of skills and experience from both the education and business worlds.
The board has three sub-committees whose role is to scrutinise the work of the Trust and hold St Benet’s MAT officers to account in accordance with the Articles of Association and Scheme of Delegation:
- Finance, Audit and Risk Committee
- Standards and Performance Committee
- Human Resources Committee
All sub-committees report back to Trustees at each Board Meeting.
In addition, two St Benet’s Trustees represent the Trust on the Joint Policy Development Committee which develops and reviews policies for St Benet’s MAT, DNEAT (Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust) and DoNESC (Diocese of Norwich Education Services Company).
An Academy Review Meeting (ARM) is held three times per year and a Finance and Operations Review Meeting (FORM) twice per year with each headteacher and their Chair of Governors. These meetings are held at the academy and are led by the DCEO. A Trustee is assigned to each academy, and they will also attend the ARM and FORM. The purpose of this meeting is to review the progress the academy has made since the last meeting, consider aids and barriers to further improvement, agree and overall assessment of the academy, discuss the effectiveness of the Local Governance Committee (LGC) and review Scheme of Delegation responsibilities. These meetings are formally minuted and the minutes are made available to the Headteacher, Chair and the Standards and Performance Committee or Finance, Audit and Risk Committee to assist in the flow of information between Trust Board and LGC.
Local governance at academy level is conducted via a Local Governance Committee (LGC) which comprises Trust Appointed Governors, Parent Governors, a Staff Governor and the Headteacher. Responsibilities from the Trust Board are delegated via a Scheme of Delegation which is reviewed on an annual basis. An outcome of the termly Academy Review Meeting and Finance and Operations Review Meeting will inform the level of delegation. The LGC is expected to meet in full on a half-termly basis. The Chairs of Governors meet on a regular basis with the Trust via the Academy Review Meetings and the Chairs and Heads Forum.
The Trust provides guidance and support to the LGCs through the provision of draft agendas, supporting documents, quality assurance visits and in-house training for governors and clerks. In addition, as part of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to ensure that governance is well informed at all levels, access to the Modern Governor online training facility is provided to all Trustees, Local Governors and Clerks.
The Deputy CEO (DCEO) provides support and challenge to the headteachers in the academies. This is carried out via a regular schedule of visits to the academies. The DCEO also facilitates meetings of the Academies Improvement Leadership Group which allows for collaborative working across the MAT.
Board and Local Governance Committee Diversity
Our trustees and governors are volunteers and providing diversity information is also voluntary at the point of application. In April 2023 our governing community (Trust Board and Local Governance Committees) had provided the following information.
31 – 45 : 45 %
46 – 60 : 29%
61 and over : 16%
Female : 56%
Male : 43%
Religion or Belief
Christian : 58%
Other faiths : 6%
No religion or belief : 19.5%
Prefer not to say : 17%
We also collect data on ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation but have chosen not to publish data in these areas at present.
The Trust’s Accounting Officer is Richard Cranmer (CEO).
Declared interest: Richard Cranmer is a Director for the Diocese of Norwich Education Services Company (DoNESC) and a Trustee of Unity Education Trust.