Governance in LAAT Schools

Effective governance is a key element to a successful school, and Local Boards provide a vital connection to the community and to the Board of Trustees. With this in mind, LAAT is committed to promoting and supporting the development of effective Local Boards within the Trust. Through the Scheme of Delegation, each Local Board is empowered to make decisions in the best interests of the children and community it serves. For a full breakdown of the powers and responsibilities delegated to Local Boards, please see the Local Board Decision Table, Appendix 3 of the Scheme of Delegation (page 27).

The Scheme of Delegation sets out, in detail the Governance structure, appointment process and delegated powers and responsibilities of Local Boards. A summary of key governance information is provided below, and the full Scheme of Delegation can be found here.

Local Board Structure

LAAT have a recommended structure for Local Boards, although this can be flexible to meet the needs of the individual school. The recommended structure is as follows:

Church Schools

x Staff – Headteacher – Ex Officio

2 x Parent Members – Local Board Appointed – 4 Year Term of Office

3 x LAAT Appointed – 4 Year Term of Office
x LAAT Foundation Appointed – 4 Year Term of Office
x Community – Local Board Nominated – 4 Year Term of Office

Community Schools

x Staff – Headteacher – Ex Officio
x Parent Members – Local Board Appointed – 4 Year Term of Office

5 x LAAT Appointed – 4 Year Term of Office

1 x Community – Local Board Nominated – 4 Year Term of Office

The Chair of each Local Board will be appointed annually by LAAT.

Up to 2 co-optees may be appointed following a unanimous request from the Local Board being approved by LAAT for specific, time limited projects. Co-optees’ voting rights will be limited to the specific projects for which they are appointed, subject to LAAT approval.

Directors or their representatives have the right to attend and vote at all meetings of the Local Board and will attend where any academy is deemed at risk.

Expectations

The Local Board has the following core strategic functions:

  • Supporting the strategic direction of LAAT and its objectives, targets and policies
  • Reviewing progress against the budget, plans and targets
  • Acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Headteacher by providing support and challenge
  • Carry out effectively the roles and responsibilities as set out in the Scheme of Delegation
  • LAAT is a Trust with high expectations and aspirations for all pupils within its care. It is expected that Local Board Members will uphold and actively promote the ethos, aims and values of LAAT and those of the individual schools in which they serve.

LAAT expects Local Boards to:

  • respect the professional expertise of the Headteacher and staff
  • work openly in partnership with the Headteacher and staff for the benefit of the school and its pupils
  • demonstrate its commitment, collectively and individually
  • act and take decisions that are in the best interests of the school and not those of self, individuals or groups
  • support the school with parents and in the community
  • recognise the need for both governor induction and ongoing training and development
  • be reflective of their own work by completing annual self-evaluations and identifying any training needs, skills gaps, areas of strength and those requiring further development

The expectation of individual Local Board Members is that they will:

  • enhance the work of the Local Board to enable a strong focus on raising standards, so that every child achieves their potential
  • demonstrate their commitment by getting to know the school and becoming involved in school life and activities
  • take personal responsibility for their ongoing training and development
  • prepare for meetings so they are well informed, having at minimum read all of the papers sent out with the agenda
  • attend meetings (Local Board/committees/working group) and play an active part
  • support the school with parents and in the community
  • respect confidentiality and the need to act with circumspection
  • adhere to and uphold the LAAT Local Board Code of Conduct

Appointments to the Local Board

LAAT wishes to work in partnership with local school communities who have the knowledge of the local community and the needs of their school. LAAT therefore invites members of the school community to apply for a position on the Local Board.

The Headteacher of the school is automatically appointed to the Local Board as an Ex Officio member, with full voting rights.

Parents of registered pupils at the relevant school may apply to the Local Board for selection as a Parent Member, when a vacancy arises. Parent Members will cease to hold office if they no longer have children at the school, unless consent is received from LAAT for their continuation.

LAAT Appointed Members are appointed directly by the LAAT Board. This is done in consultation with the local parish in the case of schools of religious character.

Local Boards may nominate up to two persons to be ‘Co-opted’ to the Local Board to give additional assistance to the Local Board on specific projects or more generally but for a limited period of time. The co-optees may be appointed by LAAT following unanimous request from the Local Board. A person to be ‘Co-opted’ to a Local Board means a person who is to serve on the Local Board without having been appointed or elected to serve on the Local Board. Such persons are appointed on terms approved by LAAT and voting powers of co-optees shall be limited to those projects.

Staff members may be co-opted onto the Local Board, as long as the total number of staff members on the Local Board at any time does not exceed one third of the total number of Local Board members (including the Headteacher).

All Local Board Members will be appointed with a four-year Term of Office, with the exception of:

The Headteacher, who is an Ex Officio member of the Local Board
Co-opted members, who will have a Term of Office for one year, unless otherwise specified by LAAT.
Subject to remaining eligible, any person may be re-appointed or re-elected to the Local Board, following approval by LAAT.

All prospective Local Board Members must complete the LAAT Skills Audit and Application Form, as well as providing two confidential references to endorse the application (details in application form). Appointments to the Local Board are also subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, which will be carried out by the school at the time of appointment.

Local Board Members may resign from their position at any time by giving notice in writing to the Local Board or to LAAT. However, resignations will not be accepted if the number of persons on the Local Board will then be fewer than five. Staff members will be deemed to have resigned from the Local Board, should they cease to work at the relevant school.

All applications to serve on the Local Board should be sent (via post or email) to the LAAT Governance Officer.