Governance

Scheme of Delegation 

We have developed a large number of successful school leaders from within our organisation and blended the existing talented leadership in schools which have joined our family. School leaders are supported to lead confidently and to use the experience and resource of the Trust to help their school move forward.

We have an experienced group of non-executive directors who hold the executive to account through a process of robust challenge and support. Non-executive directors have a variety of professional backgrounds and use this experience to ensure that we are a reflective, self-aware and agile organisation.

The Governance Structure is set out in the following diagram:

Swale Academies Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity. Responsibility for the academies that make up the Trust and for the funds granted by Parliament for providing education in those academies is entrusted to the Board of Trustees. These Trustees are also Directors of the company. Further details about the Members of the Company and the Board of Trustees can be found here.

Chairman of the Board, Mr Paul Goodson

The Trust's Board, of which Paul is Chairman, is responsible for the governance of the Trust, for setting its strategy and objectives and for holding the executive team to account for the performance of the Trust and its schools.

Paul is an Oxford law graduate who worked in fund management for over twenty years before becoming Chairman of a logistics company which he sold in 2016.  He is currently a non-executive director of Electra plc.

Earned Autonomy

The Trust believes that the best outcomes will be achieved when each school’s Local Governing Body/Governor Challenge Committee receives a level of responsibility and autonomy appropriate to its specific circumstances.

As a Trust we pursue the principle of intelligent accountability by providing ‘intervention in inverse proportion towards success’. Thus, where the school is in an Ofsted category, there will be close supervision of the school by Swale Academies Trust through the Trust Principal. Where a school has shown the ability to move confidently and assuredly in terms of performance and overall standards there is a much greater emphasis on providing a soft touch approach that allows the individual leadership of the school to creatively move forward and innovate in a way that will further the overall provision and capacity of the Trust. This is very much in keeping with the current Ofsted framework and is driven by the principle that in order to take a school out of trouble, it is necessary to tighten up all areas of consistency, in contrast, to allow a school to become outstanding one has to let go a little more to allow innovation and excellence to flourish.

Where a school is Good or Outstanding and financially sound without any serious areas of concern, minimal day-to-day intervention by Swale Academies Trust is needed and the Local Governing Body/Governor Challenge Committee will operate with maximum autonomy. However, where the school is Good or Outstanding, the school will make a sizeable net contribution to the Trust in terms of leadership capacity and the sharing and development of good practice. It is essential that all Trust schools play an active role in the development of the Trust in a collegiate and supportive manner.

Governors have an accurate view of the school's strengths and weaknesses. They work well with the school's proposed sponsors, Swale Academies Trust, who provide very strong support to the school.

The Whitstable School, Ofsted report March 2018