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Terms of Reference

Role

The role of the Academy Committee is important in providing focused governance for each individual academy at a local level.  It monitors the academy's key performance indicators and acts as a critical friend to the Head of School and the senior leadership team, providing support and challenge as appropriate.

Academy Committees carry out their functions in relation to their respective academy on behalf of the Trust Board.  The Trust Scheme of Delegation sets out clearly the delegation of powers, duties and responsibilities.  The Trust Board has ultimate responsibility and accountability and retains the right to overrule a decision of the Academy Committee and/or to remove delegated powers should they consider it to be in the best interest of the academy or the wider Thomas Deacon Education Trust.

Membership

Membership of the Academy Committee is to be made up of

  • Headteacher
  • Parent
  • Other suitable skilled individuals meeting the criteria for appointment.

Each Academy Committee should comprise of at least five Committee Members -requiring a minimum of three (or 50% + 1 whichever is the larger) to be a quorate for any meeting.  The term of the office does not apply to the Headteacher.  Subject to remaining eligible, any Committee Member may be reappointed or re-elected.  Parent members are elected.  

Parent Committee Members are only eligible to stand for election on an Academy Committee which oversees a setting where they have a child currently attending.  Parents can apply to be a Committee Member in a non-parent position and will be selected as per the application and selection process (skills audit).  All Academy Committee Members will be subject to enhanced DBS checks and required to declare pecuniary interests and agree to the code of conduct form via the Trust Governance procedures.  appointment of all Committee Members shall be approved by the Academy Committee.  The Chair is appointed by the Academy Committee and approved by the TDET Board.

An Academy Member's term of office may be terminated if:

  • Any event or circumstance occurs which would disqualify them from office.
  • They fail to attend three consecutive meetings.
  • They are deemed to have acted inappropriately or adversely affected the reputation or smooth running of the academy or wider trust. 

Expectations

Academy Committee Members are expected to:

  • Promote the ethos, values and aims of the Trust and the academy at all times, particularly within the local community.
  • Adhere to the governance code of conduct.
  • Attend all meetings having read and considered documents circulated in advance of the meeting.
  • Carry out pre-arranged visits to the academy during the school day at least three times over the year and report back in meetings.
  • Take a wide strategic view of the academy rather than day to day operations.  
  • Provide a positive role model to pupils, staff, and parents within the wider community.
  • Familiarise themselves with the Trust/academy's policies.
  • Attend training sessions for academy Committees as appropriate in order to demonstrate their commitment to developing their own knowledge and skills.

Chair of Academy Committee Responsibilities

  • Chair the meeting.
  • Set the agenda in consultation with the Headteacher, after first taking account of the requirements of the Trust Board's Annual Governance Calendar of Agenda items.
  • Determine whether the Academy Committee has the required quorum where a vote needs to be taken.  If such a vote results in an equal division of votes, the Chair has a casting vote.
  • Report back to the Trust Board as required.
  • Ensure all members of the Academy Committee carry out their duties appropriately.
  • Meet half termly with the Director of Governance to ensure two way communication between the Trust Board and the Academy Committee.
  • Meet regularly with the Headteacher.
  • Liaise with the Headteacher and/or Senior Leadership Team to keep up to date with academy developments and action plans.
  • Liaise with the Clerk to the Academy Committee and the Clerk to the Trust Board as appropriate.
  • Convene additional meetings of the Academy Committee as and when required.

The Clerk to the Academy Committee Responsibilities

  • Convene meetings of the Academy Committee in line with the requirements of the Trust Board's Annual Governance Calendar of Agenda items and circulate all necessary papers.
  • At the beginning of each meeting, ascertain the existence of any conflicts of interest and minute them accordingly.
  • Take minutes and distribute to all members of the Academy Committee, Director of Governance and the Clerk to the Trust Board within seven working days.
  • Record actions and circulate these and any associated paperwork.
  • Maintain a register of attendance at Academy Committee meetings
  • Ensure that appropriate checks have been carried out for all Academy Committee members.
  • Perform such other functions as required and determined by the Academy Committee and/or Trust Board.

Key Functions of the Academy Committee

The four main areas of responsibility:

  • The quality of education - including the delivery of the curriculum and the monitoring of educational performance in all area.
  • The effective local management of finances and resources including Health and Safety.
  • The effective local management of finances and resources including Health and Safety.
  • The effective safeguarding of all pupils and staff and the effectiveness of SEND provision.
  • Ensuring Trust and Academy policy is implemented.

More specifically the Academy Committee should:

  • Promote the vision and values of the Thomas Deacon Education Trust and their academy or setting.
  • Determine the educational character, vision and ethos of the academy to reflect the wider vision and ethos of the Trust.
  • Ensure the academy has a medium to long term view for it's future and a robust strategy for achieving it.
  • Review, amend and ratify academy policies.
  • Ensure effective communication between parents, pupils and staff.
  • Establish strong community relationships.
  • Hear complaints in line with trust policy.
  • Oversee arrangements for individual Academy Committee members to take a leading role and report regularly on specific areas of provision as identified in the academy development plan. 

Curriculum and Standards

  • Monitor standards and other matters relating to the academy's curriculum in the Early Years and all other Key Stages, including statutory requirements and the academy's Curriculum Policy.
  • Monitor the progress and attainment targets for the academy by the Headteacher for all Key Stages and the monitoring of this performance data.
  • Monitor the academy development plan.
  • Effectively review the academy self-evaluation form, ensuring that identified priorities inform the academy development plan.
  • Ensure that identified priorities are followed up and measured for impact.
  • Monitor and report to the Trust Board any curricular issues which have implications for finance and personnel decisions.
  • Review attendance and pupil absence against set targets.
  • Monitor the impact of Pupil Premium and Sports Premium spend on pupil outcomes.
  • Ensure the Trust SEND policy is implemented in compliance with the statutory framework.
  • Review special needs provision on a termly basis-ensuring needs for all learners are met.

Safeguarding and SEND

  • Appoint a designated governor for safeguarding, SEND and looked after children.
  • Monitor child protection and safeguarding procedures including the annual statement.
  • Ensure the Trust's safeguarding and child protection policy is adhered to fully by all staff.
  • Ensure completion of the single central record.
  • Ensure publication of the SEND local offer and SEND report on the Academy website.

Behaviour

  • Develop, review and maintain the behaviour policy.
  • Convene a committee to review any permanent exclusions made by the Headteacher.

Admissions

  • Undertake consultation, publish admissions and determine arrangements as required in accordance with the Schools' Admissions and Appeals Codes.

Finance

  • Monitor income and expenditure of the academy.
  • Support the Trust Board in its monitorring and evaluation of services.

Staffing

Ensure the Trust's HR policies are implemented and that the academy carry out their duties in line with these policies and processes.

Health and Safety

  • Review and risk register for the academy.
  • Ensure the effective implementation of the Trust's Health and Safety Policy.

Data Protection

  • Establish and maintain a positive data protection culture for the Academy/Setting.
  • Adopt the Data Protection policy approved by the Trust Board.
  • Work with the Trust Board to review and act upon data protection and compliance reports with the Data Protection Officer.