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Sound governance is a pre-requisite for a Trust that is able to effectively ensure that everything it does is based around the concept of Children First.

We are a not-for-profit, limited by guarantee organisation that operates several individual nurseries and academies. The legal entity consists of Members and Trustees. Our Accounting officer is Christine Stansfield.  



Members are the ultimate "owners" of the Trust and have the overall control, with the ability to appoint some of the Trustees and the right to amend the Articles of Association (our written rules of operation that set out what we can and can't do).   

Further information on our Members can be found here.



Our Trustees are the 'directors' of the organisation and are responsible under Company Law for the operations of the Trust.  Their core functions are to set the strategic direction of the Trust, hold the CEO to account for performance and to ensure that the Trust adheres to the various legislations and regulations by which we are bound. They are also responsible for ensuring that the Trust demonstrates financial probity.

The Trustees set and use the Scheme of Delegation to empower those involved in the governance at the Trust to govern the day to day affairs of the individual organisations within the Trust.  This document is a powerful tool to ensure that every decision taken within the Trust is done so on the basis of our guiding principle of Children First. The Scheme of Delegation matrix uses a RASCI model to define the tasks and accountabilities for which individual governance bodies or  senior professionals are Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted or Informed.

You can view the Scheme of Delegation for January – July 2021 here.

Our Board of Trustees has three sub-committees, the Audit, Finance & Resources Committee, the Governance & Remuneration Committee and the Quality of Education Committee, whose terms of reference are reviewed annually. These documents can be found by clicking on the relevant link below:

Further information on our Trustees can be found here.



The Trust Board delegates some responsibilities to Scrutiny Panels, who operate under the steer of the Quality of Education Committee.

The purpose of Scrutiny Panellists who are each affiliated to one of the Trust’s schools is to report into the appropriate Scrutiny Panel on their learning and observations within their school, to ensure all schools are offering a robust education to all pupils, rooted in sharing best practice.

Principally, the role of Scrutiny Panels is:

  • to collect, check, and channel

Scrutinising policies, procedures and appraising work at grass roots in schools, channelling findings through the Quality of Education Committee

  • to challenge and critique

Act as a critical friend: look at curriculum intent, implementation and embedding, challenge practice and its relationship to outcomes

  • to compare and contrast work across the Trust

Evaluate consistency and creativity across the Trust, determine if information, curriculum planning and staff skills are shared to maximise benefit to children

  • to collaborate across the Trust

Affiliate with one school and investigate it; Panellists will work in partnership with their Panel to evaluate and develop trust-wide provision

  • To champion the Trust in the community

Act as the eyes and ears of the Trust in the local area; act as an ambassador, highlighting strengths and debugging myths