The Redstart Learning Partnership Governance Review
After the recent storms Ciara and Dennis and what has seemed an endlessly murky and wet winter, it’s a real treat to look out of the office window and see catkins blowing in the wind, the tree outlined against a pale blue sky. Better still, the nursery children have been out in the garden below the tree with Mr Burr, hunting for earthworms and hedgehogs. Ofsted doesn’t stop them enjoying this glimpse of spring and it’s so great for all of us to be reminded of what TRLP is all about – helping children to have a wonderful experience of learning that they can take with them throughout their life.
Ensuring that we all remain true to the vision and values of the Trust is the responsibility of everyone who works with us but it is the Trustees and those who help govern the schools who are tasked with setting that vision and those values. It is a particular challenge in the education system that volunteers are asked to step forward and shoulder this responsibility.
Establishing a system of governance that combines the elements of inspiration, leadership and compliance across such a complex organisation is a challenge with which MATs across the country have been grappling.
TRLP Trustees have been reviewing, revising and consulting on the Trust’s governance structure since the end of the last academic year, seeking a way to find the perfect formula for a Trust that includes nine schools in widely different environments and contexts.
The model has now been refined, with two main committees undertaking the key strategic functions demanded by the DfE, Charity Commission and Companies House, to whom the Board of Trustees are answerable. The Business and Audit Committee and the Education Committee are being strengthened and expanded with clear action plans and targets.
We know that each of our schools is at the heart of the community that it serves. Key to success is the relationship of the school with the parents and members of that community and so it is appropriate that they should be invited to be part of new Teaching and Learning Committees that will support each school, looking at evidence of how the school is progressing and reporting up to the Trust’s Education Committee. Even this will be flexible, where the needs of small schools or vulnerable communities call for a different model and, of course, taking note of the distinctive nature of our Church of England schools.
Please look out for information from your school in the coming weeks on how you could be part of the team.
By Tess Gale, Director of Operations