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Governance Charter

Section 7 - Local Governing Bodies (LGBs)

Terms of Reference

The role of a Local Governing Body is an important one.  It is to provide focused governance at a local level and it is the intention of The Trust that LGBs will have the highest level of autonomy appropriate to their Academy School.  The LGB monitors the Academy’s development plan and key performance indicators.  It acts as a critical friend to the Academy Head and Senior Leadership Team, offering challenge and support.

The LGB carries out its duties on behalf of the Board of Trustees in accordance with policies determined by the Trust Board.  The act of delegation from the Trust Board to LGBs is a delegation of powers and duties and not a delegation of responsibilities. The LGB will work closely with the Executive Leadership Team and will implement any advice or recommendations made. 

The Trust Board retains the right to review or remove any power or responsibility delegated to the LGB under this constitution and terms of reference, in particular, in circumstances where serious concerns in the running of the Academy School are identified, including where:

  • There are concerns about financial matters
  • There is insufficient progress being made against educational targets (including where intervention by the Secretary of State is being considered or carried out)
  • There has been a break down in the way in which the Academy School is being managed or governed or
  • The safety of pupils or staff is threatened, including a breakdown of discipline

Where necessary, the Trust Board will put in place, for an appropriate period of time, an intervention board, who will be responsible for addressing the areas of weakness.

Composition of LGBs

Each LGB comprises the following members (Local Governors):

  • Academy Head (ex officio)
  • 1 x staff member (elected)(Staff Local Governor)*
  • 2 x parents (elected)(Parent Local Governor)*
  • Up to 10 x community governors

Joining Academy Schools will retain their existing governance structure, but it would be the intention to move towards this structure over time.

*Where Academy Schools are grouped within a hub structure then the Academy Head will have an ex officio position and there will be 1 elected staff member from across the hub.  *Each Academy School within this structure will have one (1) elected parent governor position.

Employees of the Trust may sit on the LGB as long as they represent no more than 20% of the LGB membership (including elected staff members). The process of election for staff and parent governors is attached with sample documentation.

Local Authority Associated persons shall never be able to exercise more than 19.9% of the votes at a meeting within the tiers of Governance of the Trust.  A Local Authority Associated Person cannot be appointed to an LGB if that would mean that 20% or more of the total number of Local Governors were Local Authority Associated Persons.

Individuals holding a Local Authority Associated persons role will be identified as such on pecuniary interest declarations.

The term of office of all Local Governors will be four (4) years.  Subject to remaining eligible, any Local Governor may be reappointed or re-elected at the end of the term of office. Every person wishing to become a Local Governor must be eligible to do so as determined by the DfE eligibility criteria for Governors (see this criteria detailed within the policy area of www.consortiumacademy.co.uk) and carry out a criminal records check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Specific roles of the LGB will be determined by the LGB in order to effectively carry out their delegated responsibilities.

Local Governors are asked to:

  • Prepare for and make an active contribution at meetings of the LGB and relevant roles/committees as assigned
  • Fulfil the duties as delegated to the LGB through the Scheme of Delegation
  • Champion the Academy School in the local community
  • Familiarise themselves with the Academy School and Trust policies as appropriate
  • Visit the Academy School both during School hours (with prior arrangement) and for evening events to get to know the Academy and to be visible to the Academy Community
  • Attend training sessions for Local Governors as appropriate and convenient.

Stakeholder Voices

LGBs are expected to have regard to the voices of their various stakeholders (especially pupils, parents and staff) and to put in place arrangements to receive feedback and respond accordingly.  This includes through elected parent and staff local governors and more broadly.

Appointment of Local Governors

Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) are technically a sub committee of the Trust Board and are not a legal entity in their own right.  All Local Governors are appointed by the Trust Board. 

The process of appointment is detailed within Section Nine, which can be found here: 
https://consortiumacademy.co.uk/suffolk/primary/consortium-mat/site/pages/governance/governance/schemeofdelegation/section9-nominationelection

Chair
The chair is elected by the Local Governors.  The term of office of the Chair is for one (1) academic year, but the Chair is eligible for reappointment at the end of that term assuming that they remain eligible to be a Local Governor. 

The Trust Board will discuss and approve the appointment of the Chair of LGB at the Trust Board meeting following the election at LGB.

The Trust is entitled to remove the Chair from Office at any time although this would not necessarily affect the individual’s position as a Local Governor. The responsibilities of the Chair include:

  • Chair meetings of the LGB
  • Set the agenda for the meetings with the Academy Head and Vice Chair
  • Report to the Board of Trustees in writing following any LGB meeting if requested
  • Provide verbal summaries of LGB deliberations, if requested at meetings of the Trust Board.
  • Provide a direct link between the LGB and the Trust Board

In the event of a need to make genuinely urgent decisions between meetings, on matters falling within the remit of the LGB; the Chair of the LGB, (or Vice Chair in the absence of the Chair) in consultation with the Chair of Trustees, will take appropriate action on behalf of the LGB.  The decisions taken in these circumstances and the reasons for the urgency must be explained fully at the next meeting of the LGB and Trust Board meeting.

Vice-Chair
The vice chair is elected by the Local Governors.  The term of office of the vice-chair is one (1)year but is eligible for reappointment at the end of that term assuming they remain eligible to be a Local Governor.

The Trust Board will discuss and approve the appointment of the Chair of LGB at the Trust Board meeting following the election at LGB.

The Trust Board is entitled to remove the Vice-Chair from office at any time, although this would not necessarily affect the individual’s position as a Local Governor. The responsibilities of the Vice Chair include:

  • To deputise for the Chair during a period of absence
  • To set agenda for meetings of the LGB with the Chair, if requested
  • To provide a link between the LGB and Board of Trustees.

In the absence of both the Chair and the Vice Chair at a meeting, the LGB will elect a temporary Chair from amongst those Local Governors present.

Staff Local Governor

The Staff Local Governor will be elected by the staff body of the Academy School or Schools (in the case of a hub structure).  All staff who are paid to work at the school are eligible as Staff Local Governors.  The Academy Head is automatically an ex-officio member of the LGB.  Staff Local Governors cease to be a member of the LGB if they leave the employ of the Academy School. 

If moving to another Academy School within The Consortium Multi-Academy Trust, they then become eligible for election to that specific Academy School LGB as a Staff Local Governor.

The responsibility of the Staff Local Governor is to be representative of Staff views and is not a delegate of the Staff Body (other staff cannot instruct them on how to vote or what to say at LGB meetings).

The nomination and election process is detailed within Section Nine and includes sample documentation

Staff appointments to the LGB are subject to approval at Trust Board in the same way that all Local Governors are approved.

Parent Local Governor

Parent Local Governors are elected by parents/carers of currently registered pupils at an Academy School.  They do not have to stand down if their child leaves the school during their term of office, but may do so if they wish.  If insufficient parents stand for election, the LGB can appoint Parent Local Governors.  A parent is not eligible to be a Parent Local Governor if they are an employee of the Academy School or of The Consortium Multi-Academy Trust. 

The responsibility of the Parent Local Governor is to be representative of Parent views and is not a delegate of the Parent Body (other parents cannot instruct them on how to vote or what to say at LGB meetings).

The nomination and election process is detailed within Section Nine and includes sample documentation. Parent appointments to the LGB are subject to approval at Trust Board in the same way that all Local Governors are approved.

Community/Co-opted Local Governors

The Trustees of The Consortium Multi-Academy Trust are keen that the LGBs are representative of the communities in which they operate.  It is for the LGB to decide who is best placed to carry out their delegated duties and therefore appoint members of the community to support them.

Employees of the Academy School are eligible to be appointed as Community/Co-opted Local Governors as long as they represent no more than 20% of the LGB membership (including elected staff members). 

Parents of children at the School are eligible to be appointed as Community/Co-opted Governors and their appointment is not conditional on their child remaining a pupil at the Academy School.

The nomination and decision making process for community/co-opted governors is detailed within Section Nine and includes sample documentation

Community/Co-opted appointments to the LGB are subject to approval at Trust Board in the same way that all Local Governors are approved.

Responsibilities

Each LGB will appoint Local Governors with the following specific responsibilities:

  • Attainment including Special Educational Needs, Looked After Children and Gifted and talented and pupil premium.
  • Health and Safety/Premises
  • Safeguarding
  • Wellbeing
  • Compliance
  • Finance

They may wish to consider appointing Local Governors to other specific roles as required by the Academy School and the skill sets available.

Clerking

The LGB will appoint an appropriately qualified Clerk to the LGB and committees (if required).  The responsibility of the clerk is to:

  • Convene meetings of the LGB/Committees including sending notices and papers of the meetings;
  • Attend meetings of the LGB/Committees and ensure minutes are produced;
  • Maintain a register of members of the LGB including their terms of office and report any vacancies to the LGB;
  • Report to the LGB as required on the discharge of their duties as Clerk;
  • Perform other such duties and functions as determined by the LGB from time to time;

Minutes of LGB meetings and committees will be held by the Academy School and, with the exception of confidential items which are to be minuted separately and filed by the Academy Head, will be publicly available on request.

All minutes will be submitted to the Trust Board as evidence of the discharge of their duties under the Scheme of Delegation.

Ceasing to be a Local Governor

A Local Governor is appointed/elected for a four year term of office.  A Local Governor’s term of office will be terminated if:

  • Any event of circumstance occurs which would disqualify them from holding the position of Local Governor;
  • Without the consent of the LGB, has failed to attend LGB meetings for a continuous period of 6 (six) months beginning with the date of the first such meeting failed to attend, and the Chair and Vice Chair agree that the term of office should be terminated.  (Approval of this action would be sought from the Chair of Trustees prior to termination);
  • He or she resigns from office by notice to the Chair of the Trust Board;
  • He or she is removed from office by the Trust Board;

Convening Meetings of the LGB

Meetings of the LGB will be held at least termly. The Clerk to the LGB will give written notice of each meeting and circulate an agenda and any reports or other papers to be considered at the meeting, at least 7 clear days in advance of the meeting.  In exceptional circumstances where urgent consideration is required, the Chair may determine a shorter time period, stating clearly the reason for urgency.

Any two (2) Local Governors may call a meeting by giving written notice to the clerk which includes a summary of the business they wish to carry out. The Local Governors may invite people who are not Local Governors to attend the whole of part of any meeting for purposes connected with the meeting.  Invitees will not be eligible to vote on any items on the agenda but must declare any pecuniary interests when asked at the meeting.

The convening of a meeting and proceedings conducted at meetings shall not be invalidated by reason of an individual not having received written notice or a copy of the agenda.

Voting at a meeting of the LGB

The quorum for meetings of the LGB and for any vote on a matter at such meetings is one half of the total number of Local Governors in office at that time (rounded to the nearest whole number).

A meeting will be terminated if the number of Local Governors present ceases to be quorate.  Where a meeting is terminated or not held then the Clerk will reconvene a meeting within 7 days of the original meeting in order to discuss any outstanding agenda items or hold the full meeting accordingly.

Any Local Governors shall be able to participate in, and be counted as present for the purposes of quorum (regardless of committee membership) meetings by telephone of video conferencing or other technological solutions, providing that:

  • Notice of the intention has been detailed at least 48 hours in advance
  • The LGB has access to the appropriate equipment
  • That, if, after reasonable efforts, it does not prove possible for the Local Governor to participate, the meeting proceeds with business providing it is quorate to do so.

Every question to be decided upon at a meeting shall be determined by a majority of the votes of Local Governors present and voting on the question.  Votes tendered by proxy will not be allowed. Where there is equal division of votes, the Chair has the casting vote.

Personal Interests of Local Governors

Local Governors will complete a register of their personal and business interests which will be reviewed at least annually.  Any Local Governor who has any duty of personal interest that conflicts or may conflict with this or her duties as a Local Governor will:

  • Disclose the fact to the LGB as soon as he or she becomes aware of it.  A Local Governor must absent themselves from any discussions of the LGB in which it is possible that a conflict may arise between his or her duty to act solely in the interests of the Academy and such duty or personal interest.
  • Withdraw from any meeting for that item unless expressly invited to remain in order to provide information
  • Not be counted in the quorum for that part of any meeting and
  • Withdraw during the vote and have no vote on that matter

Committees

The LGB may establish committees to carry out certain functions of the LGB.  The LGB must determine the constitution, membership and terms of reference of any committee it decides to establish and review them annually.

The establishment of any new committees other than temporary, ad hoc committees required to deal with specific issues must be agreed in advance with the Chair of Trustees.

Minutes

Attendance at each LGB, issues discussed and recommendations for decisions shall be recorded and the minutes signed by the Chair at the next LGB meeting.  The written record, once approved by the Chair, will be forwarded by the Clerk of the LGB to the Clerk of the Trust Board as soon as it is reasonably practicable.

Delegation to the LGB

The LGB has specific delegation, as detailed in this document.  The LGB agrees to this delegation.  This constitution and terms of reference may be altered by a majority resolution of the Trust Board.

The Trust Board and the LGB acknowledge that they each play a crucial role in the governance of the Academy and commit to working together in the best interest of the Trust and Academy School. 

They also acknowledge that the duties and responsibilities in relation to the operation of the Trust sit with the Trust Board and as such the Trust Board is entitled to:

  • Over rule a decision of the LGB and/or
  • Remove delegated powers from an LGB if, in their reasonable opinion, they consider it to be in the best interests of the Academy School or the wider Trust.

SUGGESTED LOCAL GOVERNING BODY STRUCTURE

Please refer to the Trust Scheme of Delegation (SoD) for detail on lines of responsibility and accountability.  The Trust suggests the following structure for a local governing body; however, it is for the individual LGB to agree on its structure that suits their needs and the needs of the school.

The Local Governing Body is technically a sub-committee of the Trust Body and is therefore directly accountable to the Trust Board and is appointed by the Trust Board.

There is no obligation for an LGB to adopt this structure.  They have the ability to structure themselves in the way best suited to ensuring the discharge of their duties as detailed within the Scheme of Delegation.

Chair of the LGB

The Local Governing Body comprising of:

  1. The Academy Head(s) ex-offio;
  2. One elected parent per school if in a hub structure.

Two elected parents if a stand-alone Academy school;

  1. One elected staff;
  2. Up to ten community/co-opted members

Standards and Excellence Committee

With named governors for:

  1. Attainment
  2. Safeguarding
  3. Wellbeing

Finance and Resources Committee

With named governors for:

  1. Finance;
  2. Health and Safety/Premises
  3. Compliance

The LGB may, if they wish, operate two committees that mirror the structure of the Trust Board; or may wish to run a ‘named portfolio governor’ structure and meet more frequently as an LGB.

It is not advisable for the Staff Governor to hold any position on the Standards and Excellence Committee nor the Finance position.

Vice-Chair of the LGB

 

Where together excellence and pupils thrive

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