Tapton School Academy Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), a charitable company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity.
The Memorandum and Articles of Association are the primary governing documents.
Our key layers of governance are detailed below.
The Scheme of Delegation sets out the accountabilities and responsibilities for each level of governance.
Members oversee the Trust by:
1. Holding Trustees to account for effective governance
2. Ensuring that the Trust is fulfilling its purpose and charitable objectives.
Members meet three times a year. They are not involved in the practical running of the Trust.
Members appoint Trustees and can amend the Articles of Association.
Meet the Members
Elizabeth Smart - Chair of Members
Liz is an experienced Head of Law School with a demonstrated history of working at institutional level in the higher education industry and legal professional education.
Liz is a TEF Business and Law Panel Member and Institutional Lead for Sheffield Hallam University, a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Liz is skilled in public speaking, leadership, team leadership and quality assurance. She is a strong legal professional with an Executive MBA focussed in Law; National Police Consultant and Assessor.
Caroline was a founder member of the Tapton School Academy Trust when it converted in 2012. Caroline is the Trust chair.
James joined the Trust as a Member in 2017. He has been involved with the Trust for a number of years prior to this appointment, including being a past governor of Tapton School.
Stephen joined the Trust as a Member in 2020.
Board of Directors (Trustees)
Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction, governance, financial and educational performance of the Trust, and directing how it is managed and run. They determine the mission, vision and MAT improvement strategy.
Trustees ensure that the Trust complies with all legal and statutory requirements, and hold the Executive Team to account.
Meet the Trustees
Caroline Bagley - Chair
Caroline Bagley is Chair of Tapton School Academy Trust. Caroline is a retired secondary school teacher who is passionate about changing the life chances and dreams of young people.
In her spare time, Caroline is a puppy walker for Guide Dogs. She is also a speaker for the organisation.
Tom Ashford - Chair of Risk & Governance Committee
Tom has over 15 years' experience of IT in the Financial Services sector, occupying both technical and leadership positions. Tom holds numerous professional IT qualifications and certifications, and is a graduate in Computer Science from the University of Sheffield.
Outside work, he is passionate about improving outcomes for young people. Tom works with Sheffield City Council as an Independent Visitor for young people in care, and also with Teach First providing voluntary, professional coaching to support new teachers.
Sarah Draper - Chair of Learner Experience Committee
Sarah joined the Trust Board in 2019, and was previously Local Governing Body Chair at Chaucer School.
Born and brought up in Birmingham, Sarah entered teaching in 1978, progressing to Headship in 1997. After 10 years as Headteacher in a North East Sheffield school, Sarah spent 6 years working in the Local Authority's Children and Young People's Service, ultimately as Assistant Director for Inclusion and Special Educational Needs.
Now 'retired' Sarah spends her time looking after grandchildren, horse riding, gardening at home and on an allotment and as a volunteer for Riding for the Disabled.
Colin Beardmore - Interim Chair of Finance & Resources Committee
Colin is an Independent Business Consultant but previously held positions in American Express. He is experienced in business change and transformation, and has operational experience of working at Board level and also in contract negotiations and business growth.
Colin has worked in the financial services (SVP), retail and business development in consultancy for over 30 years and is currently the Managing Director of Albert Chantry Consultants. He brings expertise in IT services, business risk management, financial regulatory standards, board level governance and business strategy/planning.
Born in Staffordshire in the 50's, Colin has lived in Boston MA USA, Winchester Hampshire and currently lives with his family in Newcastle Staffs. Married with three children he has interests in Football (Stoke City corporate member), hiking, tennis and reading.
David works as a Senior Educational Psychologist in Derbyshire. Previously he has worked in teaching in special and mainstream schools. He is on the National Committee of the Educational Psychologists Body. He is also an experienced governor.
Derren is an experienced executive across a number of business areas. Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has advised, led and helped reshape businesses to achieve their potential.
Latterly, he moved to Abu Dhabi to lead HSBCs business in the Emirate, before subsequently moving to a local UAE bank. He undertook the role of Chief Operating Office in their wholesale banking division, helping redefine the business strategy and operations, leading its digital and operational improvement and customer service programmes, as well as leading the banks simultaneous merger with two other local banks.
Derren recently relocated back to Sheffield with his wife and two children.
Duncan has over 15 years of experience as a finance professional across a range of sectors but with particular focus on those driven by technology, data, analytics and direct to consumer business models. He has experience of refinancing large PLCs, restructuring businesses and working closely with regulators to achieve improved outcomes for consumers, both as a CFO and as a consultant. He currently works as a Finance Director for a Telecommunications business.
He is married with two young boys and outside of work is passionate about music and sport.
Jane Acklam OBE
Jane is the CEO of South Penine Academies. She has considerable experience as a highly successful Headteacher and Principal. Jane has led a range of sponsored academies to improve and opened two free schools. She has been a National Leader of Education since 2009, and effectively supported and built capacity in a wide range of schools, locally and regionally.
Jane is a qualified Executive Coach, having a strong commitment to individual coaching, supporting others to determine and identify goals, ensuring they have achievable actions and the tactics to ensure they can sustain success. Values are at the heart of Jane's coaching style.
Jane has been awarded a Teaching Award, as Headteacher of the Year, in the national annual awards. She has a wealth of experience working for the Department for Education, on the Headteacher Board for West Yorkshire and Lancashire and as a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for the then National College for Teaching and Leadership.
Jane was awarded an OBE for services to education in the 2017 New Year's Honours List.
John joined the Trust Board in 2021. More information to follow.
Liz joined the Trust Board in 2021. More information to follow.
Peter is a qualified solicitor, executive coach and business leader. He is General Counsel for Twinkl Educational Publishing, a provider of digital educational resources to teachers, and runs his own business providing training and coaching to enable solicitors to be more effective.
An experienced charity Trustee, he is the Chair of Trustees for Kids Club Kampala, a charity bringing hope and love to vulnerable children in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.
Peter believes that education can transform lives and passionately supports the Trust's vision to realise the life chances and dreams of every child.
Committees of the Board
The Trust Board manages its work through the following committees:
Risk and Governance Committee - Chair Tom Ashford
The role of the Risk and Governance committee is to maintain an oversight of the governance, risk management and internal control of the Trust.
Finance and Resources Committee - Interim Chair Colin Beardmore
The Finance and Resources Committee is authorised to consider, advise on, or determine the strategies and policies for the effective and efficient use of financial, physical and human resources and be responsible for ensuring the solvency of the Trust and the safeguarding of its assets.
Learner Experience Committee - Chair Sarah Draper
The role of the Learner Experience Committee is to maintain excellent standards in each of the schools, including any due diligence of new schools wishing to join the Trust. It scrutinises Quality Assurance Documents, data reports and school reviews.
Advisory Council - Chair Fred Woodruff
The Advisory Council is made up of Chairs of each of the Local Governing Bodies. It advises the Trust Board on key issues and strategic priorities relating to TSAT and its schools, and ensures community feedback and local context plays a key role in the development of the TSAT strategy.
The Advisory Council also contribute to ensuring that governance at individual school level is aligned effectively with the overall governance of TSAT.
The Executive Team have delegated strategic responsibility and operational management responsibility for the Trust. The CEO is also the Accounting Officer and is personally responsible to parliament and to the Education and Skills Funding Agency for the financial resources under the Trusts control.
Meet the Executive Team
David Dennis - CEO and Director of Secondary Education
As CEO David leads the overall strategic direction for the Trust, including its vision and values, through the identification of its key priorities. He provides leadership and an accountability structure for the Trust to ensure continuing success, high quality education, standards of achievement and progress for all students within the Trust. David also takes on the key role of Accounting Officer.
David is an experienced Science teacher who has spent over 25 years at the forefront of developments in Science Education. He has been part of the leadership of Tapton since 2004, joining the school as Director of the Science College. David has developed deep experience and expertise in the key areas of Leadership development, curriculum design and assessment.
In his role leading Tapton School he re designated the school as a National Teaching school allowing Tapton’s commitment to the development of the system to continue through Fields of Learning Teaching School.
David is an experienced system leader and believes that the Trust must contribute to the development of education locally, regionally and nationally. This external focus is clear in his role as National Leader of Education and in his participation in the Building Educational Bridges programme with Singapore focussed on Mathematics education.
David is passionate that TSAT is here to make a difference. Everything that the Trust does must improve life chances, raise aspirations and allow all our learners to realise their dreams. Education has the power to transform lives. He is committed to ensuring development of everyone within our community by always being mindful of the health and well being of each individual.
David believes that our Trust is uniquely placed to make a difference. The diversity within TSAT is a real strength that encourages a rich culture of growth through innovation.
Julia Delaney - Chief Operating Officer and Finance Officer, and Company Secretary
Julia is responsible for the strategic, financial and operational management of the Trust
Julia has over 20 years’ experience of working with Trusts to improve governance and financial controls. Her roles have included Chair of Finance for Hospice UK, Chief Executive of an Independent Trustee company and she led finance at a Children’s Hospice. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) and has worked at PwC and BDO.
Julia’s experience in the education sector includes 4 years as Chair of Finance of a Sheffield primary school and 4 years as a member of the Advisory Board of Sheffield University management school.
Martin Finch - Director of Primary Education
Martin joined the Trust in September 2021.
Further information to follow.
Ben Purvis - HR and Compliance Manager
Ben manages the function for the Trust's schools by providing efficient, effective and high quality HR services. This involves ensuring that HR meets all statutory, regulatory and corporate requirements. Ben also provides HR guidance to the Executive Team, School Business Managers and Headteachers, whilst ensuring all advice is aligned with the Trusts aims and objectives.
Ben joined TSAT in March 2020 and is a Chartered member of the CIPD with HR experience across the public and private sector. Ben strongly believes that the role of education is to improve the life chances and dreams of every child and he has previously led and delivered graduate, early careers and leadership talent programmes.
Ben is passionate about ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to realise their potential and that work can and should be a force for good that benefits everyone, including their wellbeing.
John Dean - Premises and Operations Director
John has worked in education for the past 13 years, starting his career in IT, in which his degree is based. He is currently responsible for the Business Management of the 5 Primary Schools within the Trust and in addition is the Trust lead on Facilities management, including capital projects and Catering. He is passionate about education and has worked at both Secondary and Primary level. His goal is to achieve the expectations to ensure that each setting’s support services and infrastructure operate at the highest possible standards.
Lewis Askin - IT Director
Lewis has worked in IT for 12 years and has been working for the Trust for 5 years. He is currently responsible for the management of IT across the Trust.
Lewis has worked across Sheffield at a large number of primary schools offering support and guidance.
Local Governors provide the Trust Board with local context and community feedback in order to shape the mission, vision and MAT improvement strategy. They work closely with the Headteacher and Senior Leaders in schools to monitor the delivery of the Trust strategy at a local level.
Local Governors are accountable to the Trust Board in the delivery of their delegated responsibilities.
Professional Conduct - Members, Trustees, Local Governors and Staff
Tapton School Academy Trust has a framework in place to ensure governance is ethical, effective and accountable, and underpins our culture and ethos.
Code of Conduct
Members, Trustees and Local Governors sign up to Code of Conduct that outlines the culture and ways of working, including behaviour and professional standards required.
Register of Interests
Members, Trustees and Local Governors declare any business and pecuniary interests on an annual basis, or as circumstances change.
The register of interests is updated annually in September.
Attendance at Meetings
Trustees and Local Governors are expected to attend a certain number of meetings each academic year, and to prepare in advance for these meetings in order to ask relevant, challenging questions.
Skills Audit and Governance Effectiveness Survey
Trustees and Local Governors undertake an annual skills audit and effectiveness survey. This enables the Trust to provide a structured and relevant training programme and ensures that our governance structures are fit for purpose.