Tapton School Academy Trust

Volunteering for a Trust Governance role

Volunteering for a governance role is highly rewarding. School Members, Trustees and Local Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country, and schools would be very different without their input. 

Why Volunteer for a Trust Governance role?

Good governance is essential to the success of Tapton School Academy Trust, ensuring that we achieve our mission of 'realising the life chances and dreams of every child.'

Joining us as a Member, Trustee or Local Governor will give you the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of children and the local community in Sheffield. Children joining our Trust have a broad range of abilities and social backgrounds. It is the core purpose of our governance colleagues to ensure that the voices of all children are heard and used to shape the strategic direction of the Trust. 

It is for this reason that we need governance colleagues that have a diversity of knowledge, skills and experience. You will be able to develop your skills in a board-level environment and make a valuable contribution to education.

When considering the skills requirements for governance we are interested in a wide range of experience, including: 

  • Education
  • Governance and Risk Management
  • Business, Finance and HR
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Facilities and Health & Safety
  • Sheffield Community 
  • IT and Data Protection
  • Health and Social Care 
  • Local Community Knowledge
  • Knowledge of the School.

Why volunteer as a Member? 

What do members do?

  • Ensure that the Trust is meeting its charitable objectives through holding the Trustees to account for effective governance
  • Receive and adopt the annual report and accounts from the Trustees
  • Appoint and remove Trustees from the Trust Board.

What is the difference between a Member and a Trustee?

Tapton School Academy Trust is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), a charitable company limited by guarantee.

Members have an essential role in holding the Trust Board to account for the executive governance of the Trust, but have a limited role in the actual running of the Trust.

Trustees are Directors under charity and company law, and are responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Trust. 

See the Trust Schemes of Delegation for more detail.

What will be expected of me?

We ask that Members ensure that they are making a positive and meaningful contribution to the Trust by: 

  • Attending meetings (typically 3 per academic year), reading papers and preparing questions in advance
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with the Trust Board and executive team 
  • Developing an understanding of the Trust through proactive research, including the regular review of Board minutes and papers
  • Undertaking induction training and developing knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis.

What training and support is available?

We value the contribution of our governance volunteers, and are incredibly grateful for to the skilled group of people who commit their time and expertise to the Trust. 

To ensure that you have the tools to succeed in the role the Trust offers:

  • Standard induction pack across all levels of governance, to provide full transparency in different roles/responsibilities
  • Two training sessions offered by the Trust within the academic year
  • Recorded training sessions available for new starters.

Members are supported by the Trust Clerk and Company Secretary.

Current Opportunities

We are always interested to hear from potential new governance colleagues who are interested in joining the Trust. Please get in touch to find out more:

Why Volunteer as a Trustee?
 

What do Trustees do?

Trustees are responsible for governing the Trust and directing how it is managed and run. Trustees must also ensure that the Trust complies with all legal and statutory requirements. 

Trustees work together to carry out their core functions: 

  • Ensuring a clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the Trust and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the Trust.

The Trust Board manages this work through three committees:

Risk and Governance

  • Maintains an oversight of governance, risk management, internal control and strategic reporting frameworks
  • Ensures robust risk management policy and procedures are in place and that risk control measures are appropriate and effective
  • Approves the Terms of Reference for Trust governance.

Finance and Resources

  • Maintains an oversight of the finance and resources frameworks, including budgets and statutory accounts
  • Takes ownership of the Trust's financial sustainability and ensures effective resource management 
  • Agrees the Trusts staffing structure and keeps it under review.

Learner Experience

  • Maintains excellent standards across all schools in line with the Trust vision, values and strategic objectives.
  • Ensures that all schools deliver a broad and balanced curriculum such that learners are prepared for their next stage
  • Evaluates data and feedback on all aspects of educational performance.

What is the difference between a Trustee and a Local Governor?

Trustees are Directors under charity and company law and have legal obligations to ensure that the Trust is compliant with its charitable objectives and other legal responsibilities. 

Trustees:

  • Set the strategic direction of the Trust 
  • Hold the Trust Executive Team to account
  • Oversee the Trust's financial performance.

Trust Board is accountable for all decisions made within the Trust but has delegated responsibility to the Executive Team and Local Governing Boards to ensure the delivery of the strategic direction within schools and for monitoring all aspects of performance.

See the Trust Scheme of Delegation for more information.

What will be expected of me?

We ask that Trustees ensure that they are making a positive and meaningful contribution to the Trust Board by: 

  • Attending meetings (a minimum of 6 full board meetings per academic year, plus committee meetings as required), reading papers and preparing questions in advance of meetings
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with Executive leaders and colleagues on the Board
  • Getting to know the schools within the Trust 
  • Undertaking induction training and developing knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis.

The term of office is 4 years in the first instance.

What training and support is available?

We value the contribution of our governance volunteers, and are incredibly grateful for to the skilled group of people who commit their time and expertise to the Trust. 

To ensure that you have the tools to succeed in the role the Trust offers:

  • Standard induction pack across all levels of governance, to provide full transparency in different roles/responsibilities
  • Two training sessions offered by the Trust within the academic year
  • Recorded training sessions available for new starters
  • Annual skills survey to determine training need
  • Annual performance review with the Chair, including discussions about succession planning.

Trustees are supported by the Trust Clerk and Company Secretary.

Current Opportunities

We are always interested to hear from potential new governance colleagues who are interested in joining the Trust. Please get in touch to find out more:

Why Volunteer as a Local Governor? 

What is a Local Governing Board and what skills are needed?

Local Governing Boards consist of representatives from staff, parents/carers and the wider community:

  • Staff Governor - a representative member of staff
  • Parent Governor - a parent of a child at the school
  • Community Governor - a member of the local school community 
  • Co-opted Governor - a member of the community (not necessarily local to the school) with particular skills that will contribute to the schools needs.

The Local Governing Board will consist of at least two parents, one staff, one community and one co-opted member. The Headteacher is an ex-officio member. 

What do Local Governors do?

The role of the Local Governor is to offer appropriate support and challenge to senior leaders at the school whist reviewing and monitoring areas for which it has delegated responsibility.

Local Governors are accountable to the Trust Board in the delivery of their delegated responsibilities, which include:

  • Ensuring the voice of all local stakeholders is heard and taken into account in the work of the Trust and school
  • Ensuring that the school meets community needs through effective community engagement
  • Ensuring the experience and welfare of learners, including their curriculum, is well-matched to the needs of the whole school community; this includes extracurricular activities
  • Challenging the school to ensure deployment of financial resource best fits the needs of the whole school within the framework of Trust financial controls. 

Local Governing Boards also have delegated responsibilities for a range of statutory duties, and appoint 'Champion Governors' for these ares, which include:

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding
  • Health and Safety
  • Data Protection.

What is the difference between a Local Governor and a Trustee?

Trustees are Directors under charity and company law and have legal responsibilities to ensure that the Trust is compliant with its charitable objectives and other legal requirements. 

Trustees:

  • Set the strategic direction of the Trust 
  • Hold the Trust Executive Team to account
  • Oversee the Trust's financial performance. 

Trust Board is accountable for all the decisions made within the Trust but has delegated some certain responsibilities to Local Governing Boards. 

See the Trust Scheme of Delegation for more detail.

What will be expected of me?

 We ask that Local Governors ensure that they are making a positive and meaningful contribution to the Local Governing Body by: 

  • Attending meetings (a minimum of 9 full governing body meetings per academic year, plus committee meetings as required), reading papers and preparing questions for senior leaders in advance
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with senior leaders and colleagues on the Board
  • Getting to know the school, including visiting the school occasionally during school hours
  • Undertaking induction training and developing knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis.

The term of office is 4 years in the first instance.

What training and support is available?

We value the contribution of our governance volunteers, and are incredibly grateful for to the skilled group of people who commit their time and expertise to the Trust. 

To ensure that you have the tools to succeed in the role the Trust offers:

  • Standard induction pack across all levels of governance, to provide full transparency in different roles/responsibilities
  • Two training sessions offered by the Trust within the academic year
  • Recorded training sessions available for new starters
  • Annual skills survey to determine training need
  • Annual performance review with the Chair, including discussions about succession planning and further governance opportunities in the Trust.

Local Governors are supported by a Clerk.

Current Opportunities

We currently have governor vacancies across a number of our schools, both primary and secondary. 

Visit our Careers and Volunteering page for further information.

If you do not feel that the above opportunities are suitable for you we are always interested to hear from potential new governance colleagues who are interested in joining the Trust. Please get in touch to find out more: