The Partnership Trust is an exempt charity; this means that we operate like any other charity but are not regulated by the Charity Commission; instead we are overseen by an alternative regulator, in this case the Secretary of State for Education.
The main documents that set out how we operate are our Articles of Association, which sets out our internal structure, and the Master Funding Agreement, which is the legal contract with the Secretary of State under which we run our schools. In addition, there are separate supplemental funding agreements for each individual school. We are also governed by the Department for Education’s Academies Financial Handbook and other legislation relating to both schools and charities.
The structure of governance for The Partnership Trust is set out in our Governance Plan
We are formally constituted as a limited company which requires us to have Members. This is primarily a formal rather than active role, although the Members are welcomed to each Board Meeting and other events.
Ultimate responsibility for the Trust and schools within it rests with the Board of Trustees who provide strategic oversight, ensure the Trust meets it legal obligations and hold to account the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Trust’s CEO is responsible for leading the Trust’s development and growth, its policies and its school improvement strategy and is supported by an executive team. The CEO is the accounting officer for the Trust.
Some of the work of the Board of Trustees is delegated to each school’s Local Governing Body (LGB), who are sub committees of the Board of Trustees and who challenge and support the Headteacher holding them to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, monitor the implementation of the School Development Plan, ensure that the school’s money is well spent and that the school is safe and welcoming. Full details of that delegation can be found in the Scheme of Delegation. Details of the composition of each Local Governing Body can be found on the individual school’s website.
Our governance structure is designed to provide robust oversight and management without unnecessarily restricting innovation. It is supported by meetings of the Chairs of our Local Governing Bodies and of our Headteachers across the Trust which are more informal and consultative in nature and which aid communication and understanding across the Trust and inform Trust Board.
People with Significant control
From April 2016, in common with other UK organisations, we have to keep a register of ‘people with significant control’. We know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that there is no registrable person or registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the company.