Cromwell Academy Governance

The Governing Body is an integral part of any academy structure. The Governing Body works with the Headteacher and academy staff to make sure they provide high quality education for all the Academy’s pupils and constantly strive to improve. However, the Governing Body does not make day to day decisions about how the academy is run. This is left to the professionals – the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team.

There are five key roles of the Governing Body: 

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • To hold the Headteacher accountable for standards against benchmarks
  • To ensure solvency and probity
  • To ensure leadership complies with statutory regulations
  • To engage stakeholders

In practice this means that a Governor may get involved in:

  • Deciding how the budget is spent and ensuring good value for money
  • Making sure the curriculum provides for and stretches all pupils
  • Making sure the academy buildings are welcoming, safe and well used
  • Setting and monitoring the academy’s values, aims and policies
  • Appointing staff and making sure the right development and reward arrangements are in place

Governors serve on a range of committees, support academy events and make visits to the academy during term time. The entire Governing Body meets twice a term, although, to increase efficiency much work is undertaken through sub-committees:

  • Finance, Premises and Personnel (chaired by Naill O’Neill)
  • Curriculum and Achievement (chaired by Richard Laing)

Cromwell Academy’s Board of Governors is made up of Parent Governors, Co-opted Governors and Staff Governors, all of whom are also known as Trustees. The Board is chaired by Richard Laing. As an academy, independent of the Local Education Authority, the school has an additional level of oversight in the form of a small group known as Members. Members exert influence on the Academy Trust, and act as a check and balance on the Trustees. Members approve major decisions such as amending the Articles by which the Academy is set up, changing the name of the Academy, appointing an auditor, or, in exceptional circumstances, removing a Governor. The Members are Sophie Hill (appointed 1 September 2014), Samantha Maske (appointed 1 September 2014) and Richard Laing, who as Chair of Governors is automatically a Member (appointed Chair 10 November 2016).

Governors and Members are all voluntary positions – no Governor or Member receives any payment for their work. All Governors and Members are required to declare any business interests or family relationships which could conceivably create a conflict of interest. They are also vetted fully for their suitability in working in an educational environment.

The Governing Body helps shape the vision and direction of the academy and ensures that it fulfils its statutory duties. Governors are expected to have a good understanding of the strengths and any weaknesses of the academy so that the Senior Leadership Team can be challenged and supported through decisions that arise. Through this, the academy is then able to evaluate its performance and plan strategically to improve all aspects of academy life.

The Governing Body acts as an important link between the academy, parents/carers, and the local community, and forms part of the education partnership responsible for providing the best possible education for all our children. Maintaining this important link will ensure Cromwell Academy continues to be a thriving and successful school.

At Cromwell Academy we are fortunate to have committed and able Governors who come from diverse backgrounds and are able to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles.

Any parent/carer who has an interest in joining our Governing Body should e-mail rlaing@cromwellacademy.com in the first instance.