Each academy retains its own Local Governing Body (LGB) who, through the ‘Scheme of Delegation’, keeps a good deal of autonomy all the time the academy is delivering ‘good’ or better outcomes for the pupils or students whilst maintaining a balanced budget.
Do we have to ‘do things’ in a prescribed way?
In some trusts this is the case; a form for this and a form for that, a common assessment method, prescribed teaching and learning approaches etc. At SLT, whilst we are moving towards increased standardisation or aligned practices, this is predominately because our existing Headteachers are synthesizing the best ideas from their academies to give consistency of approaches. For example, internal progress meetings, parents’ evenings, assessment and work presentation. We have shared policies and yet there is room for local solutions where necessary.
Who manages the budget?
All the time the academy is ‘in the black’ and expending funds in a prudent manner for the benefit of current and future learners, the LGB and Headteacher control the budget. Later in this document we will explain the Annual Partnership Charge that comes off the academy budget and what services and benefits your academy will derive.
Will we have to change our uniform?
Not with SLT.
Will we have to change our branding?
No, although there will need to be the SLT logo on headed paper, signs at the front of the academy etc.
Will our name change?
SLT prefer that schools joining have the word ‘Academy’ after the predominate, recognised name of the original school.
Will the Headteacher and LGB be able to make their own staff appointments?
In some trusts there has to be permission sought to make appointments. Not so with SLT up to positions that will be on the academy’s Leadership Team. For Assistant Heads, Business Managers, Deputy Heads and Headteachers the trust and academy would constitute a shared recruitment panel. Ultimately, The CEO could overrule the LGB on the choice of candidate because the CEO as Accounting Officer is ultimately responsible to the Secretary of State for the outcomes of the academy. However, it is highly unlikely that like-minded leaders would disagree after a thorough interview process.
How large is Sussex Learning Trust?
SLT is a relatively small trust. We believe that the number of academies that constitute the trust is not the critical aspect, rather it is how the it is organised to work that really matters. We believe in clusters or ‘hubs’ so that each academy is an important stakeholder within the locality of approximately 5 or 6 partner academies.
How is governance of the MAT structured? Will my academy be suitably represented on the main board of Trustees?
We want the Local Governing Body to retain responsibility for their academy. At SLT the Board of Trustees is organised so that each academy has a named trustee responsible for ensuring each institution has its views represented. These representatives are elected from the Regional Boards.
SLT academies become a strategic partner in the Inspire Teaching School Alliance. This creates lots of opportunity to train our own teachers.
What is the Headteacher Forum?
This is a dynamic fortnightly meeting which brings all the academy Heads together to support and challenge each other. This is exceptional CPD for Heads whilst developing a sense of team and shared moral purpose to learn from each other to the benefit of the pupils and students throughout the Trust