Colchester Academy is part of the multi-academy trust Bright Tribe Trust and the school’s governance structure and function is part of the wider Trust’s governance framework.
Following the Government’s recommendation for all schools to review its governance procedures and move to a skills-based structure, Bright Tribe has developed an innovative structure to ensure each academy is accountable for its decisions and that the best outcomes are available for students. From 1st September 2016, this structure replaces the previous Local Governing Body which was in place.
The full structure of the Trust governance and remit of the Trust’s members, board of trustees and scheme of delegation are available on the governance page of Bright Tribe’s website.
How Governance Works at the Academy
The main purpose of the governance structure is to drive school improvement and improve the outcomes for the children and young people within our academy. Advisors with appropriate skills, local knowledge and experience will sit on the groups within the structure and reporting will be clear and rigorous.
Drive Teams provide local support and challenge for each academy within each region and act as a vehicle for driving school improvement at academy level through the direction of the academy Rapid Improvement Report (RIR). Drive Teams hold the Principal to account.
The Rapid Improvement Report (RIR) has a management function of ensuring school improvement takes place with pace and focus. It identifies, through looking at school data and pupil performance, priority school improvement areas with required actions, some of which the Drive Team can work on and report on to the Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group.
The Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group provides quality assurance, support, and challenge to academy leaders. The ARC group hold the Regional Executive Principal to account. This group operates regionally and reports to the Trust Board.
Drive Team Members
- Fiona Pierson, Principal
- Andrew Robinson,Vice Principal
- Cassandra Williams, Executive Principal
- Sarah Watson, Head of Inclusion
- Mike Wilson, Principal Alde Valley
- Lesley West, Chair
- Serena Kay, Team Leader Science
- Diane Paton, Student Support Manager
- Sacha Brackenbury
- Tim Platts, Clergy
- Melanie Gibson, Parent
What do Drive Teams do?
- Drive Teams have been established to drive forward school improvement within the Trust’s academies. The group will consist of parent, community, staff advisors and some cases pupils.
- Parent and community advisors within this group will spend time in schools looking at some aspects of the school which have been identified through the RIG as requiring intervention and improvement. The group, therefore takes its lead from the RIG. The parent and community advisors will report back to ARC group, using a set reporting template.
- It is not the remit of the parent and community advisors to report on the quality of teaching within the school.
- A parent focus group meets termly and parent advisors are able to engage with pupils through school visits or via the school council.
- Parent and community advisor visits are an excellent way of looking independently at a school.
Further information regarding the remit of the Drive Team is available in the Drive Team Terms of Reference.
Apply to join the Drive Team
Being a member of the Drive Team provides an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the academy at this exciting stage of the Trust’s development. The group convenes termly or as and when required.
If you would like to become a member of the academy Drive Team, please click the link below for further information and guidance.
Regional ARC groups have been established across each region within our academy network and contain an Independent Chair, Executive Principals, Principals, the Director of School Improvement, two elected parent advisors and two associate community advisors from the Drive Teams.
This group monitors the performance of the academies within the region and supports and challenges the academy leadership team to drive rapid improvement and share best practice. The group reports to the Trust Board.
The ARC groups are split into three regions:
- Region 1 – Cornwall
- Region 2 – Suffolk and Essex
- Region 3 – North
Colchester Academy belongs to Region 2.
Who are the ARC group members?
- Cassandra Williams, Executive Principal
- Heidi Hoskin, Director of Primary Education
- Linda Bamford, Director of Secondary Education
When are the ARC group meeting dates?
ARC group meetings will be held at a nominated academy where representatives will either dial into a conference call or attend in person to meet. The dates and times of these meetings are listed below:
- Wednesday 9th November 2016
- Thursday 12th January 2017
- Wednesday 1st March 2017
- Thursday 27th April 2017
- Thursday 15th June 2017
- Tuesday 11th July 2017
ARC group meeting minutes:
Please contact Anne-Marie Winter with any enquiries.
Further information regarding the remit of the ARC group is available in the ARC group Terms of Reference.
How do these various groups report?
The groups operate and report as shown in the diagram below.
What is a Scheme of Delegation?
The powers devolved to each academy by the Trust are outlined in the Trust Scheme of Delegation.
The group which has a function at regional and academy level is the ARC group which is highlighted within the Scheme of Delegation.
What are the benefits of the new structure?
- Advisors with the appropriate skill sets, experience and training will sit on groups within the structure and reporting will be clear and rigorous.
- A clear reporting structure is in place which ensures transparency, clear identification of actions, responsibilities, outcomes and impact.
- Actions, outcomes and impact are directly targeted at supporting specific areas of identified school improvement.
- Outcome and impact are rigorously monitored, regularly revisited, and challenged at academy (Drive Team), regional (ARC group) and Board level to ensure successful outcomes are achieved.
- The structure not only supports a process but is designed to show clear lines of accountability and ownership of school improvement by all involved.
- The structure meets the Government’s expectations in terms of ensuring open, independent review and rigorous challenge as delegated to the ARC group.
The Trust’s governance framework consists of the Trust Board, it’s various sub-committees, regional ARC groups and school-led Drive Teams, to establish a professional and fit-for-purpose structure with a clear remit.
Further details of the Trust’s governance framework are available on the Trust’s website.