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Our Governance

Brook Learning Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee formed under the Companies Act 2006. It is formed by the signatories (Members) of the Memorandum of Association and the object of the company is specifically restricted to the following:

 ‘...to advance for the public benefit education in the United Kingdom, in particular but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing by establishing, maintaining, carrying on, managing and developing schools (such schools being the academies) offering a broad and balanced curriculum’.

Governance Structure 

 

Articles of Association 

Subject to the provisions of the Companies Act 2006, the Articles and to any directions given by special resolution of the Members, the business of the Company shall be managed by the Directors who may exercise all the powers of the Company.

The Directors (collectively, the Board) will appoint separate committees for each Academy, to be known as Local Governing Bodies. The constitution, membership and proceedings of the Local Governing Bodies will be established through discussion with the current Chair of an existing school’s Governing Body prior to conversion. The functions and proceedings of the Local Governing Bodies will be subject to regulations made or approved by the Directors from time to time.

Brook Learning Trust's Articles of Association can be found on the Key Documents page.

Board of Directors  

Directors of Brook Learning Trust are appointed by the Members of the Trust. Up to 15 Directors may be appointed. Details of these appointments are set out in The Articles of Association of the Trust.

The Board of Directors has responsibilities under Charity Law as Trustees, and under Company Law as Directors, as well as the responsibilities of governors of a school.  The actions of Directors are also governed by the Master Funding Agreement between the Trust and the DfE and by the Articles of Association.  In addition, there is a Supplemental Funding Agreement for each academy within the Trust.

Broadly speaking, the main financial responsibilities of the Directors are to:

  • Ensure that grant funding is used only for the purposes intended (duty of compliance)
  • Ensure value for money in the use of resources (duty of prudence)
  • Ensure that the Academies balance their budgets from year to year (Funding Agreement)
  • Approve the annual budget (Funding Agreement)
  • Maintain proper financial records (Funding Agreement, duty of care)
  • Ensure sound financial management (Funding Agreement, duty of care/compliance)
  • Establish separate Finance and Audit & Risk Committees, setting and varying their terms of reference and reviewing its work (AFH)
  • Ensure that annual accounts are produced, audited and filed with Companies House (duty of compliance)
  • Appoint a Principal Finance Officer to act as Finance Director and lead the Trust’s finance department (AFH)
  • Ensure that the Trust’s finance staff are appropriately qualified and/or experienced

In order to carry out these responsibilities, the Board of Directors delegates specific tasks to the Finance Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Local Governing Bodies to ensure adequate monitoring of the work of the Trust.  A scheme of delegation sets out responsibilities and can be found on the Key Documents page.

Our members & directors 

Brook Learning Trust's current Members & Directors are:  

Mr John Boyd Member
Mr Ian Daker Member & Director
Mr Keith Elves Member & Director
Mr Martin Garner Director
Mrs Linda Garratt Director
Mr Richard Humphrey Director
Mr John McKenzie Director
Mrs Carol Morris Director
Mr Bruce Walsh Director

Finance Committee  

The Finance Committee meets six times a year and the responsibilities of the members are to:

  • Review the annual budget for each academy and recommend to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • Review forecast against annual budget at termly meetings of the Finance Committee, and to ensure that appropriate action is taken to contain expenditure within the budget.
  • Review and approve any budget virements
  • Ensure that a three year budget forecast is maintained and reviewed on a regular (at least annual) basis
  • Ensure that the Trust has appropriate insurance cover in place
  • Authorise purchases over the limit recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Approve investments outside of normal banking arrangements
  • Approve the writing off of bad debts of a value greater than that recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Approve the disposal of assets with a net book value greater than that recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Report relevant and significant issues to the Board of Directors on a regular basis
  • Ensure the Finance Team is properly staffed and structured, and operates a suitable financial management system and sound internal financial controls
  • Review relevant policies on a regular (at least annual) basis.

Audit & Risk Committee 

Under the regulations set out in the Academies Financial Handbook, a Multi Academy Trust is required to have a dedicated Audit Committee, which within Brook Learning Trust is known as the Audit and Risk Committee. This committee meets three times a year and  is responsible for the following:

  • Appoint the external auditors
  • Review the risks to internal financial control
  • Agree a programme of work to address these risks which can provide sufficient assurance to the external auditors, and which reports on the Trust’s adherence to the statement on governance, regularity, propriety and compliance which must be signed by the Accounting Officer in the Annual Report
  • Review relevant policies on a regular (at least annual) basis.

Local Governing bodies 

Local Governing Bodies operate at each Academy, governing by means of the Circle Model of governance with no committees.  In the context of the direction set by the Directors of BLT, the LGB should play a strategic role, working with academy leaders to:

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold the Principal to account for the educational performance of the academy and its pupils
  • Oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
  • Set aims and objectives, ensure delivery against them and agree, monitor and review policies, targets and priorities.

There are clear systems of accountability that have made sure that the local governing body and the multi-academy trust are successful in both challenging and supporting leaders to oversee significant improvements.

Ofsted 2016