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Our Governance

Brook Learning Trust governance is a community of people working together to shape the life chances and experiences of young people across our academies. Governance of an education institution is a role requiring high levels of energy, a critical mind and a strong moral purpose. Our volunteer Trustees and Academy Councillors demonstrate a commitment to future generations of young people and the staff they work with.

Those in a position of authority within our governance structure operate with an understanding that:

  • The Brook Learning Trust Board holds ultimate accountability for the performance of the Trust as a whole
  • The Brook Learning Trust Board may delegate authority for some levels of decision making to other groups of people and individuals within the Trust according to the Scheme of Delegation
  • Positions at Board, committee, panel and council level will be filled by those with the necessary knowledge, experience and skillset whose values are aligned to those of the Trust as a whole and who are committed to self-development
  • All those elected or appointed to the Board, committees, panels or councils should fulfil their duties in accordance with the seven principles of public life (the Nolan principles); selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
  • All those elected or appointed to the Board, committees, panels or councils should be mindful of their responsibilities under equality legislation, recognising and encouraging diversity and inclusion
  • There is a need for all those engaged in governance to strive for improvement and act with ambition and energy on behalf of the stakeholders of the Trust
  • The role of governance requires challenge to the status quo and a willingness to work as a critical friend to support and challenge leaders within the academies and across the Trust.



THe Trust board

All governance runs from the BLT Trust Board. The Board of Trustees has responsibilities under Charity Law as Trustees, and under Company Law as Directors. The actions of Trustees 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.

The Object of the Company, enshrined in its Articles of Association, 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’.

Brook Learning Trust will ensure that it is compliant with all statutory obligations as prescribed by the DfE, ESFA and The Charity Commission.

As the employer, Brook Learning Trust is committed to ensure that it operates within UK employment legislation and recognises the relevant Unions where appropriate.


Brook Learning Trust's Members & Trustees are:  

Ms Jeanette Batten


Ms Natalina Bertoli


Mr Ian Daker


Mr Martin Garner

Member & Trustee

Mrs Linda Garratt


Mr Myles McIntosh


Mrs Carol Morris


Mr Bruce Walsh



Terms of Reference

  • Review the annual budget for each academy and recommend to the Board of Trustees for approval
  • Review forecast against annual budget at the five 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
  • Authorise purchases or lease arrangements over the limit recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Approve investments outside normal banking arrangements
  • Approve the writing off of bad debts over the limit recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Approve the disposal of assets with a net book value over the limit recorded in the Scheme of Delegation
  • Report relevant and significant issues to the Board of Directors on a regular basis
  • Approve staffing restructure proposals prior to consultation where they have a solely or predominantly financial imperative
  • Review relevant policies on a regular basis.


  • Two Trustees and BLT’s CEO

  • BLT’s Finance Director is in attendance.


Terms of Reference

  • Appoint the external auditors
  • Review the findings of the external auditors and respond to any recommendations raised in the management letter
  • Agree a programme of work with an appropriate external body to independently assess and report on the Trust’s internal financial controls and compliance with the Accounting Officer’s statement on governance, regularity, propriety and compliance as published in the Annual Report
  • Review reports from the Academy Councils in relation to Health and Safety and Safeguarding
  • Review the BLT Risk Register
  • Review the Data Protection Officer’s Compliance Report
  • Ensure the Trust has appropriate insurance cover in place
  • Report relevant and significant issues to the Board of Trustees
  • Review relevant policies on a regular basis.


  • Three Trustees, BLT’s CEO

  • BLT's Finance Director is in attendance.

pay committee 

Terms of Reference

  • To achieve the aims of the Trust Pay Policy in a fair and equitable manner
  • To observe all statutory and contractual obligations of the Trust relating to pay
  • To apply the criteria set by the Trust Pay Policy in making decisions concerning performance-based pay progression following the annual salary review cycle
  • To ensure that Trust budgets take account of local and national remuneration criteria and expectations
  • To minute clearly the reasons for all decisions and report these decisions to the next meeting of the Trust Board
  • Decisions made by the Trust Pay Committee will be communicated to each member of staff in writing by the Principal (academy staff) or the Chief Executive Officer (Trust staff) in accordance with the Trust Pay Policy
  • To approve payments that fall within the available budget for pay, agreed by the Trust, and to refer back to the Trust via the Trust Finance Committee in the event that payments could exceed the allocated budget for pay
  • To work with the relevant member/s of the Trust Executive Team and/or Principal/s to ensure compliance with the Trust’s Continuous Professional Growth Policy and Appraising Support Staff Performance Policy
  • To act with integrity, objectivity and honesty in the best interests of the Trust and each of its academies
  • To act in compliance with relevant statute.


  • The Chair of the Trust Board and two Trustees 

  • BLT's CEO and Finance Director are in attendance.

standards panel

Terms of Reference

  • Scrutinise a range of academy data including, but not limited to, pupil learning and progress; pupil applications, admissions, attendance and exclusions; staff deployment, absence, recruitment, retention, morale and performance; and the quality of teaching
  • Hold academy leaders to account for improving pupil and staff performance by asking the right questions and ensuring academy leaders have credible plans for monitoring progress and addressing underperformance
  • Establish how each academy will raise standards for all children, including the most and least able, those with special educational needs, those receiving free school meals and those who are more broadly disadvantaged, and hold the academy to account for doing so
  • Ensure each academy has the right staff and the right development and reward arrangements and is able to appropriately hold staff to account when their capability or actions has a detrimental impact on student progress and attainment, or the wider culture of the academy
  • Monitor that teachers and support staff are being deployed as effectively and efficiently as possible and in line with evidence and guidance
  • Monitor the educational impact and value for money of professional development opportunities
  • Approve and monitor the implementation of an academy improvement plan which, based on robust and realistic self-evaluation, sets appropriate priorities, creating accountability and identifying clear performance indicators to enable monitoring of the academy’s progress in realising their ambition
  • Approve and monitor any improvement plans following Ofsted and DfE inspections
  • Monitor the breadth, balance and effectiveness of the curriculum
  • Examine the impact of the academy’s procedures for monitoring compliance with policies and procedures particularly teaching and learning, marking and feedback and behaviour management
  • Maintain oversight of the impact of pupil premium and other targeted funding streams
  • Maintain oversight of pupil attendance and exclusions.


  • Two Trustees, the Chairs of the Academy Councils, BLT’s CEO and Education Director
  • Principals of each academy are in attendance.

academy councils 

Terms of Reference

  • Seek to understand how the academy is led and managed: the academy principal will report on how the academy is fulfilling the Trust and the academy’s ethos, vision and strategy through the implementation of the AIP
  • Receive reports about attendance, fixed term and permanent exclusions and review the effectiveness of provision to support pupils vulnerable to exclusion; to be part of a panel to review decisions around permanent exclusion where necessary
  • Be the consultative body for the academy’s stakeholders with a focus on the areas covered in the AIP
  • Represent the academy’s stakeholders forging links with the community and acting as an ambassador for the school
  • Be engaged in academy recruitment processes, in particular for senior academy leaders and Principal appointments
  • Undertake reviews of safeguarding procedures in accordance with the Trust Safeguarding Policy
  • Undertake reviews of the effectiveness of the pupil premium spend in accordance with the academy’s pupil premium expenditure programme
  • Ensure that the Health and Safety Policy is correctly implemented
  • Ensure that the academy has processes and procedures in place to secure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and visitors
  • Ensure that statutory training requirements are met
  • Review, amend and approve local academy policies and procedures, and to monitor compliance with these and Trust wide policies
  • Review and approve educational visits
  • Approve staffing restructure proposals prior to consultation where they have a non-financial imperative
  • Undertake relevant training as provided by the Trust and required by the Chair of Academy Council.


  • A maximum of 8 Academy Councillors. Additional members could be welcomed as associate Councillors.

Brook Learning Trust is always looking to develop the depth and range of skills on our Board of Trustees and within our Academy Councils.  For further details of how to become part of Brook Learning Trust's governance, please click here.

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