Sandbach School Governing Board
Academy/Free Schools such as Sandbach School are state-funded independent schools outside the control of the Local Authority. The school is constituted as a limited company, ‘Sandbach School’ (also referred to as the ‘Academy Trust’), which owns the physical assets of the school and employs the staff. The Articles of Association of the school can be obtained from Companies House, or downloaded here. The Articles define ‘Members’ of the Trust, which are effectively the Company Directors.
There is a close link between the ‘Members’ and the Governing Board, as all Members must be serving Governors, and all Governors are eligible to become Members. Both central and local government are entitled to appoint additional Members under certain circumstances. Members perform some additional duties to meet company law requirements, but the primary role of the Governing Board has not been changed by the school’s status.
What does the Governing Board do?
The role of the Governing Board is not to manage the school on a day-to-day basis – that responsibility belongs with the Head Teacher (sometimes called the Principal in Academy language). The Governing Board take a more strategic view. This includes setting up a strategic framework for the school, setting its aims and objectives, setting policies and targets for achieving the objectives, reviewing progress and reviewing the strategic framework in the light of progress. They work closely with the Head Teacher, and act as a “critical friend”, providing advice and support, but also constructive challenge to the school as necessary.
The composition of the Academy Governing Board has many similarities with that of the previous school, but also some important differences. The various types of Governor are described here, and we also have a list of current Governors and their terms of office.
Governing Board meetings
Full meetings of the Governing Board are held approximately half-termly.
More detailed discussions are held in sub-committees that generally meet prior to the full Governor Board meetings. There are three sub-committees, Personnel, Teaching & Learning & Business & Resources. Each of these sub-committees meet at least once a term and more often when needed.
Types of Governor
The Academy Governing Board consists of both elected and appointed Governors. These positions are described below. For a list of the current Governors see below.
Irrespective of how they became Governors, all members of the Governing Board work in the best interests of the school.
The Articles of Association require at least two, and up to six elected Parent Governors (fully independent schools are not required to have any). The Members of the Academy Trust have determined that Sandbach School will have up to six Parent Governors and these are nominated and elected when vacancies arise.
Parent Governors are parents or carers of children enrolled at the school at the time of their appointment. Should their child(ren) leave Sandbach School during their term of office, they may continue on the Governing Board until the end of their four year term. Vacancies for Parent Governors must be notified to all parents and nominations requested. A ballot of all parents is held if there are more nominations than posts available. The retiring Parent Governor(s) can stand for re-election if they still have a child at the school, but not otherwise.
The Articles of Association limit the number of elected Staff Governors to two. The Headteacher takes a further Governor position.
Local Authority Governor
The Members of the Academy Trust have reserved one governor position for a Local Authority nomination in order to maintain liaison with the authority and maintained schools in the area.
Ten governor positions are appointed by the Members of the Academy Trust. All Appointed Governors have the same status. The Members have a broad discretion in making such appointments, subject to national guidelines on eligibility.
Appointed (but not elected Parent or Staff) Governors may be removed from office by unanimous vote of all other Governors, but clearly this would happen only in exceptional circumstances.
Appointed Governors serve the same four year term of office as elected Governors, but may be reappointed indefinitely. The Members have a responsibility to ensure that the Governing Board has an appropriate balance of experience and skills to maximise benefit to the school, and filling of any identified skill gaps will be an important element in future appointments.
Board of Governors
To contact the Governors please email: Governors@sandbachschool.org