Great Schools Trust (GST) is a Multi Academy Trust comprising four secondary academies and one alternative provision academy. The trust is also a company limited by guarantee.
Our Great Schools Trust members and board of trustees are the proprietors of the trust and set the overarching vision and strategy for all of the King's Leadership Academies.
Our board are directors for the purpose of company law, trustees for the purpose of charity law and governors for the purpose of education law/legislation and their main responsibilities are the three core governance functions:
In order to discharge these duties successfully our board of trustees has delegated some of these responsibilities to committees, executive leaders and local academy councils (LACs)
Should you wish to contact the trustees please contact the Trust’s director of governance, Michelle Jones, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post by addressing any correspondence for the attention of Michelle Jones at the Trust’s address:
King's Leadership Academy Warrington, Hillock Lane, Warrington, WA1 4PF
Please note that any complaints regarding the school must be raised in line with our complaints policy and cannot be raised directly with the trust board.
I am delighted to write this introduction as chair of the board of trustees for the Great Schools Trust.
Trustees give up their valuable time from their professional roles in the private and public sectors to set the strategic direction for the trust and to provide challenge to the executive leaders for the quality and effectiveness of education. The Great Schools’ Trust also develops the character of our students through our leadership specialism. We firmly believe that if young people come to a school where they feel valued and safe and where teachers have their best interests at heart, then they will commit themselves; they will work harder; suffer fewer distractions; become more motivated and ultimately achieve more. Research shows that pursuing a character-driven approach to education, based on a firm set of values, is the lever that produces such an ethos.
The Trust aims to enable our schools to become successful academies, producing great educational experiences for all of our students. The educational landscape in England is changing at an unprecedented pace, resulting in schools gaining greater autonomy. However, greater autonomy should not, in our view, mean greater isolation. The Great Schools’ Trust aims to provide a supportive and collaborative context in which our schools can continue to collaborate and thrive into the future and to form civic partnerships with other organisations for the benefit of our students and society.
Our academies are first and foremost for the education of the whole child, so it is right that at the heart of what we do, is a focus on the quality of the curriculum experience that we offer, as well as the nurturing and coaching of our staff to deliver high-quality lessons which will enable our students to excel. We have the highest expectations for our academies and we expect them to have the highest expectations of their students.
The Trust has three main functions in that we support our academies in meeting the challenges of our high expectations ethos through mutually supportive intervention and training. Secondly, we take responsibility for financial and resource management, so that academies can concentrate on what matters - the education of young people, and thirdly because our specialism is the development of character through leadership, we support each academy in the nurturing of this distinctive ethos, which contributes so powerfully to the development of our students as rounded and balanced young people poised to contribute to society.
The Members of the Company define the Object, Purpose and Ethos of the Company and are defined by the National Governance Association (NGA) as 'the guardians of the governance of the trust'.
The Members meet at least annually to review the performance of the Trust and ensure that the Trustees are working within the articles of association. The Members review the Board skills audit to address any deficiency in governance.
Great Schools Trust has four Members including the chair of the trust board:
The Board of Trustees is made up of experienced professionals who make strategic decisions for the Trust.
The Trustees, who form the Trust Board, have overall responsibility and ultimate decision-making authority for all the work of the Company (the Trust), including the establishing and running of schools, known as the trusts academies.
Trustees are responsible for making major decisions about the strategic direction of the Trust, ensuring that its aims are met and its ethos is maintained. This includes setting general policy, adopting a 3-year strategic plan and budget, monitoring the Trust’s financial performance and educational outcomes, making senior staff appointments and approving major investment programmes.
The full trust board meets at least 6 times per year/once per half term. The board has also established committees which meet at least once per term to ensure the independent checking of controls, systems, transactions, and risks. Our Trustees give their time freely and receive no remuneration or any other financial benefits for the roles they play.
Each Academy within the Great Schools Trust has a Local Academy Council (LAC), to whom the Trustees delegate certain responsibilities. The LAC is currently delegated oversight for curriculum and standards, community presence and safeguarding. This includes attendance, student welfare and health and safety.
In short, LACs are the eyes and ears on the ground at school level who support the Trust Board in adhering to their core governance functions:
DfE Governance Handbook
In each academy, the LAC provides feedback and additional support and challenges to ensure that the organisation acts according to our ethos and represents the needs of our students, parents and the communities we serve. The LAC is also involved in developing wider community programmes in areas where our academies are located. This includes a specific focus on supporting our students and their families in their lives outside of the academy.
I have been the LAC Chair for King’s Leadership Academy Bolton for three years, alongside my main job as Academic Operations Lead for Initial Teacher Training at the University of Bolton and my work as an Ofsted Inspector.
I am a qualified teacher and have experience in teaching and leadership in secondary, further, and higher education. I am in the final year of my PhD and hold a Senior Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy.â€¯ Volunteering with Great Schools Trust enables me to provide guidance and support to best promote the Trust’s ‘Aspire’ ethos, resulting in excellent outcomes for its pupils.
I was born and grew up in North Liverpool, attending St. Swithin’s Primary School and St. Edward’s College. I then went to Manchester University for a BSc in Biochemistry, followed by an MSc at Cardiff University and my PGCE at what is now Hope University. I taught in several different schools and 6th form colleges across the North West and spent the last 8 years of my career as a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher.
Now retired, I am delighted to still be able to continue to contribute to education through my role as LAC Chair at King’s Leadership Academy Hawthornes and as Trustee with Great Schools Trust.
I have been very fortunate in life being the first in my family to go university. I graduated as an Electrical Engineer and then developed a successful career. When I look back on my journey, I can pick out a few critical things without which my journey would have been very different. The first is a receiving a good education; the second is the opportunity to take part in new activities through schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh award; and thirdly the support of dedicated teachers. These three things gave me self-confidence, a believe in myself that I could do anything and succeed, and resilience to face difficult challenges.
I joined the trust to support the Academies so that all pupils are given opportunities to receive an excellent education, that they are confident and resilient in what they do in life and they believe in themselves irrespective of their background.
I am a well-respected anti-fraud and anti-money laundering professional consultant with over 25 years of experience in fraud investigation, data analysis, referral optimisation, research, policy creation and management within various sectors including telecommunications, banking, insurance, financial services and the public sector.
Since 2016 I have been a Governor at the highly successful King’s Leadership Academy Warrington, and the Chair of the Local Academy Council since 2019 providing challenge and support to the school influencing strategy and direction through engagements and investigations in several areas such as Special Educational Needs and Pupil Premium.
I have a keen interest in helping those within the school and Trust with special education needs to achieve as well as their peers. I have three children, one of which is autistic and another who is autistic and with ADHD, both attending King's Leadership Academy Warrington.
I wanted to be a Governor at The Aspire Centre because I believe that every child deserves to receive a quality education and to have the best possible chances in life. Many children come from disadvantaged backgrounds and for most, school is the only way to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.
I have over 15 years of governance experience and as well as being Chair of Governors for another school, I currently sit on committees for various external agencies. I am qualified to hear complaints, admissions and appeals and to sit on exclusions panels.