The purpose of governance in trusts, as defined by the Department for Education (Academy Trust Governance Guide, March 2024) is to provide:  

  • Strategic leadership 

  • Accountability and assurance 

  • Strategic engagement 

The board of trustees has collective accountability and strategic responsibility for the trust. It has a focus on ensuring the trust delivers an excellent education to pupils while maintaining effective financial management and must ensure compliance with: 

  • The trust’s charitable objects 

  • Regulatory, contractual and statutory requirements 

  • Their funding agreement 

The board also has strategic and statutory responsibility for safeguarding and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) arrangements within (and across) the academy trust, ensuring the promotion of pupil welfare and for keeping their estates safe and well-maintained. 

As charity trustees, board members must ensure that they are complying with charity law requirements. Academy trusts are charitable companies and the trustees are company directors and must comply with company law requirements. 

Governance and organisation Structure

The governance of Saffron Academy Trust is defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association, together with the Funding Agreement with the Department of Education.  The Scheme of Delegated Authority (SoDA) identifies the key decisions that are required in connection with the overall governance and management of SAT, and the Academies within the Trust. The SoDA sets out the delegation by the Trustees under Article 105 of SAT's Articles of Association. It is designed to clearly set out the respective roles and responsibilities across all layers of governance. 

The Trustees are responsible for setting strategic policy, adopting an annual plan and budget, monitoring the Trust by the use of those budgets and making major decisions about the direction of the Trust, capital expenditure and senior staff appointments. 

School Governors, within their Local Governing Bodies (LGBs), have a very important role in the overall governance of the trust and are highly valued by the Board.  LGBs, as committees of the Board, are responsible for implementing strategic policy, ensuring the appropriateness of annual budgets and capital expenditure projects for their Academy and monitoring performance against that budget and authorised capital limits. 

Academy Headteachers are responsible for the day-to-day management of their Academies.  The Senior Leadership Teams (SLTs) in each school control the Academies at an executive level, implementing policies and reporting to their LGB. Each SLT is responsible for the day-to-day operation of their Academy, in particular organising staff, resources and students. They are responsible for the authorisation of spending within agreed budgets and for the appointment of staff, following vetting and safeguarding recruitment processes. 

The Trust’s CEO is the Accounting Officer.