Strategic Development

Last updated: 21/02/2018

Bishop Wheeler CMAT- Development of Governance  

As a Catholic MAT within the Diocese of Leeds, at the heart of our Trust are the dual principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. We serve a family of schools and as the Trust has developed, we are constantly reviewing our governance structure and methodology in order to reflect these core principles and our Catholic ethos to provide an excellent education for all our young people, staff, families and wider community.

As can be seen our governance structures encompass a diverse selection of Directors who bring a broad range of  strategic skills and experience as well as a network of local governing bodies (Academy Councils), who are able to be responsive to our schools and their specific communities.

Strategic oversight is ensured through the Trust Board, supported by our committees where Directors with appropriate skill sets can examine pupil progress and achievement, financial and HR in greater detail. 

The Academy Councils have developed local structures as appropriate, including additional Director support for our 2 sponsored academies (Holy Name and St Stephen’s) and sharing local governance where we have Executive Head Teachers. 

All our Foundation governors and directors are appointed on behalf of the Bishop with the support and guidance of the Diocese Education Department and this process includes identifying appropriate skill sets, as well as an interview for all Directors. References are taken up and DBS checks undertaken. Parent and staff governors are elected as outlined in our Articles and scheme of delegation. All governors are encouraged to undertake regular training and have access to this via the Diocese, Local Authorities and Teaching Schools.

The Trust Board is supported by the Head Teachers’ Group (HTG), which includes all our Executive Head Teachers, Head Teachers and Heads of School. This is chaired by Darren Beardsley our Accounting Officer. There is a constant flow of dialogue between Director’s, committees, Academy Councils and the HTG. All these bodies are also supported by the Chief Operating Officer who attends the HTG as well as the Board and committees outlined above.

Local governance is via our academy councils, which include elected staff and parent governors. As we build our shared services the role of our academy councils is developing  to focus on local scrutiny of pupil progress and achievement as well as pupil, parent and staff voice. 

In addition we have a strategic group consisting of all Academy Council Chairs as well as the Trust Chair, COO and Accounting Officer. This allows for a constant focus on our strategic direction and ethos as well as maintaining a communication flow on all challenging and pertinent current issues.

Over the next few years we hope to grow our Trust to include further members of our family of schools as well as sharing services with them and developing shared services between our partner CMATs within the Diocese. Directors therefore recognise that we need to be constantly reviewing our governance structures to ensure we maintain and develop the most effective and dynamic governance.