Chulmleigh Academy Trust

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Governance and National Funding Formula

Some updates this week on the New Governance Handbook and Competency Framework for Governance and the proposed National Funding Formula.

Governance

I’ve spent time this week reading and digesting the new Governance Handbook (January 2017) and Competency Framework for Governance (January 2017). These are extensive and detailed documents which provide a helpful support for the requirements of good practice governance, something at CAT we consistently strive to achieve.

The Competency Framework is underpinned by the seven principles of public life (Nolan Principle), responsibilities under legislation especially equality, and seven C’s, Committed, Confident, Curious, Challenging, Collaborative, Critical and Creative, and structured around the six feature of effective governance (Governance Handbook) namely Strategic Leadership, Accountability, People, Structures, Compliance and Evaluation. These features are subdivided into 16 competencies which in turn offer descriptors for knowledge, skills and effective behaviour of the full Board, the Chair and Directors with specific delegated responsibilities.

These documents provide an ideal opportunity to review our current practice, and recognise our strengths. Clearly governance structures and arrangement at single academies and maintained schools, small MATs and larger MATs will have differences and the Handbook and Framework will be helpful in considering how we evolve as we achieve our strategic development plan for MAT growth.

I will now be talking with our Company Secretary, Adrian, our Executive Head, Mike, and the Board of Directors in relation to any implication of the guidance for CAT.

National Funding Proposals

As Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust, and also as an advocate of high quality education for all children in all schools, I think it is important there is awareness of national development affecting funding for schools.

Most people will be aware of the funding challenges for school across the country and within our local authority and North Devon community. Nationally there has been work on a National Funding Formula and our hope at CAT is it would address some of the issues associated with small rural school in a poorly funded local authority. Initial assessment of the proposal however is not supportive of many rural and small schools and Chulmleigh Community College is one that could be funded less favourably should the current suggestions be implemented. So, we must, and we are, responding actively to the consultation.

One action I have taken as Chair of the Board is to write to Peter Heaton-Jones our MP and appraise him of the possible impact on CAT and in support of better funding arrangements for our North Devon rural community.

David Worden a North Devon Councillor, has raised a motion at full North Devon Council this week to put pressure on the Government to make changes to its current proposal. This motion was supported by the Council. This action is supportive of CAT schools as part the North Devon rural community.

It is possible for anyone to respond to the consultation and I do encourage people to send government their views  https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/

At CAT we are managing our budgets with prudency and effective and efficient strategy. Our priority continues to focus on standards and the importance of the quality and contribution of teachers in achieving good and outstanding outcomes with pupils. This will remain the case whatever the outcome for a National Funding Formula.