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Governance Overview

Governance Structure

Oak Learning Partnership is a charity and a single organisation, with individual schools belonging within it. Like other charities we have a governance structure in place which has overall responsibility for all schools in the partnership. Strong governance and lines of accountability are very important to us and they are vital for the success of our partnership. For this reason we provide high quality support, training and guidance in the field of governance as well as recruitment of governance members.

The main documents which determine how we operate are our Articles of Association, which set our internal structure, and the Master Funding Agreement, which is the legal contract with the Secretary of State under which we run our schools. We also have a Scheme of Delegation which outlines the responsibilities of the different levels of governance and leadership.



The members are akin to the shareholders of a company. They have ultimate control over the academy trust. But they are custodians at a distance and they are not involved in the day-to-day strategic direction of the partnership. They meet a minimum of once a year as part of the Annual General Meeting but they are kept informed regularly about partnership business.

Key duties

  • Appoint / remove trustees
  • Sign off financial statements and annual report
  • Change the Articles
  • Sign off the annual accounts


Trustees have overall accountability for the performance and development of the partnership. They hold the CEO accountable for delivering on strategy and performance and the CEO reports to them regularly. They put in place committees to support their work. Trustees meet a minimum of four times a year.

Key duties

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold executive leaders to account for the educationalm performance of the organisation and its learners, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff
  • Oversee the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent
  • Ensure the trust is compliant and managing risk effectively as an organisation
  • Ensure effective committees are in place to support and challenge in different aspects of performance and to receive and consider reports provided by the committees.

Executive Leadership Team

The executive leadership group is made up of the CEO, CFO, Director of School Improvement and the Head Teachers from each of our schools. They meet on a regular basis to support one another and to discuss partnership business including key developments, collaboration, and joint working. As a partnership it is important that everyone contributes to our direction.

Key duties

  • To contribute to the partnership strategy and development
  • To ensure there is consistency across schools with business approaches
  • To ensure performance continues to improve at school level
  • To shape trust-wide systems and approaches
  • To engage in cross-school collaborative projects

Finance Risk & Audit Committee (FRAC)

Due to the scale of the organisation, it is important that there is a committee which has a detailed focus on the key areas of finance, compliance and risk. The Finance Risk and Audit Committee meets a minimum of twice a year.

Key duties

  • Consider policies and procedures to ensure that the partnership maintains proper accounts and related records
  • Consider and monitor the partnership’s financial plans to ensure they reflect the strategic plan
  • Appoint external auditors
  • Provide oversight on internal controls, and to receive annual internal audit reports
  • Receive and monitor strategic risk registers

Quality of Education Board (QEB)

Each of our schools has a Quality of Education Board. Members of this board are appointed by the CEO and the Executive Team, and all appointments are ratified by Trustees. The Quality of Education Boards support our Headteachers and report to Trustees.

The QEBs have a specific focus on the quality of education at each school. They support the Headteacher and leadership team to devise and monitor the priorities for school improvement as laid down in the School Development Plan.

Across the school year the QEB meet five times and focus on the following areas:

  • Quality of the curriculum, teaching and pupil outcomes
  • Quality of pupil behaviour and personal development
  • Attendance
  • Quality of leadership and management
  • Safeguarding
  • Pupil premium strategy
  • Stakeholder engagement