Skip to content ↓

Governance Structure

Trust Members, Directors and Local Governors generously volunteer their time without financial compensation, leveraging their diverse skills and experience to support our leadership teams in achieving excellence. Our governance structure adheres to our Memorandum, Articles of Association and Funding Agreements with the Secretary of State, ensuring robust leadership and complete accountability. Members, directors and local governors all play crucial roles.  Their appointments are based on the skills, knowledge, or experience needed by the Board.

Equinox Learning Trust's structure is detailed in the chart below, with the Scheme of Delegation setting out the delegated powers between the different bodies involved in the governance and operation of the Multi Academy Trust and member academies. It is the key document defining which functions within the Multi Academy Trust have been delegated and to whom. It provides a systematic way of ensuring members, trustees, committees (including local governing bodies), executive leadership, and academy heads are clear about who is responsible for making which decisions in the trust.

Trust Governance Structure


Trust Members

Trust Members are the ultimate owners of the entire Trust and are responsible for its operations and conduct. Their distinct responsibilities include the authority to appoint and dismiss Directors, amend the articles of association, receive annual accounts, and appoint auditors. Members serve as an additional layer of accountability, overseeing the board's actions. Their engagement involves attending bi-annual Annual General Meetings, where they actively scrutinise the Trust's activities.

Trust Directors

The Trust Directors, often called Trustees, have three core governance functions: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. They hold the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) accountable and oversee the educational outcomes and financial performance of the schools within the Trust. As academy trusts are all charitable companies, the Directors must also ensure they comply with the company law requirements that govern. They are all registered with Companies House. They are also responsible to the Secretary of State for operating the Trust for the public benefit and compliance with legislation, including charities' legislation.

The Directors' role is mainly strategic. They have responsibilities for managing the Trust, its finances, and a schedule of agreed delegated powers and duties to Committees. The committees cover Education & Standards, Finance & Risk, Safeguarding, and Staffing alongside the Local Governing Boards (LGB). In addition, the Trust has two working groups - Estates Management and Growth. Responsibilities for all committees and working groups are detailed below:

Committee/Working Group Responsibility
Finance & Risk Committee This Committee ensures effective financial governance arrangements to manage all the Trust's funds. It provides every school in the Trust develops financial plans to secure a balanced budget to ensure sustainable and ongoing liquidity. They are responsible for risk management and use the Trust's tools to establish local risks in conjunction with Headteachers and Chair of Governors before assessing, reviewing, and agreeing on the audit programme schedule throughout the year.
Staffing Committee This Committee is responsible for reviewing and setting the pay ranges for leaders across the Trust, including the CEO, and making recommendations on any substantial amendments to the Pay Policy for the Trust. With oversight of statistics for gender, ethnicity and other protected characteristics and the critical HR procedures, the Committee also reviews staff well-being and attendance measures.
Standards Committee The Standards Committee is responsible for monitoring the Trust's School Improvement Plans and the educational performance and standards achieved by each school in the Trust through the work of Governors. It approves and monitors annual targets for each academy and reviews the work of governors regarding the data dashboard, which covers pupil attendance, exclusions, punctuality, and disciplinary matters for each school.
Estates Working Group The Estate Working Group oversees the Estate Strategy and Handbook, providing support to ensure high-quality learning environments and workplaces at all our schools. It also reviews critical statutory health and safety measures and the procedures that deliver compliance and other vital requirements.
Growth Working Group This working group is responsible for assessing any approaches directly from either the Department for Education or schools to grow and add additional schools to the capability of the Trust. The compatibility assessment will be mindful of the Trust's vision, values and growth strategy set by the Board. Still, it will also be determined and addressed by a due diligence process conducted by this working group, leading to a recommendation to the Board. The due diligence will be thorough and cover the following strands: educational, financial, operational, cultural and community.
Safeguarding Working Group The Safeguarding Director chairs the Committee, attended by the Designated Safeguarding Leads from all schools who submit the safeguarding dashboard in advance for review and collaboration. The Committee is responsible for ensuring all child protection and safeguarding requirements are in place at each school in the Trust and reporting on these matters at least termly to Directors.

Local Governing Bodies

The Directors establish Local Governing Bodies (LGBs). They operate at each school and are committees of the Board of Directors. Their primary role is as a school improvement committee with their work programme across the year, prioritising school improvement within the Trust framework. The Local Governing Bodies manage each school within the framework set down by the Directors. After that, it is for the Local Governing Board to oversee the affairs of each school, bringing them to the Board's attention and advising the Directors of any matters they feel necessary.

Lines of accountability are via the minutes of the Local Governing Board, to the Directors, and, of course, from the reports written by the individual Headteachers and the CEO about the operation of each school to the Directors. The health and strength of all schools under the Trust rely on clear and careful communication between our Members, Directors and Local Governing Bodies.

Records of Attendance and Basis of Appointment for:

Equinox Learning Trust* Members & Directors 2021/22 >>>

Francis Baily Primary School Local Governing Board 2021/22 >>> 

Kennet School Local Governing Board 2021/22 >>>

Whitelands Park Primary School Local Governing Board 2021/22 >>>​​​​​​

*The Equinox Learning Trust was formerly known as Kennet School Academies Trust (KSAT). It was rebranded in January 2024.