The Isle Education Trust model of governance ensures each academy has an Academy Oversight Committee (AOC) on which governors sit.
At Epworth Primary Academy, the AOC is a joint one with responsibility for both Epworth Primary and South Axholme Academy. The remit of the AOC is focussed specifically around the areas of Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development where governors are encouraged to work closely alongside leaders and managers to help define the vision and direction of the academy.
Key roles and responsibilities of the AOC include:
- Upholding the Trust’s vision and values
- Implementation of actions required to comply with statutory regulations and documentation
- Implementation and monitoring of local policies
- Supporting and challenging the leadership of the academy on quality of care and quality of provision.
- Providing internal assurance
- Developing local community and employer links
- Undertaking the role of ‘critical friend’ to:
- Offer support, constructive advice, a sounding board for ideas, a second opinion on proposals and help where needed
- Challenge, ask questions, request information, improve proposals and seek to arrive at the best solution
- Give an honest opinion and well-tempered advice, even if it might not be what is expected
- Act as an advocate promoting the interests of the academies, and students to the community
- Monitor the implementation and impact of the decisions it has made
There are direct channels of communication between the principal and the AOC chair. The clerk to the Board of Trustees will hold the contact details for all local governors of academies within IET. Routine communication for day to day academy business should be via the appropriate AOC chair, managed by the clerk to the AOC or through the academy.
The principal and the chair of the AOC are responsible for ensuring the quality and timely distribution of all materials needed to keep the local governors well-informed about the academy. The principal and the chair are also responsible for ensuring the views of the AOC are effectively communicated to the Board of Directors. Trustees reserve the right to attend any AOC meeting.
Alongside this, the principal meets each half term with the CEO. In these Challenge, Support and Intervention (CSI) meetings safeguarding, curriculum, teaching and learning, progress and outcomes are discussed.