As a charitable company limited by guarantee, Brunel Academies Trust (Brunel) previously known as Brunel SEN MAT (BSM) governance is undertaken in the same way as any other registered company. Please refer to the Brunel Board Structure diagram.
There are three layers of governance, as set out below:
The Trust Members (up to a total of 5) are the original subscribers to the Trust’s Memorandum of Association.
They are financially responsible for the Trust.
They have an overview of the governance arrangement of the Trust but are not involved in its day to day management.
They have a reserved number of powers designed to support stronger governance arrangements, such as being able to change the constitutional documents i.e. the Articles of Association, and to appoint or remove Trustees and approve annual audited accounts.
The Board of Trustees
The Trustees are responsible for the management and administration of the Trust in line with the Articles of Association and Scheme of Delegation.
They make decisions about the day to day running of the Trust, directing its affairs, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivering its charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public.
The Board of Trustees has to answer to three different branches of Law; Company Law, Charity Law and Education Law.
In Company Law, those on the Board are known as 'Directors of the Trust'. In Charity Law they are known as 'Trustees'. The terminology is interchangeable as the role, duties and responsibilities are essentially the same. Brunel has chosen the term 'Trustees', and the Board of Trustees is responsible for all of the Education Provisions within the Trust.
To facilitate governance and provide detailed focus, the Board of Trustees has established two committees to which it has delegated some governance functions:
The Audit and Finance Committee - focussed on the business, finance, health and safety and safeguarding
The Remuneration and Nominations Committee – focussed on overseeing, remuneration including executive pay, succession planning and Human Resources (HR)
Local Governing Committees
The Local Governing Committees for each of the Education Provisions are committees of the Board of Trustees, each has its own range of duties, powers, responsibilities and tasks to perform and these responsibilities are defined in the Scheme of Delegation. Those serving on a Local Governing Committee are referred to as 'Governors'.
The structure, remit and reporting mechanisms of the Board of Trustees and Committees are outlined in the Trust’s Constitution and Terms of Reference document which is kept under regular review to ensure that the Trust remains efficient and effective in its proceedings.
Brunel has children and young people with special educational needs at the heart of its decision making and all that it does. The Trust provides a strong leadership and governance framework to both challenge and support all of its Education Provisions.
The academies within the Brunel receive their base funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) Education, Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and the SEN Top-Up funding from the Local Authority. To qualify for this funding the Trust must ensure it meets the requirements of the Master Funding Agreement and each individual academy’s Supplemental Funding Agreement.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that the Trust’s funds are used only in accordance with the Law, its Articles of Association, its Funding Agreement and the Academies' Financial Handbook. It must ensure proper stewardship of its funds, including regularity and propriety, as well as ensuring economy, efficiency and effectiveness in their use – the three key elements of value for money.