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The Pioneer Academy Trust recognises the intrinsic link between high quality governance and the quality of leadership and management of the school. The Trust endorses the key qualities evident in the successful leadership of governors in general and chairs of governors in particular as highlighted by OfSTED:

  • Vision
  • Analytical Skills
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Energy
  • Decisive Action
  • Toughness
  • The Ability to Challenge
  • Enthusiasm


The model of governance across The Pioneer Academy is central to the principle of promoting local freedom and governance for schools to take control of their own destiny. A key principle that drives The Pioneer Academy, is that each school will be as autonomous as the quality of education it provides dictates.  There is a clear delegated framework for governance at Trust Board and School Board level that makes the responsibilities of both the Trust Board and each School Board explicit. 

Trust Board

The Pioneer Academy Trust Board is constituted to create robust and challenging governance across our schools, realising the ambitions and aspirations for high achievement.  Building on the excellence of the quality of governance, the Multi Academy Trust Board will bring synergy to the leadership, management and policy framework for all schools.

The Trust Board is made up of members of the management team, key stakeholders and invited partners who ensure an equality of opportunity for all schools during the decision making processes of The Pioneer Academy and to be a part of the wider organisation at a strategic level. The Trustees monitor performance of our schools in the light of the quality improvement framework presented at Trust Board meetings. Trustees also monitor the Trust performance by way of regular reports from the CEO against the strategic objectives.

The Trust Board meets eight times a year and is supported in its work by the Company Secretary and Company Clerk.

The Trustees work collectively as a group and are accountable to the wider community for the delivery of the best possible educational, pastoral and support service.  The Trust Board has overall responsibility for the management and administration of The Pioneer Academy: the operations of all schools, with some responsibilities delegated to the School Board of each school. The School Boards are legally functioning committees of the Trustees Board. They will meet termly and have special interest governors, looking after such aspects as standards, resources and buildings and premises.  The day to day management of the schools is delegated to the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Education, Head Teachers, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Finance Officer and members of the senior management team.

The Regional Scrutiny Board includes: Chief Executive Officer, Director of Education or Chief Finance Officer, School Board Governor with specific responsibilities in that area, the Head Teacher or School Business Manager for each school.


School Board

Local Governance is undertaken by local people with elected parents and staff on each School Board. A key principle that drives The Pioneer Academy, is that each school will be as autonomous as the quality of education it provides dictates. The key role of the School Board is the ongoing monitoring at individual school level to ensure the key performance indicators are achieve.

The School Boards have a minimum of 10 members. The Chair and majority of these governors (six in total per school) will be appointed by the Trust Board to ensure sufficient oversight and control of the strategic direction of the school from the sponsoring trust, The Pioneer Academy. The remaining governors will include:

  • Two elected parent governors
  • Two elected staff governors (one teaching, and one non-teaching)
  • The Head Teacher


Core Functions

The School Board has five core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent;
  • Ensuring all safeguarding policies and procedures, including prevent, are effective; and
  • Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the School Development Plan (SDP) and reviewing the annual Self-Evaluation Report (SEF)

The School Board members are carefully selected, using the National Governance Association skills audit and skills matrix.  As a member of the School Board, local governors would be expected to take on a specific responsibility for one of ten special interest areas detailed below.

1.            SEND and disadvantaged (including Pupil Premium)

2a.          Finance

2b.         Premises and Health and Safety

3.            Safeguarding

4.            Curriculum (including PE and Sport Premium)

5.            Attainment and Progress

6.            Teaching Standards

7.            Staffing

8.            Parents, Children and Community

9.            Attendance and Behaviour

Each special interest role will be allocated in line with the School Board Governor’s individual skillset and will also undergo bespoke training via The Pioneer Academy’s Training and Development Programme, which is aligned to the DfE’s Governance Handbook and Competency Framework for Governance –



What do the School Board Governors do?

School Board Governors are very important in making sure that the school is fulfilling its purpose in providing an effective education for the children. The main aspect of the role is to be a “critical friend.” This is a bit of “governor speak” but describes the responsibility in that we are there to sense, check and monitor. A School Board Governor’s job is to focus on those aspects that indicate the performance of the school, and also take a strategic view of where we want the school to get to. It is not focused on day-to-day running of the operational side or day-to-day issues. The School Board Governors do not intervene in the professional responsibilities of teachers, but they do agree policies which, when put into practice by the teaching staff, determine what is taught to children. These policies are available on the website or from the school office.

The School Board meets at least once a term. Standing items on all School Board meeting agendas will be SEND, safeguarding, pupil progress (including of pupils with EAL, SEND, LAC and FSM), finance, health and safety as well as school culture.  Minutes of these meetings are displayed on a notice board by the school office.

The Pioneer Academy seeks to develop the role of School Board Governors to provide robust support and challenge, judging the impact of school leaders and all staff through the outcomes for pupils.

The School Board Governors work to these key principles:

  • To provide challenge and support to the Head Teacher and staff of the school to raise standards and keep pupils safe
  • To champion high achievement for all pupils, with a particular focus on the ‘Corporate Parenting’ role held by all governors
  • To monitor all aspects of the school performance, with probity and integrity
  • To ensure they are trained to understand data and performance to give them insight into the progress the school is making
  • To bring and discuss the views and perspectives of pupils, parents, carers and the community
  • To take an active role in the School Board meetings, deploying key skills effectively to the benefit of the school and The Pioneer Academy
  • To ensure proper practices and legal duties are discharged within the remit of the law and national guidance
  • To seek to optimise value for money services within the school and across the Trust schools


How are School Board Governors elected?

The Chair and majority of these governors (six in total per school) will be appointed by the Trust Board to ensure sufficient oversight and control of the strategic direction of the school from the sponsoring Trust, The Pioneer Academy. The two staff governors are elected by and from the staff at the school. They serve for four years. The two parent governors are elected by the parents of all pupils at the school and must be the parent of a child at the school at the time of their election. If their child leaves the school before the end of their 4-year term of office, they do not have to stand down. When there is a vacancy for a parent governor, all parents will be notified, invited to nominate candidates, provided with information about the candidates and be issued with a ballot form.


The scheme of delegation

This is well thought out and carefully developed. Further details regarding the scheme of delegation and other key governance documents may be found on The Pioneer Academy Web Site:




Trust Board

Regional Board

School Boards

Executive Central Team

Head Teacher

To review and amend

The Articles of Association


To change the name of the Academy Trust


To receive an annual report from the Trustees and the CEO on the Academy Trust’s performance


To appoint Trustees


To determine the educational character, mission and ethos of the Academy Trust






To provide Trust overview, scrutiny and challenge of academy education, financial performance and risk management


To review and amend

  • The terms of reference for the Trust Board
  • The Constitution and Terms of Reference of Regional Boards and their sub committees
  • The Constitution and Terms of Reference of the School Boards
  • These roles and functions


To determine effective communication systems.


To determine the Board’s Reserved Matters.


To ensure the educational character, mission and ethos of the Academy Trust


To appoint a Trust Company Secretary


To appoint a Clerk to the Trustees


To review and approve the policies of the Academy Trust


Oversight and evaluation of the Strategic Plan


Determine statutory policies in accordance with Scheme of Delegation


To set the times of Academy sessions and the dates of Trust terms and holidays and INSET days

To provide Regional overview, scrutiny and challenge of academy education, financial performance and risk management


To support Regional and local contacts and communication with:

  • Chairs of School Board
  • Head Teachers


To ensure there is effective communication between the Trustees and the School Boards


To support the Chairs on the leadership of their respective School Boards


To consult with the School Boards on any governance proposals


Review and evaluate the schools Strategic Plan


Review and evaluate the SEF


To monitor the impact of the pupil premium in the Region



To champion the Trust mantra and principles in the schools and to ensure the wellbeing of all pupils


To ensure that the school has a medium to long-term vision for its future and that there is a robust strategy in place for achieving its vision


To recommend appointment(and to remove) from its number: Chair, Vice Chair and School Board Governors with specific responsibilities


To review and amend the school determined policies (in line with any Academy Trust prescribed policy)


To implement a means whereby the Academy can receive and react to pupil, parent and staff feedback


To establish and maintain a relationship with members of the local community


Monitor and evaluate the schools Strategic Plan


Monitor and evaluate the SEF


To monitor the impact of the pupil premium in the school


To ensure effective arrangements are in place for pupil support and representation at the School Councils

To attend meetings of the Regional Board to provide reports where necessary


To secure professional advice on behalf of the Trustees as maybe requested


To support Trustees and Schools in the preparation of Trust-wide and School specific policy requirements


Oversight and evaluation of the Strategic Plan


To implement and embed the educational character, mantra and principles in line with the Trust


To attend meetings of the School Board and to provide a Head Teacher’s report


To tailor Trust-wide policies to Schools as recommended by the Executive Team through the Head Teacher Board.


Prepare and monitor the School Development Plan


To ensure effective deployment of the Pupil Premium and to monitor its impact


Oversight and evaluation of the Strategic Plan





Governing Body

Stewart Fleming Primary School's Governing Body is currently made up 10 governors: 3 parent governors (including the chair); 3 staff governors (including the Head Teacher); 2 co-opted governors and 2 community governors. We also have a clerk who is responsible for organising the meetings, taking minutes and making sure we follow correct procedures.

Membership of the Stewart Fleming School Board

Stewart Fleming Governors


  • Rachel Lincoln (Headteacher)
  • Lydia Coss (Staff Governor)
  • Max Eaton (Chair of Governors)
  • Iann Dunn (Community Governor) 
  • Azumah Dennis (Community Governor)
  • Michael Hitchens (Co-opted Governor)
  • Darrell Robbins (Staff Governor)
  • Sarah Nosir (Parent Governor)
  • Lara Durkee (Parent Governor)
  • Sam Ogunyomi (Co-opted Governor)

Attendance records for School Board Meetings

Please find the attendance record for each Governor at Governor's meeting via the link below:



Formal complaints

The school received one formal complaint in the year 2018-19

The school has received no formal complaints in the year 2019-20

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