Navigate Academies Trust is to introduce a new framework for the governance of its primary academies, to be chaired by former Ofsted regional director, Louise Soden.
Two Local Improvement Boards (LIBs) have been set up covering Navigate’s Barnsley and Tees Valley Hubs, following research and recommendations by the Department for Education, the CBI and leading education thinkers.
The boards bring together a number of highly-qualified professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines with proven analytical and management skills intended to support, challenge and scrutinise the way academies are run, in order to improve outcomes across a range of performance areas.
Members were chosen, says Navigate’s deputy chief executive, Rachel Singer, for their commitment to furthering education and their “drive and creativity to inspire even greater things.”
Rachel said: “We have completed an exhaustive recruitment campaign for members of the LIBs and feel we have a team of exceptional members to work with, under the Chair’s direction, to deliver improvements for the benefit of children across Barnsley and the Tees Valley.”
“We were delighted with the phenomenal response, with 70 applicants, nearly half of which we invited for interview. The process enabled us to identify and appoint the very best and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of new a governance model which we believe can achieve great things through a new and creative way of working.”
“We see this as the next logical step in the evolution of professional governance.” – Rachel Singer, Navigate deputy chief executive.
Unlike traditional governors, LIB membership is a paid role “We see this as the next logical step in the evolution of professional governance. We believe the LIB is the right mechanism to take the best of what we’ve already got and apply it across all our academies in order to consistently deliver outstanding education.”
Navigate Academies Trust believes a professional team, chosen for their respective skills, knowledge and experience is also more likely to provide effective challenge and support to academy leaders than a potentially less effective volunteer group.
“This move toward the LIB model is a reflection of national inspection findings and what experience tells us that academies and schools fail when governance is weak. Providing support to senior leaders is a key part of the LIB member’s role, as is being able to support and challenge improved performance from all members of the academy community,” said Rachel. “Bringing a new approach to academy governance is long overdue and we now have the chance to use the freedoms and flexibilities afforded to academies in a new and highly innovative way.”