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Co-op Academies Trust governance recognised with national award

The Co-op Academies Trust’s governance has been recognised at the National Governance Association’s (NGA)

The Co-op Academies Trust’s governance has been recognised at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards where it won the Multi-Academy Trust category.

The governing bodies of each of the 20 schools and colleges that make up the Co-op Trust are led by a senior manager who works for the Co-op supported by at least one other manager from the business. These governors, who bring a wealth of corporate skills and expertise, are supported by parents, staff and co-opted governors who have essential knowledge of academies’ local partners and communities, their needs and aspirations.

Frank Norris, Director of the Co-op Academies Trust said: “We believe it is essential that each of our academies maintains its own autonomous governing body. That is why one of the biggest contributions our sponsor, the Co-op, makes is to encourage high quality members of staff to be governors and this encourages other high calibre volunteers want to be governors to step up into these important roles. We operate in some of the most economically challenged areas in the North of England and many schools in such areas cannot always attract governors with the expertise needed to challenge and support.

“The Trust has demonstrated that co-operative values and principles, strong governance coupled with the ability to leverage the support of the Co-op in areas such as brand, communications, HR, property, insurance and IT, can have a dramatic impact on school improvement.

“Our Trust undertook a major review in 2014 when it merged three of its Trusts into one legal entity. It was complex and painful at the time but it has ensured we have a governance arrangement that is fit for purpose. We formally review our way of working each year and have undertaken an external review to ensure we can cope with our current growth strategy.

“I am delighted that the work of our governors, Trust Board, and our strong central governance team have been recognised by these prestigious awards.”