Cliff Lane Primary School is part of the multi-academy trust Bright Tribe Trust and the school’s governance structure and function is part of the wider Trust’s governance framework.
Following the Government’s recommendation for all schools to review its governance procedures and move to a skills-based structure, Bright Tribe has developed an innovative structure to ensure each academy is accountable for its decisions and that the best outcomes are available for students. From 1st September 2016, this structure replaces the previous Local Governing Body which was in place.
The full structure of the Trust governance and remit of the Trust’s members, board of trustees and scheme of delegation are available on the governance page of Bright Tribe’s website.
How Governance Works at the Academy
The main purpose of the governance structure is to drive school improvement and improve the outcomes for the children and young people within our academy. Advisors with appropriate skills, local knowledge and experience will sit on the groups within the structure and reporting will be clear and rigorous.
Drive Teams provide local support and challenge for each academy within each region and act as a vehicle for driving school improvement at academy level through the direction of the academy Rapid Improvement Group (RIG). Drive Teams hold the Principal to account.
The Rapid Improvement Group (RIG) has a management function of ensuring school improvement takes place with pace and focus. It identifies, through looking at school data and pupil performance, priority school improvement areas with required actions, some of which the Drive Team can work on and report on to the Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group.
The Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group provides quality assurance, support, and challenge to academy leaders. The ARC group hold the Regional Executive Principal to account. This group operates regionally and reports to the Trust Board.
Drive Team Members
Principal & Drive Team Member
Vice Principal & Drive Team Member
Drive Team Member: Tom Rout
Hello, my name is Tom Rout. I am delighted to be joining the Cliff Lane School Drive Team, where my role will be to help review the school’s progress in the area of children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
I am married to Nicola, we have three children, two of whom are at the school (in years 3 and 1). I have been minister of St Luke’s Church opposite the school for just over 2 years and also have a role as chaplain to Suffolk New College and University of Suffolk. I hope that as part of the Drive Team I will be able to help the school to nurture well rounded, happy and responsible children who are increasingly able to make their own positive contribution to society. If you would like to share any thoughts or concerns you have with regard to the areas listed above, please feel free to catch me in the playground – or you can contact me through the school office.
Drive Team Member: Susie Laws
Area of responsibility: Improving the attainment of pupils at Cliff Lane in math. I am mum to Joshua age 7 and Isaac aged 3. I am also employed part-time as a Chartered Financial Planner. Both of my boys will be at Cliff Lane full time from September 2017 and as part of the Drive Team, I will be working towards the continuing improvement of the school. Please feel free to approach me in the playground for a chat or to ask any questions, (I am normally about for drop off and pick up on a Monday and Friday). Or alternatively I can be contacted via the office if needed.
Drive Team Member: Christina Wise
Hello my name is Christina Wise and I am part of the drive team. I have worked in Public Health for 10 years and currently work as a health and well being project officer for children and young people. My role in the drive team will be to help ensure that the children at cliff lane are happy and healthy as I firmly believe happy, healthy and emotionally resilient children will learn better. I have 2 children at cliff lane – Oliver age 10 and Grace age 7. I am always on the drop off and pick up at school so if you have any ideas or suggestions or would like to talk to me about the health and well being of children please do not hesitate to approach me.
Drive Team Member: Lisa Hutton
I currently work at Willis Towers Watson, an Insurance Broker in Ipswich Town Centre, and have worked there for 13 years. I work in the claims department, dealing with very large claims, which occur all around the world, which can be quite interesting. As part of my job role, I am currently on a project to improve our current claim processes within my Ipswich and Mumbai claims team, which involves coming up with ideas for improvements, and discussing these ideas with the rest of my project team on a regular basis. I have been involved in this project for just over a year now, but this is something I have really enjoyed and feel that I have made a difference within my claims team and some of my ideas have been implemented.
This is what enticed me into applying to become a member in the Drive Team. I have a 7 year old daughter Sophia, who is in Year 3 and a 4 year old son Declan, who is in Reception, both at Cliff Lane. I love coming up with new ideas and then having the ability to be able to make a change. Being a working parent and having children at school, I am sure I will have the same views and ideas of other working parents.
Hi, I’m Charlotte. My daughter Bella goes to the nursery at Cliff Lane Primary School and we are very fortunate to live right next to Holywells park, which provides us with a lovely 10-minute walk to the school. I have been working in administrative roles in education for the past 6 years and I am currently based in the Postgraduate Medical Education Centre at Ipswich Hospital. Previous to this I had a variety of different positions in both further and higher education across many different departments at Suffolk New College and in partnership with the University of Suffolk. I am very much looking forward to supporting the school and working with the local community.
Drive team member: Cassandra Williams (in attendance/non-member)
Cassandra Williams, Regional Executive Principal, East of England, is responsible for guiding, supporting and challenging the principals of each school in her area to become the best they can be for the improvement of their students. She also works part-time as a Lead Inspector for Ofsted which gives her a first class understanding of external expectations.
What do Drive Teams do?
- Drive Teams have been established to drive forward school improvement within the Trust’s academies. The group will consist of parent, community, staff advisors and some cases pupils.
- Parent and community advisors within this group will spend time in schools looking at some aspects of the school which have been identified through the RIG as requiring intervention and improvement. The group, therefore takes its lead from the RIG. The parent and community advisors will report back to ARC group, using a set reporting template.
- It is not the remit of the parent and community advisors to report on the quality of teaching within the school.
- A parent focus group meets termly and parent advisors are able to engage with pupils through school visits or via the school council.
- Parent and community advisor visits are an excellent way of looking independently at a school.
Further information regarding the remit of the Drive Team is available in the Drive Team Terms of Reference.
2017-18 Drive Team Meeting Dates:
2017-18 Drive Team Minutes:
Apply to join the Drive Team
Being a member of the Drive Team provides an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the academy at this exciting stage of the Trust’s development. The group convenes termly or as and when required.
If you would like to become a member of the academy Drive Team, please click the link below for further information and guidance.
Regional Accountability, Review and Challenge (ARC) Groups have been established across each region within the trust academy network. The ARC group meets 3 times a year with meetings being face to face within each region.
The ARC Group monitors the performance of the academies within the region, holds the Regional Executive Principal to account and supports and challenges the Regional Executive Principal to drive rapid school improvement and share best practice.
The ARC Group receives Drive Team reports from the regional National Leader in Governance who also ensures that feedback from the ARC Group is taken back to the Drive Team.
The ARC group reports up to the Trust Board directly through the Regional Trustee who ensures that a ‘Golden Tread’ exists to link actions and information up and down between the individual schools and the Trust board.
The ARC groups are split into three regions:
- Region 1 – Cornwall
- Region 2 – Suffolk and Essex
- Region 3 – North
Cliff Lane Primary School belongs to Region 2.
Who are the ARC group members?
- The Chair for the ARC Group, who is the Regional Trustee* (who attends across the region and sits on the Trust Board)
- An independent National Leader of Governance* (who attends across the region and is the direct link to each school drive team)
- The Director of Primary Education/The Director of Secondary Education (who attend across the region and who are not members but just attend)
- The Regional Executive Principal (who attends across the region)
- The Principal and Drive Team Chair/Lead (invited to attend but not members).
- The Regional Business Manager (invited to attend but not a member)
- A clerk
The majority of members will not be employees*
Further information regarding the remit of the ARC group is available in the ARC group Terms of Reference.
When are the ARC group meeting dates?
ARC group meetings will be held at a nominated academy where representatives will either dial into a conference call or attend in person to meet. The dates and times of these meetings are listed below:
- Tuesday 10 October 2017
- Tuesday 6th February 2018
- Tuesday 22nd May 2018
ARC group meeting minutes:
Please note that as from September 2017 the Drive Team act as the Local Advisory Group within the Trust governance structure and Drive Team minutes will be shown on school websites in place of regional ARC minutes.
Please contact Anne-Marie Winter with any enquiries.
Further information regarding the remit of the ARC group is available in the ARC group Terms of Reference.
How do these various groups report?
The groups operate and report as shown in the diagram below.
What is a Scheme of Delegation?
The powers devolved to each academy by the Trust are outlined in the Trust Scheme of Delegation.
The group which has a function at regional and academy level is the ARC group which is highlighted within the Scheme of Delegation.
What are the benefits of the new structure?
- Advisors with the appropriate skill sets, experience and training will sit on groups within the structure and reporting will be clear and rigorous.
- A clear reporting structure is in place which ensures transparency, clear identification of actions, responsibilities, outcomes and impact.
- Actions, outcomes and impact are directly targeted at supporting specific areas of identified school improvement.
- Outcome and impact are rigorously monitored, regularly revisited, and challenged at academy (Drive Team), regional (ARC group) and Board level to ensure successful outcomes are achieved.
- The structure not only supports a process but is designed to show clear lines of accountability and ownership of school improvement by all involved.
- The structure meets the Government’s expectations in terms of ensuring open, independent review and rigorous challenge as delegated to the ARC group.
The Trust’s governance framework consists of the Trust Board, it’s various sub-committees, regional ARC groups and school-led Drive Teams, to establish a professional and fit-for-purpose structure with a clear remit.
Further details of the Trust’s governance framework are available on the Trust’s website.