Bellevue Place Education Trust

Governance Structure

Bellevue Place Education Trust is overseen by the Board of Trustees, known as the BPET Board. The trustees are highly experienced professionals - including education professionals - working alongside trustees appointed following a skills-based assessment.

The Board is supported by the Central Team who delivers the strategic aims of the Board and ensures the BPET’s vision and ethos is met on a day-to-day basis, along with providing support for the schools in governance, educational, finance, operational and marketing support. The central team is led by the Chief Executive.

Governance Structure

As the maintaining authority, the BPET Board are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education – as a network of schools under one legal body. BPET is also known as a multi-academy trust (MAT).

BPET is a company limited by guarantee – which means it has charitable status – although is overseen by the Department for Education rather than the Charity Commission. The Articles of Association sets out the purpose of the Bellevue Place Education Trust. The founding members of the trust signed the Memorandum of Association on incorporation. BPET’s responsibilities are set out in the Master Funding Agreement, which is a contract between BPET and the Secretary of State for Education.

Each school maintained by BPET has its own Supplementary Funding Agreement (SFA), which includes duties for the local community the school serves. These documents can be found under their details on this website on Our schools page.

BPET has three main layers of governance, with the appointment of members, trustees and local advisers. The purpose for the first two roles are taken from the DfE Governance Handbook, below:

  • Members – who have ultimate responsibility for the trust achieving its charitable objectives. They sign off the articles of association and have power to appoint and remove the trustees.
  • Trustees – (the Board of Trustees) who collectively deliver the three core functions common to school governance. The trustees must also ensure compliance with company and charity law and with the trust’s funding agreement with the Secretary of State.
  • Local advisers – (the Local Advisory Board for each school) who collectively are the local governance arrangement in each school. They are tasked with setting the strategic direction for the school, within the overall BPET vision; holding the Headteacher and senior leadership team to account for the educational performance of the school, its pupils and the performance management of staff; and ensuring investment in educational improvement is value for money and having the desired impact on standards.

Tasks of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees are the accountable body for BPET's activities, and have the responsibility to:

  • Establish the core education vision
  • Hold Headteachers and Local Advisory Boards (LAB) to account for the standards of attainment and broader achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching and learning, the behaviour and safety of pupils, the leadership and management of the school, the pedagogy, curriculum and learning environment for the children
  • Arrange for educational audits to evaluate performance regularly with cognisance of the latest Ofsted guidance and to make recommendations to improve effectiveness
  • Set school targets, with input from LAB
  • Monitor and manage the financial and administrative policies (HR, ICT)
  • Budgeting and reporting procedures
  • Statutory compliance work
  • Staff contracts and HR policies
  • IT network strategy
  • Major procurement policies
  • Headteacher recruitment and appointment
  • Evaluation of Headteacher performance, with input from LAB Chair
  • Administrative and support services as required
  • Other educational programmes including but not limited to: leadership training, extended school programme.

The BPET Board has delegated a number of responsibilities to the Chief Executive (Accounting Officer), Local Advisory Board and Headteacher of each school, which is set out in the BPET Scheme of Delegation.

The BPET Board meets 6 times a year and has the following committees:

  • Finance, Risk & Audit Committee: David Thomas (Chair), Simon Rule and Sandeep Jain
  • Remuneration Committee: Vicky Griffiths (Chair), Claire Delaney and David Thomas

Financial scrutiny is through an external auditor, appointed by trustees and an internal audit process carried out by a separate audit provider, reporting to the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.

One Board meeting a year is a strategic planning session, where the BPET 3-Year Strategic Plan is reviewed, assessing whether the key risks of the group have changed and assessing the key strategic developments across Bellevue Place Education Trust.

The Board has adopted the BPET Board Governance Policy which sets out the terms of reference for these committees along with the rules for the Board.

National Governors Association review, 2023

Following an external governance review by the National Governors Association (NGA) in 2023. The NGA was clear that the review was commissioned by BPET because "the trust wants to be the best it can at what it does, including its governance".

The trustees are pleased with the NGA's key findings: 

  • The governance structure of BPET is fit for purpose
  • The board functions well. It is led by a strong chair and is carrying out its three core functions well
  • The BPET vision and values are clear and understood by trustees
  • Finances are carefully managed; financial oversight is good
  • BPET has a considered approach to growth which is working
  • The LAB handbook is excellent
  • There are a few areas for development, but these are not significant.

The suggestions given were mostly around developing stronger relationships with local advisory boards, which would will leave the trust in an even stronger position, such as:

  • Develop relationships with the LABs
  • Create a clearer understanding of where the LABs sit in the structure, and where they add value
  • Develop a standardised approach to the mechanics of local governance in BPET.

The above points will be actioned during the next three years, before the next NGA review will take place.

Last updated: March 2024