Governance Structure

The Trust Structure

The James Cook Learning Trust has an effective framework for governance and accountability which:

  • makes clear the responsibilities for the strategic direction and operational management of the Trust;
  • ensures that the Trust is compliant with DfE requirements, company and charity law;
  • meets the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook, Funding Agreement and the Articles of Association.


The Trust’s Members are not involved in the day-to-day business of the Trust; however, they do have an important role in an academy trust based on a number of key powers set out in the articles of association and in company law.

Members help to ensure that Academy Trustees are exercising effective governance by utilising a range of powers including:

  • Appointing and removing Academy Trustees
  • Appointing and removing Members
  • Directing Trustees (Members can, by special resolution, direct Trustees to take a specific action where Trustees are unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the academy trust)
  • Amending the Trust’s Articles of Association
  • Appointing and removing Auditors


The Trustees are both Charity Trustees and Company Directors, who have ultimate accountability for the way in which the academies within the James Cook Learning Trust are managed.

The trustees focus on three 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 and ensuring effective financial performance

The Trust Board may discharge its responsibilities by delegating functions in accordance with the Trust’s Articles of Association, Funding Agreement and Academies Financial Handbook. The Trust has approved a committee structure and delegated responsibility to those committees.

Finance, Audit, Risk and Resources Committee

The Finance, Audit, Risk and Resources committee normally meets once a term. The Trust Board has delegated responsibility to the Finance, Audit, Risk and Resources Committee to:

  • support and advise the JCLT Board in ensuring the financial viability of the Trust.
  • ensure the effective use of resources across the Trust and Academies.
  • direct the trust’s programme of internal scrutiny and report to the board on the adequacy of the trust’s financial and other controls and management of risks.
  • compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook and other regulatory requirements.

Executive Head Teacher

In their individual capacity, each Head Teacher will ensure the effective management and strategic direction of their respective Academy in line with the Trust’s vision, aims, Development Plan and delegation arrangements. As a group, their role is to:

  • support the CEO in achieving the overall vision and objectives set by the Trust Board.
  • support the CEO and JCLT Board by providing information, advice and recommendations regarding academic and financial performance and standards.
  • take a strategic lead, as a group or as individuals, in the delivery of key priority themes as identified in the JCLT Development Plan.

Local Governing Body

Local Governing Bodies are accountable to the Trust Board for ensuring individual Academies are managed effectively, taking account of the vision and aims of the Trust and adhering to any Trust-wide policies. Their key roles are:

  • to ensure an Academy Development Plan is in place reflecting key priorities for the Academy and the Trust, and to monitor and review outcomes of the Development Plan;
  • to hold their Academy to account by monitoring and reviewing its academic and financial performance and its impact on pupil outcomes;
  • to support the Trust Board by ensuring regular reporting on matters relating to their Academy’s academic and financial performance, in line with the agreed reporting schedule.

Further detail on these roles and responsibilities can be found in the Governance Framework document (which includes committee terms of reference) and the Scheme of Delegation.


James Cook Learning Trust Articles of AssociationView
JCLT Governance Framework and Delegation Schedule Sep 2022View
JCLT Delegation Schedule Sep 2022View

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