I am honoured to be the Chair of Woodbridge Trust Board, as well as the Chair of Trustees. I have been involved in governance for many years, initially as a governor then vice-chair of governors at Markland Hill Primary School in Bolton. In 2012 I became a governor at Ladywood School and then the Chair of governors in 2012.
For the last few years, I have worked toward the foundation of Woodbridge Academy Trust and assisted in the planning and processes to make this happen. For more than 30 years, I worked for the National Health Service as a Speech and Language Therapist, specialising in working with children with Special Needs. My links with Ladywood School began in 1992, and since then I have worked with many Bolton children and their families.
I have led a team of therapists and assistants who worked in people’s homes, nurseries, schools and hospitals. As a core member of the Child Development Team, I was part of the multidisciplinary approach with families during diagnosis and beyond. I have completed various management courses, and have been heavily involved in training staff from Health, Education and Social Services.
Clinically I have led regional study and development groups. On a personal note, I am married with 4 grown-up children.
CHAIR OF TRUSTEES
As Trustees we acknowledge our overall responsibility for ensuring that Woodbridge Trust has an effective and appropriate system of control covering all aspects of the Trust’s business activities. Such systems are designed to manage and mitigate rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve business objectives, and can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss.
The Board of Trustees has delegated the day-to-day responsibility to the Chief Executive Officer, as accounting officer, for ensuring financial controls conform with the requirements of both propriety and good financial management and that these are in accordance with the requirements and responsibilities assigned to it in the funding agreements between Woodbridge Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. The Chief Executive Officer is also responsible for reporting to the Board any material weakness or breakdowns in internal control.
Trustees are well trained and are committed to attending training that enhances understanding of their responsibilities and legal function. This equips them with the knowledge to provide both challenge and support for the Senior Leadership Teams at all of the academies in the Trust. The Scheme of Delegation balances the need for control with empowering Academy and senior leaders to be accountable for the performance of the academy / area they manage.
As Trustees, we have reviewed and taken account of the guidance in DfE’s Governance Handbook and competency framework for governance.
The board oversees all Trust activities from Pupil attainment, progress and attendance to financial management, viability and stability of the Trust, the future growth of the Trust, along with key personnel appointments.
The board has agreed a scheme of delegation in order that decision making is devolved to the desired operational or strategic level.
The Audit Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Trustees. The main purpose of the Committee is to advise the Board of Trustees on the Trust’s assurance framework in line with the Academies Financial Handbook, Articles of Association and Funding Agreements, supporting the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to financial and business risk management together with the wider internal control framework of the Trust. Meetings of the Committee will be held at least 3 times during the year. The work of the committee continues to develop, focused by clear terms of reference, providing resilience to the Boards reporting mechanisms.
The Finance, HR and Resources Committee is a sub-committee of the main board of Trustees. The Committee is responsible to the Board of Trustees for Financial, HR and Health and Safety matters. This includes but is not limited to reviewing the budgets, reviewing of policies relating to these areas, pay review, grievances, disciplinary and ensuring submission of key returns by the CFO to the ESFA/DFE. The committee deal with other financial or audit matters as may from time to time be referred to the committee for consideration.