Our Governing Body Structure 

The Chair of the Trust is:

Dr Deborah Absalom

and the Trustee with responsibility for safeguarding is:

Ms Alison Mullan


 The three core functions of governance are:

  • 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; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

Our governance model is:



The Role Of Our Members

As a charitable company limited by guarantee, our Members have a similar role to the shareholders in a company limited by shares.  Members of the Trust do not have rights of ownership in the company like shareholders because the profits of the Trust cannot be distributed to them. However, the Members can control changes in the Articles and other fundamental decisions relating to the Trust. Although the Board of Trustees has legal responsibility and ultimate accountability for the Trust, Members should keep themselves informed about how the Board is performing and have an awareness of when they may need to exercise their powers to ensure effective governance.  They adopt a 'hands-off' approach to overseeing the work of the Trust as it is for the Trustees to manage the governance of the Trust. 


  • are the subscribers to the trust’s memorandum of association (where they are founding members);
  • may amend the articles of association subject to any restrictions in the articles, the funding agreement or charity law;
  • may, in certain circumstances, appoint new members or remove existing members;
  • have powers to appoint and remove trustees in certain circumstances;
  • may, by special resolution, issue direction to the trustees to take a specific action;
  • appoint the trust’s auditors and receive the trust’s audited annual accounts (subject to the Companies Act); and
  • have power to change the name of the company and, ultimately, wind up the academy trust.

The Role Of Our Trustees

The Trustees are also the company directors and have ultimate accountability for the schools and the Trust. The Board of Trustees manages the business of the Trust and focuses strongly on the three core functions of governance:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the Trust and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • overseeing the financial performance of the Trust and making sure its money is well spent.

Our Trustees' combined skills offer a wealth of experience to support the Trust in its activities.

Effective governance, for Members, Trustees and Governors is based on six key features:

  1. Strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy.
  2. Accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance.
  3. People with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity.
  4. Structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  5. Compliance with statutory and contractual requirements.
  6. Evaluation to monitor and improve the quality and impact of governance.

The Role Of the Hub Regional Governing Board (RGB) and the Local Governing Board (LGB)

The RGB has put in place a structure of a “hub” Regional Governing Board for Bexley which oversees Northumberland Heath, Peareswood and Willow Bank Primary Schools and, once open, Lime Wood Free School. 

Currently, the Knockhall Primary School Local Governing Body (LGB) sits outside this arrangement.  Its reporting requirements and procedures continue unchanged.

The RGB/LGB has responsibility for monitoring the following:

  • Safeguarding
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Pupil Outcomes
  • Pupil Premium Grant (PPG)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
  • Pupil Attendance
  • Health and Safety

The RGB/LGB has the following responsibilities delegated from the Board of Trustees:

  • Hear appeals about pupil exclusions.
  • Hear complaints.
  • Approve residential and adventurous school trips.
  • Approve school policies.
  • Appoint School Advisory Panel Governors (where appropriate)


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