Session Title
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David Earnshaw CBE, Chair of the Board, Outwood Grange Academies Trust (CONFIRMED)

  • Exploring the role of high-quality trustees and governing boards in delivering robust oversight and challenge to support enhanced outcomes for academies
  • Examining how robust governance practices and accountability can improve financial and educational standards
  • Assessing the next steps in promoting the development of talent and diversity from all sectors and backgrounds on academy boards
  • Discussing the future of the governance profession and how more high-quality leaders can be attracted into the sector

Lord Agnew Kt DL, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, Department for Education (DfE) (CONFIRMED)

  • Exploring the operational changes to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) system to deliver further support for improving learning outcomes in academies
  • Ensuring trust leaders are at the forefront of leading innovation in the sector and driving the development of strong academies
  • Sharing insights from the RSCs on the core characteristics of outstanding leadership and governance
  • Examining how MATs can demonstrate their capacity to improve standards and develop their trusts

Dominic Herrington, National Schools Commissioner Department for Education (DfE) (CONFIRMED)

  • Examining the core indicators of strong financial oversight within a Trust
  • Developing strategic financial planning with a focus on value for money, improving provision and ensuring long term sustainability
  • Exploring what governors should know, what constitutes effective budget monitoring and the key performance indicators (KPIs) all boards should offer oversight on
  • Analysing the latest updates to the Academies Financial Handbook and how it can guide questions asked of senior leaders

Mike Pettifer, Director, Academies and Maintained Schools Group, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) (CONFIRMED)

  • The importance of ethical governance
  • Assessing how academies can recruit and attract highly skilled and diverse trustees with relevant knowledge and experience
  • Understanding what makes an effective board with high quality chairing, clear responsibilities, and challenging questioning
  • Discussing what constitutes an effective relationship between and senior leadership
  • Ensuring the delivery of accountable governance which successfully reflects the views and priorities of the wider community, pupils, parents and staff
  • The scheme of delegation and the role of local governance

Emma Knights, Chief Executive, National Governance Association (NGA) (CONFIRMED)

  • Supporting a strong board culture focused on transparency, communication and clear responsibilities
  • Exploring what makes an effective board meeting and assessing the role of a strong chair in setting clear expectations and driving a vision forward
  • Evaluating the components of successful decision making based on robust evidence and guided by a focus on compliance and resource management
  • Assessing how to develop clear structures within a board and conduct self-reviews to scrutinise the performance of the board in conducting its functions

Leora Cruddas, CEO, The Confederation of School Trusts (CONFIRMED)

  • Explore the key challenges facing senior leaders including financial restraints, regional disparities and educational disadvantage
  • Examining the next steps in building strong and sustainable Academies and MATs which have the capability to raise standards and improve educational outcomes
  • Delivering a long-term vision and clear ethos to support enhanced performance
  • Building effective relations with a board to support strong accountability and communication that supports the delivery of strategic objectives

Dame Rachel de Souza, CEO, Inspiration Trust (CONFIRMED)
Claire-Marie Cuthbert, CEO, The Evolve Trust (CONFIRMED)
Stuart Gardner, CEO, Thinking Schools Academy Trust (CONFIRMED)
Jeremy Rowe, CEO, Waveney Valley Academies Trust (CONFIRMED)

  • Assessing the risk management role of academy trustees and evaluating how trusts can effectively identify the core risks to high quality operational and educational outcomes
  • Mapping the core risks facing a trust against their impact and likelihood
  • Developing a mitigation strategy to prevent the risk of financial failures, reputational damage, safeguarding concerns or staffing challenges
  • Implementing a trustee led programme which monitors financial management, educational performance and workforce development to mitigate central risks

Ian Livsey, Chief Executive, Institute of Risk Management (invited)

  • Exploring strategies for diversifying boards to encourage greater representation for those from BAME backgrounds, young people and those with a variety of professional backgrounds
  • Assessing how diversity can support new ideas, balanced discussion and improve the scrutiny of school leaders
  • Preventing group-think on governing boards by developing board members who offer different perspectives and thinking
  • Evaluating how governing boards can broaden their recruitment processes and attract new trustees that represent their communities

Kirsty Watt, Head, Academy Ambassadors (CONFIRMED)
Hannah Stolton, CEO, Governors for Schools (CONFIRMED)

  • Assessing the role of a clerk in guiding a board through growth, whilst ensuring compliance and ethical decision making
  • Supporting effective communication between senior leaders and the board to deliver strong performance management of a trust
  • Evaluating the role of a clerk in supporting a board through legal frameworks, financial oversight and risk management
  • Exploring the skills that make an excellent clerk and how a clerk can ensure a board effectively performs its functions

Kelly Goddard, Clerk, The Affinity Federation (invited)

*programme subject to change