Governance Structure

The Acorn Education Trust Governance Structure


We are very proud of our governance structure and believe it is a strong feature of the Trust and our schools.

The structure is:




Board of Directors


Business Committee     Audit and Risk Committee     Remuneration Committee


Chairs of Academy Council


School Academy Council of Governors


The Members appoint the Directors (Trustees), amend the articles of association and receive the annual accounts.

Our Directors (Trustees) oversee the strategic direction of the Trust, the finances and hold to account the CEO and the Senior Executive.

Beneath the directors is an Academy Council of Governors for each school.  Each Academy Council is responsible for the standards in their school, safeguarding and for maintaining the unique identity, community ethos and culture of their school.

There are very clear Terms of Reference and a Scheme of Delegation for these groups which ensures strong accountability.  All meetings are clerked by a member of the Trust Governance team.  Zoe Stockley, Governance Adviser supports all governance personnel.


The 7 Principles of Public Life (The Nolan Principles)


Selflessness – acting solely in terms of the public interest


Objectivity – acting and taking decisions impartially, fairly and using the best evidence without discrimination or bias


Accountability – being accountable to the public for decisions and actions and submitting to scrutiny necessary to ensure this


Leadership – exhibiting these principles in their own behaviour, actively promoting then and challenging poor behaviour wherever it occurs


Honesty – being truthful


Openness – acting and taking decisions in an open and transparent manner


Integrity – avoiding inappropriate influence and ensuring that no decision or action is taken in order to gain financial or other material benefit


Other Qualities 

  • A Commitment to the critical friend role (not inspector/head role)

  • An Open mind

  • Empathy and sensitivity

  • Confidentiality

  • An Effective communicator

  • Enthusiasm

  • A sense of humour

  • An Ability to focus on ‘the big picture’

  • A willingness to learn




Link to Governance Handbook January 2017