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The Inspiration Trust is an exempt charity; this means we operate like any other charity but are not regulated by the Charity Commission but instead overseen by an alternative regulator, in this case the Secretary of State for Education.

The main documents that set out how we operate are our articles of association, which set our internal structure, and the master funding agreement, which is the legal contract with the Secretary of State under which we run our schools. In addition, there are separate supplemental funding agreements for each individual school.

We are also governed by the Department for Education's Academies Financial Handbook and various pieces of legislation relating to both schools and charities.

Our governance structures

Our formal structures are designed to give robust oversight and management of our academies, without unnecessarily restricting innovation.

We have five members, including the Trust chairman David Tibble, who are responsible for appointing our trustees. 

Trustees provide strategic oversight and ensure the trust meets it legal obligations, both directly and through the audit and risk committee.

Formulation of strategy and day to day operations are delegated to the chief executive, Dame Rachel de Souza. She is supported by our academy principals and professional experts within our central services team.

Our principals are challenged and supported by local governing bodies. These are either individual to each academy, or, in the case of our Great Yarmouth and Norwich schools operate across a number of related schools. Our governors are largely appointed, ensuring we have the balance of skills required to oversee a modern school.

Parental opinion is gathered either through two elected parent governors or a parent advisory body. This larger group allows for more parents to be involved and meet regularly with academy staff.

Our principals also frequently meet with parents at open evenings and other events, and most schools operate a school council to encourage students to take an active part in their own education.



· To appoint / remove trustees

· To sign off financial statements and annual report

· To change the articles

Governed by

Articles of association


Minimum one per year

Board of Trustees

Up to nine trustees appointed by the members plus the chief executive, and up to a further three co-opted trustees.


· To ensure quality of educational provision

· To challenge and monitor performance

· To oversee management of finances and property

· To ensure compliance with charity and company law

· To ensure operation in accordance with funding agreement

· To receive and approve finance procedures and regulations

· To determine and approve corporate policy

· To receive reports from committees


Reports to members at the annual general meeting on progress for the year

Produces financial statements and annual report

Governed by

Terms of reference


Six meetings per year

Audit Committee

A minimum of four members appointed by the Trust board, with a majority of non-trustees.


· To provide oversight on internal controls

· To receive annual internal audit reports

· To receive and monitor strategic risk registers

· To manage responsible office function

· To appoint external auditors


Reports to board of trustees through approved minutes

Governed by

Terms of reference


Four per year

Local Governing Bodies

At least three Trust-appointed governors, plus normally up to two elected parent governors or a parent advisory body. The principal and appropriate academy and trust will attend meetings.


· To support the vision of the Trust

· To govern admissions/exclusions/complaints

· To monitor and be accountable for standards

· To act as critical friend to the Principal

· To represent the views of and engage with the local community

· To authorise expenditure up to levels in finance manual

· To monitor appoint/appraise/dismissal of academy staff excluding Principal

· To oversee safeguarding procedures

· To review and determine local policy

· To set up committees as required


Reports to board of trustees through approved minutes

Governed by

Terms of reference


Two in first term then termly

Parent Advisory Body

The body will normally be chaired by a member of the LGB, and include two elected parents; up to two elected staff; further staff, parents, and community members invited by the principal.


· To advise on attendance / behaviour / learning / home-school relations / nurture / uniforms / any issues where Local Governing Body seek advice

· To identify any further issues where it would be beneficial to advise the Local Governing Body

· To set up staff issues working party where required


Reports to local governing body through approved minutes

Governed by

Terms of reference


As required