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Academy Council

Governance within a multi-academy trust

Wallscourt Farm Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust that is responsible for a number of academies across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Gloucester and Somerset.  Governance for a multi-academy trust operates at two levels.  At trust level, there is a Board of Directors.  The directors are accountable to the Department for Education and external government agencies, including the Charity Commission, for the quality of the education the trust provides and the effective use of the associated academy funding. They are required to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, financial probity, safety and good practice. The Board is provided assurance on a number of these areas through various sub-committees, as shown in the diagram below. Visit the CLF website for more information about the board.

Academy Council

At a local level, each academy has an Academy Council comprising of up to 13 Academy Councillors.  Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academic experience of the students under their care with the aim of securing effective school improvement.  They do this through monitoring performance against an annual academy improvement plan, through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and by overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding of children and the health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff.

Much like a Governing Body, the Academy Council’s role is to ensure your children learn in a safe environment and to the maximum of their ability.  The Wallscourt Farm Academy council typically meets once a term.  There is a standard agenda for each meeting which includes reviewing data on quality of teaching and learning, progress, school budget, attendance, behaviour and safety.  We have also helped to feedback on numerous policies and procedures.

Through ‘Learning walks’ we have been able to see firsthand what happens during the school day and see the children’s learning in action.  Each learning walk is focused on a specific area (eg. Mathematics, reading) and it really helps to bring alive what is actually going on during the day, rather than just reviewing reports and statistics.

We have attended Cabot Learning Federation board meetings to understand the Federation’s overall strategy, achievement and performance and discuss Council roles and responsibilities with council members from other Schools.  The CLF have also provided a training programme which has helped in developing a better understanding of our roles on the academy council, what we should expect to understand and how we should be supporting/challenging the Leadership team.

The Chair of the Academy Council is Michael Small – Michael can be contacted by emailing the Clerk to the Academy Council, Wendy Hellin by emailing [email protected] Please mark your email subject line with FAO Chair of Academy Council.

Michael Small – Chair of Academy Council

Academy Council

I have worked in education for the last 15 years in a number of different roles; from delivering NVQs to young people not in mainstream education through to teaching adults literacy, numeracy and key skills.  I have also been a Scout leader for the past 8 years and taught martial arts to all students aged between 4 and 60 for 5 years.

Through working at UWE, a sponsor of the Cabot Learning Federation, I was asked to join Wallscourt Farm Academy in 2017 as a councillor.  The school’s enquiry based approach and idea of lifelong learning really resonated with me and I happily accepted.  I am now the Chair of Academy Council, safeguarding lead, and a council member of Evergreen Primary Academy. 

Kathryn Raftery – Sponsor Councillor

Academy Council

I have had an extensive career in education including many teaching/lead management roles and as a school governor. I was fortunate to be involved in the early groundwork and development of citizenship in primary schools with a particular focus on developing mediation and mentoring as life skills in children.

I am an Ofsted trained inspector with experience in a wide variety of schools, curricula, and age groups both here in the UK and in the Middle East. This has given me a unique and privileged perspective.

I am a keen traveller and I have spent 17 years living abroad in various places having had the opportunity to visit many parts of the world through my career and holidays. I am a part time carer for my two grandsons when needed (the reason for settling here in Bristol). I enjoy art, reading, some gardening (but would prefer someone else doing the latter), cooking and am looking at getting more involved in community-based projects in the future.

Linda Tanner – Sponsor Councillor

Academy Council

Linda is a journalist and a communications consultant.  She was education correspondent for the Bristol Post from 2005 – 2012 and covered the early years of the formation of the CLF.  She became founding chair of Wallscourt Farm Academy Council in 2013 and continues to serve on the council.  She was also a local authority primary school governor from 1997 – 2009. 

Linda provides advice and support to schools and other education clients both independently and through Local Voice Network as well as reporting and editing for the Voice series of news magazines in Bristol and writing and commenting on education issues.  She is married with three adult daughters.”

Collette Percival – Sponsor Councillor

Haidong Li – Sponsor Councillor

Trevor Jones – Local Authority Rep, Health & Safety Link

Charlotte Black – Principal

Susie Weaver – Executive Director of Education

Helen Summerville – Parent Councillor

Vacancy – Parent Councillor

Vacancy – Support Staff Councillor

Ellen Sullivan – Student Advocate

Jo Hewitt – Teacher Councillor

Constitution Declarations and Attendance 2022-23

Register of Pecuniary Interests 2022-23

Register of Pecuniary Interests 2021-22