Academy Governance

Gulval School is part of the multi-academy trust ALAT Trust and the school’s governance structure and function is part of the wider Trust’s governance framework.

Following the Government’s recommendation for all schools to review its governance procedures and move to a skills-based structure, ALAT has developed an innovative structure to ensure each academy is accountable for its decisions and that the best outcomes are available for students. From 1st September 2016, this structure replaced the previous Local Governing Body which was in place.

The full structure of the Trust governance and remit of the Trust’s members, board of trustees and scheme of delegation are available on the governance page of the ALAT website.


How Governance Works at the Academy

The main purpose of the governance structure is to drive school improvement and improve the outcomes for the children and young people within our academy. Members with appropriate skills, local knowledge and experience will sit on a Drive Team within the governance structure and reporting between groups will be clear and rigorous.

Drive Teams act as a Local Advisory Board within the Trust governance structure and provide local support and challenge for each academy within a region. The Drive Team is a vehicle for driving school improvement at academy level and holds the Principal to account. Information and data to inform Drive Team discussion and actions is taken from Rapid Improvement Reports (RIRs).

The Rapid Improvement Reports (RIRs) contain information around school data, pupil performance, and priority school improvement areas with required actions, some of which the Drive Team can work on and report on to the Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group.

The Accountability Review and Challenge (ARC) group provides quality assurance, support, and challenge at a regional level for academies within a region. The ARC group holds the Regional Executive Principal to account and reports to the Trust Board.

Drive Team Members

  • Shelley Jamieson (Parent)
  • Janis Welch (Staff); Janis was also a governor previously
  • Gary Rich (Parent)
  • Sarah Warren
  • Heidi Webb
  • Hannah Wallis

View full appointment dates, interests and attendance records >

What do Drive Teams do?

    • Drive Teams have been established to drive forward school improvement within the Trust’s academies by holding the academy Principal to account.
    • The group will consist of the school Principal, parent, community, staff members, a co-opted member and the Regional Executive Principal who will attend to provide a quality assurance function.
    • Parent and community members within this group will spend time in schools looking at aspects of the school which have been identified through the RIR as requiring intervention and improvement. The group therefore takes its lead from the RIR.
    • The Chair of the Drive Team will liaise with their regional National Leader in Governance, who sits on the ARC Group, and who will report to the ARC group on individual Drive Team priorities and actions.

    It is not the remit of the parent and community members to quality assure teaching within the school.

    The Drive team meets half termly and parent members are required to engage with pupils through school visits or via the school council.

    Parent and community member visits are an excellent way of looking independently at a school.

    Further information regarding the remit of the Drive Team is available in the Drive Team Terms of Reference.

2017-18 Drive Team Meeting Dates:

[Please insert meeting dates here]


2017-18 Drive Team Minutes:

[Please insert Drive Team Minutes here]



Apply to join the Drive Team

Being a member of the Drive Team provides an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the academy at this exciting stage of the Trust’s development. The group convenes half termly or as and when required.

If you would like to become a member of the academy Drive Team, please click the link below for further information and guidance.

Become a member of the Drive Team >

ARC Group

Regional Accountability, Review and Challenge (ARC) Groups have been established across each region within the trust academy network. The ARC group meets 3 times a year with meetings being face to face within each region.

The ARC Group monitors the performance of the academies within the region, holds the Regional Executive Principal to account and supports and challenges the Regional Executive Principal to drive rapid school improvement and share best practice.

The ARC Group receives Drive Team reports from the regional National Leader in Governance who also ensures that feedback from the ARC Group is taken back to the Drive Team.

The ARC group reports up to the Trust Board directly through the Regional Trustee who ensures that a ‘Golden Thread’ exists to link actions and information up and down between the individual schools and the Trust board.

The ARC groups are split into three regions:

  • Region 1 – Cornwall
  • Region 2 – Suffolk and Essex
  • Region 3 – North

Gulval School belongs to Region 1

View full appointment dates, interests and attendance records >

Who are the ARC group members?

  • The Chair for the ARC Group, who is the Regional Trustee* (who attends across the region and sits on the Trust Board)
  • An independent National Leader of Governance* (who attends across the region and is the direct link to each school drive team)
  • The Director of Primary Education/The Director of Secondary Education (who attend across the region and who are not members but just attend)
  • The Regional Executive Principal (who attends across the region)
  • The Principal and Drive Team Chair/Lead (invited to attend but not members).
  • The Regional Business Manager (invited to attend but not a member)
  • A clerk

The majority of members will not be employees*

View full appointment dates, interests and attendance records >

Further information regarding the remit of the ARC group is available in the ARC group Terms of Reference.

When are the ARC group meeting dates?

ARC group meetings are held face to face within each region. The dates and times of these meetings are listed below:

[Delete dates which are not relevant to your schools region]

Region 1Region 2Region 3
Thursday 12th October 2017Tuesday 10 October 2017Tuesday 17th October 2017
Thursday 8th February 2018Tuesday 6th February 2018Tuesday 20th February 2018
Thursday 24th May 2018Tuesday 22nd May 2018Tuesday 5th June 2018

2016 -17 ARC Group meeting minutes:

8th November 2016

10th January 2017

28th February 2017

13th June 2017


Please note that as from September 2017 the Drive Team act as the Local Advisory Group within the Trust governance structure and Drive Team minutes will be shown on school websites in place of regional ARC minutes.

Please contact Anne-Marie Winter with any enquiries.

Further information regarding the remit of the ARC group is available in the ARC group Terms of Reference.