MAT Governance Review

Governance Review - Multi Academy Trust

The governance review of the Trust is part of our governance support for academies. It is designed to ensure that the impact and the effectiveness of the trustees is evaluated and to propose actions that may be required across the Trust as a consequence of the review.

We also do governance reviews for schools and single academies. 


To undertake a critical review of your key responsibilities, identify potential areas for development and support the development of plans to meet these needs. This provides a robust impartial review to give you assurance in key areas that it can use to support judgements on the governance of the school. A team including Ofsted trained inspectors will provide the critical support and challenge throughout the review.


All boards, no matter what type of academies or how many academies they govern, have three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The review will focus on the following key governance areas:

1. How governors set the strategic direction of the Trust and the academies

2. Trust Board / LGB effectiveness in monitoring:

  • Teaching and learning / measuring progress
  • Safeguarding
  • Finance and HR

3. The effectiveness of governance structures and roles and responsibilities at each level.

The review will include:

  • Key person interviews from across the governance structure including: Trustees, the LGB Chair and other Governors with key responsibilities
  • Document review:
    • Review sample of the last twelve months Trust Board, and LGB minutes
  • Review the availability and appropriateness of key policies including Safeguarding
  • Review trustees / Governors training and skills and how this fits with their role
  • Review of Financial Management

Review process

1. Initial meeting

Meeting with Executive Principal and Chair to talk through the approach.

2. Document review

Trust Board effectiveness:

  • Sample minutes from the Trust Board for previous year

LGB effectiveness:

  • Sample minutes from LGB and other meetings for previous year
  • Terms of reference for committees
  • Key policies 
  • Governing Body development plan

Teaching and learning:

  • School data presented to governors
  • SEF / school improvement plan
  • Minutes of curriculum committee 


  • Safeguarding policy
  • Legal compliance
  • Link to GB / Committee papers

HR and Finance:

  • Minutes of finance committee
  • Scheme of delegation


Are all policies in place and are they regularly reviewed?

  • Evidence of governor input and sign off
  • Do governors have identified responsibilities and what training have they received to enable them to undertake them?

3. On-site interviews

Meetings with:

  • Chair of Trust Board
  • Chair of LGB
  • Executive Principal
  • Committee chairs / nominated leads

Areas for review:

  • Impact of the Trust Board, LGBs and their capacity to deliver outstanding leadership and management
  • Effectiveness and impact of governance on promoting outstanding teaching, learning and pupil progress
  • How the Trust Board and LGB have made a difference
  • Teaching and learning / measuring progress
  • Safeguarding 
  • Finance

General areas for review:

  • How effective is the governance structure – Trust Board and LGB?
  • What are your strengths and areas for development?
  • Are you clear on your vision, objectives and key pertinent issues?
  • What are your priorities and are they appropriate?
  • How do you measure delivery against your priorities?
  • Range and impact of training for governors
  • Effectiveness of clerking arrangements

4. Self review

  • Audit of governors skills against the new competency framework for governance
  • Facilitated Governing Body self-review session to identify strengths and areas for development

5. Final report

6. Feedback and action planning

  • Feedback to the Trust Board against key areas / findings
  • Action planning session with the Trust Board / LGB if required

For more information about the support we can provide to your multi academy trust, complete our online form or call 0844 967 1111.