Five individuals were appointed as Members of HWLP on 1st July 2019 for purposes of the Companies Acts and in accordance with Articles 12-18 of the Trust’s Articles of Association. Since then, Mrs Sue Davison resigned on the 1st of September 2021 and as such our Members are currently as follows:
Professor Becky Francis
Mr Aidan Fudge
Mr Lawrie Lee
Mr Martin Phelps
Members are the guardians of the governance of the trust and have a number of statutory rights. Whilst Members must hold the Trust Board to account for the effective governance of the trust, their role is very much ‘eyes on, hands off’. The DfE’s Governance Handbook makes it clear that the role of Members in the running of the trust is minimal, and one of oversight.
A frequent comparison is made to company shareholders, but shareholders have a financial investment in a company whereas the Members of an academy trust’s prime function is to safeguard trust governance. Members will therefore have a ‘hands-off’ role when the trust is working well, but they have a crucial role in ensuring the academy trust’s charitable objective is being met, ensuring that trust governance is effective, and holding the board to account for the improved progress and outcomes for the pupils.
Members core responsibilities include:
To appoint and remove Trustees, and to direct Trustees to take specific action if the trust is failing. Members can also dissolve the Trust.
To sign the Memorandum and Articles of Association. They can amend these Articles and determine the name of the Trust.
To receive and adopt the Annual Report and Accounts.
To appoint (and remove) independent auditors who will certify whether the accounts present a true and fair view of the Trust’s financial performance and position.
The Trust Board, not the Members, are responsible for delivering the core governance functions and for conducting the ‘business of the trust’. The accountability for decisions relating to areas such as school improvement, local governance and financial performance rests with the Trustees, not Members. Members do not therefore meet to make strategic decisions and plans about these areas.
Members meet as required and at least once a year.
To meet ESFA Academy Trust Handbook requirements, the following information is also provided for each of the Members - date of appointment and termination (if applicable), relevant business and pecuniary interests below.