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”Thriving Trusts have governance and leadership that is high profile, shared, distributed, transparent and understood by all.”

Our Vantage Trust Local Advisory Boards (LABs) Chairs and Vice Chairs were all invited to attend a conference, held at Flixton Girls School (FGS), the newest and first secondary member of our Vantage Academy Trust.

The conference was organised as an opportunity for members to meet with each other, as one team, to network and discuss ideas for their own boards. Whilst also enhanced by live National Governance Association (NGA) training on: ‘What it means to Chair an effective and productive Vantage LAB (Local Advisory Boards).’

NGA is an independent, not-for-profit charity representing and supporting governors, trustees, and clerks of state schools in England. Their aim is to improve the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting exacting standards.

They are expert leaders in school and trust governance, providing information, advice and guidance, professional development, and e-learning.

We are proud of the expert governing team at Vantage Academy Trust, they ensure best practise and accountability. We have Members who ensure compliance with charity and Company law. Our Trustees are responsible for the strategic priorities of the Trust. Plus, our Local Advisory Boards (LABs) hold each school Principal to account for what is delivered in each academy. Together these teams secure great governance across Vantage Academy Trust.

Part of the day included a learning walk around FGS. Key Stage 4 students gave our guests an in-depth tour of the site, providing personal feedback on their view of the school, lessons and extra-curricular provision. This provided attendees with an exciting opportunity, particularly for our primary LAB members to view the full student learning journey.

The latter part of the conference included a session delivered by our CEO, Jill Albertina, who guided governors through the process of what it means to fulfil the governance role within Vantage Academy Trust.

Jill spoke about unification of school LABs to thrive around our core vision and values. Dialogue between LABs, members and the central team is a dual pathway, where feedback must be provided to keep all communication lines open. LABs are the guardians of our vision and values and must always consider the why, how, and what when ensuring all our schools thrive, within the community they reside.

LABs have the power within their scheme of delegation to be bold and strive for progress, within each academy. This is done through standards, stakeholders, safeguarding and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). Each LAB needs to consider their school community, culture, lived pupil, families and staff experiences, quality of education and school physical assets.

Working together enables our actions to be implemented within our refreshed Governance Strategy. It is our words that can inspire, but only our actions that can make changes together.

Jess, new chair of Willow Tree LAB commented: ‘Very useful, especially in my new role. Great to talk to other LAB members and share ideas and roles.’

All visitors felt the session was a fantastic way to share ideas and collaborate with other LAB’s, this would have improved if more invitees could have attended.

They really enjoyed the tours, by FGS student leaders who shared their love of the school and provided an excellent insight into the curriculum and extra curricula offer. They were well informed and were a credit to the school.

Jill said, ‘We are in the process of refreshing our Governance Strategy and welcome feedback on how we move forward to thrive together. Following this initial session, I am sure we will continue to make gains and take actions to strive for growth and continue to provide the best overall outcomes for all our school communities.’