STEP Governance

The Trust Board meet regularly and have two committees, Finance and Operations (incorporating the Audit committee) and the Education Committee. Trustees are very clear on their remit, outlined in the Scheme of Delegation in both supporting and challenging the CEO and Executive Team.

STEP has commissioned three Governance Reviews, which have informed the structure. Each academy is supported by an Academy Committee, which oversees at least two academies. The remit of the Academy Committee focuses on safeguarding, curriculum and community engagement. Currently a medium-sized, successful Primary Academy Trust, STEP is committed to growing the Trust into a mixed MAT with a vision to provide the highest quality education for pupils aged 3-18.

Governance Structure

STEP First is the notion that, first and foremost, everyone is committed to being part of STEP Academy Trust.  All governors must be fully aligned to the Trust’s Mission, Vision and Values. 

Although serving one or more particular Academies, governors are members of the wider STEP team.  We are all one team, in one organisation, working towards the same goal:  to be excellent in all we do. However, firmly embedded within this is absolute clarity. Each person understands their role, what it includes and, equally important, what it does not include. There is also a shared understanding of others within the structure.

Members: Guardians of STEP Academy Trust, their role is similar to that of shareholders of a limited company.

Trustees: The legal powers and responsibilities of the Trust are held with the STEP Board of trustees who are accountable to the Department for Education.
As a group, the Board set the overall strategic direction of the Trust. They scrutinise, challenge and support our educational and operational performance data, stability, and emerging risks/opportunities.Accordingly, the Board delegate certain powers and duties to Academy Committees. This is explained in our Scheme of Delegation.

Executive Team: comprised of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Executive Directors of Primary, Director of Operations, the Director of Quality Assurance, Data and Governance and Regional Director East Sussex. Their role is to design and implement a strategic development plan, the STEP Compass, which will enable the mission and vision of the Trust to be achieved.

STEP Senior Leadership Team: comprised of the Executive Team, Executive Head Teachers, Head Teachers and the Heads of Service.

Guided by the STEP Compass, they are responsible for developing and implementing Academy Improvement Plans and Service Improvement Plans, so that all parts of the organisation achieve the STEP Standard. 

Academy Committees: provide support and challenge to Academy Leadership Teams as the Academy implements policies and improvement plan priorities.
Academy Committees have a vital role to play in providing assurance to the Trustees that the standards they and the Executive Team set are being met and that resources are used efficiently to give every child the best possible education.
They also play a key role in ensuring all our academies are at the heart of their local communities.

Academy Leadership Team: comprised of the Executive Head Teacher, Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Assistant Head (where applicable), SENDCO and Business Advisor.

All layers of our governance structure understand their role. The Trust board is expected to concentrate on delivering its core strategic functions and fulfilling the requirements of its funding agreement. The CEO is expected to implement the strategic priorities of the trust board and oversee all operations of the MAT and fulfil their role as the accounting officer.

The Trust board and CEO have a shared responsibility for setting a future strategy that reflects the values of their MAT. At STEP Academy Trust we have articulated this within our growth statement and in our desire to become a mixed MAT, educating and improving the life chances of pupils from N-18. We have also set out the drive towards a hub model of growth. Using self-evaluation to identify priorities and agreed ‘red lines’ the board monitors the progress toward this goal.

Our organisation has a clear identity and is driven by the Mission, Vision, Values and by the Leadership Behaviours. Trustees, the CEO and senior executives share responsibility for promoting and communicating the values and ethos of the trust as one organisation, which are viewed as non-negotiable by individual academies regardless of their context and how much autonomy they are afforded.

As a charitable company limited by guarantee, STEP Academy Trust is defined by a number of key documents including: Articles of Association, Schemes of Delegation and Funding Agreements. In addition, the Trust is required to make public its accounts which are audited annually.

Board of Trustees Information

Board of Trustees Minutes

Policy Downloads

Publication Date
Angel Oak Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 30th Jan 2015
Applegarth Academy Order 01st Dec 2012
Applegarth Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 27th Mar 2013
Beddington Park Academy Deed of Variation 01st Nov 2020
Benedict Academy Deed of Novation and Variation 01st Apr 2020
Breakwater Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Apr 2016
Burfield Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Apr 2016
David Livingstone Acaademy Annex to SFA 01st May 2012
Deed of Termination of Supplemental Funding Agreement 30th Aug 2018
Gloucester Primary Letter of Funding Agreement 01st Jan 2015
Gonville Academy Annex to SFA 01st May 2012
Gonville Academy Letter of Funding Agreement 28th Apr 2011
Hawkes Farm Academy Order 01st Apr 2016
Hawkes Farm Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Apr 2016
Heathfield Academy Funding Agreement 27th Mar 2015
Heathfield Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 20th Mar 2015
La Fontaine Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Aug 2014
La Fontaine Funding Agreement 01st Jul 2014
Marshlands Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 28th Aug 2014
Meeching Valley Academy Order 02nd May 2016
Newhaven Academy Supplementary Funding Agreement 01st Mar 2015
Park Academy Deed of Novation and Variation 29th Apr 2020
Peacehaven Heights Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Dec 2020
Telscombe Cliffs Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Dec 2020
Turnham Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Mar 2018
Westbridge Academy Deed of Novation and Variation 01st Apr 2020
White House Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement 28th Aug 2014
Wolsey Academy Deed of Variation to SFA 25th Jul 2023
Wolsey Academy Order 01st Jun 2013
Wolsey Junior Academy Supplementary Funding Agreement 30th Oct 2013
Wolsey School Supplemental Funding Agreement 01st Apr 2016