United Learning consists of two charities which are responsible for the operation of the Group’s schools. United Church Schools Trust (UCST) governs the Independent Schools, and United Learning Trust (ULT) governs the Group's Academies. United Church Schools Foundation Limited (UCSF) is the ultimate parent company. It is also a charity and is the ultimate owner of the independent schools’ land and buildings. UCSF is not discussed further here.
The Group Board
All the Trustees of ULT and UCST sit together as a Group Board, to which the Trustees of both entities have delegated their powers and functions. The Group Board carries out an annual self-evaluation process to review its effectiveness and continue to improve its performance.
The Group Board has responsibility for:
- Protecting the interests and assets of each charity and its schools;
- Safeguarding the charitable objects;
- Ensuring the maintenance of the United Learning ethos and values;
- Group strategy, management and governance; and
- Financial and educational performance.
The Chair of the Group Board is Mr Richard Greenhalgh. The Group Board delegates management of the Group to the Chief Executive and the management team, who therefore carry out important governance and leadership roles in relation to the individual schools in the Group. ULT and UCST have delegated decision-making powers to the Group Board, but continue to exist as separate charities and to meet as appropriate. Mrs Angela Crowe chairs UCST and Mr Nigel Robson chairs ULT.
Local Governing Bodies
The Trustees have the ultimate legal responsibility for the governance of all United Learning schools. Each school also has its own Local Governing Body (LGB), to which clear roles and responsibilities have been delegated. The central purpose of the LGB is to provide support and challenge to the school on behalf of the Group Board, drawing on local knowledge of the school and its community.
The Group Board maintains links with the LGBs through the Company Secretary (as first point of contact on governance issues) and designated Trustees: Nigel Robson (Northern Academies); Dame Yasmin Bevan (Southern Academies); Linda Heaver (Primary Academies); and Angela Crowe (Independent Schools).
The Chairs of the LGBs of the academies and of the independent schools come together with relevant lead trustees on each side to form an Education Board, which meets three times in the academic year and provides advice on strategy and education, further enhancing communications between Local Governing Bodies and the Trustees.
Full details of which responsibilities are retained by the Group Board and which are delegated to the LGBs (as well as those delegated to the Executive/Central Office team and Headteachers) are set out in Appendix 4 to United Learning LGB Members Handbook.
Click here to view Appendix 4 to United Learning LGB Members Handbook.