South Pennine Academy

Committee Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Finance & Audit Committee


Membership of the committee will be agreed annually by Trustees. The committee will be made up of 5 members, 3 of which must be trustees.


Meetings will be held at least 3 times a year.


The finance and audit committee of the Board of Trustees with delegated responsibility for two key purposes:-

1. As a Finance Committee to ensure sound management of the trusts finances and resources, including proper planning, monitoring and probity in line with the EFA guidelines, the Financial Handbook and Accounts Direction documents.

2. As an Audit Committee to maintain an oversight of the Trust’s governance, risk management, internal control and value for money framework.

It will report its findings regularly to the Trustees and Accounting Officer as a critical element of the Academies Trust’s annual reporting requirements.

When operating as an Audit Committee, the committee has no executive powers or operational duties.

Specific Responsibilities

1. Finance

  • To consider and monitor regularly the trust and individual academies short term and long term revenue and capital budget and financial planning to ensure long term sustainability.
  • To monitor and review expenditure on a regular basis and ensure compliance with the overall financial plan for the trust and individual academies, and with the financial regulations of the EFA, drawing any matters of concern to the attention of the Trustees.
  • To consider the individual academies indicative funding, notified annually by the EFA and to assess implications for the academy in advance for the financial year.
  • To consider and recommend approval/non-approval of the trust and individual academies budgets to the Trustees.
  • To receive and consider the broad budget headings and areas of expenditure to be adopted each year, including the level and use of contingency funds or balances.
  • To review and approve any virements and other transactions in accordance with the Record of Financial Responsibility and Scheme of Delegation.
  • To review and update all financial policies in accordance with the policy review schedule.
  • To ensure the preparation of the Governors report and financial statements to form part of the annual report and financial statements for filing in accordance with Companies Act and Charity Commission requirements.

2. Audit

  • To appoint internal auditors on behalf of the Trustees.
  • To receive consider and respond to reports from internal and external audit on the effectiveness of the internal controls.
  • Agree an action plan to address the findings of the internal audit reports, and to monitor the action plan to closure.
  • To review on at least an annual basis, the risks faced by the academies and to challenge and approve the associated risk management plans.
  • To recommend to the Trustees the appointment or reappointment of the external auditors.
  • To review the findings of the external auditors and agree any action plan from it.
  • To review and consider the auditor’s management letter in order to ensure it is based on a good understanding of the trust business and to establish whether any recommendations have been acted upon.

Terms of Reference for the Health & Safety Committee


Membership of the committee will be made up of named Governors for Health and safety, including the named Trustee. The named Trustee for Health & Safety will act as chair.


Meetings will be held at least twice a year, and will be quorate at 60% of membership.


The health and safety committee of the Board of Trustees with delegated responsibilities 

The health and safety committee has no executive powers or operational/duties.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Approve the trust’s health and safety policy
  • Approve the trust’s Emergency scheme and business continuity plan
  • Approve the appointment of the Trust’s Health & Safety consultants
  • Monitor compliancy checks
  • Agree and monitor calendar of annual audits
  • Monitor the implementation of Health & Safety legislation across the trust
  • To receive information on accidents reportable to the HSE
  • To discuss relevant documents from the unions, employer, HSE or DfE etc, and to ensure actions are taken where appropriate

 Terms of Reference for the Partnership Board


The Partnership Board will comprise:

    • CEO to the Trust
  • All Academy Principals
  • SCITT Director


The role of the Partnership Board will provide strategic direction and leadership to ensure a collective responsibility to uphold the Trusts vision, values and key priorities; through the commitment to challenge, support, inspire and collaborate with one another, leading to all our academies being on track to be at least good, and improved outcomes for all our students.

The Partnership Board sets out to achieve:-


This Terms of Reference is effective from 1st September 2016 and will be on-going until terminated by agreement between the parties.

These terms of reference will be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Partnership Board is accountable for:

  • writing, reviewing and monitoring the Strategic Plan
  • review the impact of the Scheme of Delegation and make recommendations to Trustees
  • develop, scrutinise and feedback on Trust policies to ensure they are fit for purpose for all our Academies, prior to approval from Trustees
  • review the impact of school to school support, ensuring that all have a voice in identifying the need and ensuring the needs are met
  • agree common assessment models and assessment calendars; testing, trialling and recommending trust wide initiatives and future policy
  • support the CEO to ensure all academies within the Trust comply with safeguarding and other legal requirements

The membership of the Partnership Board will commit to:

  • attending the Partnership Board meetings in line with the agreed calendar
  • wholeheartedly champion the partnership within and outside of work areas
  • share all communications and information across all Partnership Board members
  • make timely decisions and take action so as to not hold up the project
  • notifying members of the Partnership Board, as soon as practical, if any matter arises which may be deemed to affect the development of the Partnership Board

Members of the Partnership Board will expect:

  • that each member will be provided with complete, accurate and meaningful information in a timely manner
  • to be given reasonable time to make key decisions
  • to be alerted to potential risks and issues that could impact the partnership board or it’s academies, as they arise
  • open and honest discussions, without resort to any misleading assertions
  • induction and mentoring as required