East Leake Academy has been awarded Governor Mark status for the high quality of governance delivered by its board. Governor Mark is an independently-assessed, national award and is a kite mark which provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school or academy.
Governors support the academy’s leadership team with setting strategic direction, with the result that many areas of the academy’s performance are outstanding and improvements in outcomes are seen year on year.
Feedback from the evaluation of governance at ELA identified three key areas of best practice:
- Best practice in financial management and strategic planning
- Best practice in the board’s approach to clerking with the accredited clerk providing a clear focus on the impact of decisions and raising standards with clear audit trails
- The contribution of the board to improvement planning and self-evaluation.
The report commended the governor team, led by the Chair Professor John Dickens, for working relentlessly to improve standards at East Leake Academy, recognising this group as a highly skilled governing board with a range of skills including financial, HR, education and safeguarding, as well as two local authority governance professionals and a director from OFQUAL. The board were recognised for having a realistic view of the outcomes and provision at ELA and had fostered a positive working culture and transparency between senior leaders and governors.
Governors were seen to have a clear understanding of the academy’s strengths and weaknesses, providing high levels of support and challenge and, through a close working partnership with ELA’s leadership team, the culture within the academy had been transformed.
One particular strength highlighted by the report was the Pupil Premium programme which has been a key focus for the governing board, with evidence that work in this field is diminishing the difference between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. Progress of disadvantaged students at KS3/KS4 is now rapidly improving across most subject areas.
Most importantly, the governing board were recognised as showing commitment to a strategic plan that would have the capacity to promote long term and sustained academic improvement across the whole academy.
Mrs Hardy, Principal of East Leake Academy, said: “We are delighted that our governors have achieved the Governor Mark standard. Our governors are a dedicated and committed group with a clear vision for providing the best possible education for all those attending the academy. The award of Governor Mark is a real testament to their efforts and dedication in aspiring to transform East Leake Academy into one of the top performing academies in the country.”