Academy Advisory Council
Local Governing Body - The Academy Advisory Council (AAC):
There are four Academy Advisory Councils at Brigantia Learning Trust:
Hinde House 2-16 Academy: Chair – Peter Taylor
Longley Park Sixth Form: Chair – Karen Squires
Wincobank/Concord: Chair – Victoria Beever
Yewlands: Chair – Andy Nice
Each AAC consists of a group of people who could be parents, community nominees, and academy staff They will meet with each Academy (Executive) Principal, Associate Principal and other senior leaders where appropriate. In attendance at these meetings will be a Link Trustees and members of the Trust Executive Team may be in attendance. This is to ensure that the voice of local stakeholders is heard first-hand by the Board of Trustees.
NB: The Chair of the Trust and the Chief Executive Officer will attend at least one AAC meeting per year.
Key roles for AACs:
- To advise/act as a critical friend to the (Executive) Principal of the Academy.
- To advise the Trustees about local issues they need to consider that affect the Academy.
- To support the Safeguarding Trustee with localised academy information
- Represent the interest of the academy community in the running of the Academy.
- Represent the Academy in its community.
- Provide support to the (Executive) Principal in undertaking appropriate day to day procedures that are essential to the life of the Academy.
Tasks that the AAC undertakes:
- To act as a key link between the Academy, parents and local community.
- To support the work of the Academy in the community.
- To help on the ground with the implementation of certain academy policies.
- To offer challenging but positive and proactive support to the (Executive) Principal.
- To regularly discuss the academy’s performance in relation to the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
The difference between Brigantia Learning Trust governance and a maintained school governing body:
- The AAC’s role is not to “manage” the Academy as such. This is done through the Trust Executive Team and the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the AAC is not required to take decisions on staff or financial matters affecting the Academy. As an Academy Advisor you should understand strategic issues that impact on the Academy and be updated on them regularly by the (Executive) Principal, but you are not required to have direct responsibility for them.
- As the Trust Executive Team and Board of Trustees take responsibility for educational standards, legal compliance and financial viability, the AAC then has the time to investigate the impact of policy on the ground, to see how they are working, and explore how the Brigantia Learning Trust ethos is being understood and expressed in the way the Academy operates. As an Academy Advisor, your view as a parent or as part of the community is vital in this discussion.
We are always looking for representatives from the community to be part of our AACs. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Nice has been Chair of the Academy Advisory Council for Yewlands Academy since July 2023, prior to this Andy was an AAC Representative for Wincobank & Concord Academies.
I am a trustee of The Brendan Ingle Foundation. I helped set up the Foundation as a registered charity in 2012 to address the needs of the socially excluded and those at risk of becoming socially marginalised. The Brendan Ingle Foundation is creating opportunity and togetherness through various local projects, to build a safer and kinder community. All the Foundation’s projects have been delivered in the local area and a significant number of the projects have been with Brigantia schools.
I have been working as a volunteer and amateur boxing coach in North East Sheffield since 2006. I was inspired by the work of the late boxing coach Brendan Ingle who among other things was committed to sport and education. It’s been a pleasure to work in the local area and get to know the young people and their families.
I did not find school easy but with a supportive family and some great teachers I managed to succeed and go onto university. After university I qualified as a chartered accountant. After 20 years I changed careers to train as a Pilates and movement teacher and in 2003 set up Sheffield Pilates Studio and Movement. In the last year I have been part of a team from The Brendan Ingle Foundation that has delivered a boxing programme at Yewlands Academy. There is so much potential in the students at Yewlands.
Peter Taylor has been Chair of the Academy Advisory Council for Hinde House Academy since its creation in Spring 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the education sector as a Music Educator working in all phases from Key Stage 1 to University. He currently works as Education Development Editor and Singing Project Coordinator for Sheffield Music Hub, developing strategies, resources and training opportunities to increase the number of children in Sheffield with access to high quality singing lessons as part of their school life.
Within his role, Peter most enjoys the opportunities to support and challenge the academy, and continuously push for a better life for all pupils by supporting their learning and wellbeing. Pete’s firm belief in the importance of a broad and creative curriculum for all pupils, regardless of their starting points, meant his values align with the academy’s own. He praises the Trust for recognising the specific and individual needs of its community and looks forward to seeing the outcomes of strong pathway developed for all pupils across the Trust aged 2-19.
“Creativity is one of the Trusts’ values I resonate with. It provides the opportunity for people to take the knowledge, skills, experiences and opportunities they gain in life and use them in their own way to give back to the world. A creative person doesn’t use their skills simply to fit into someone else’s idea of what is expected of them, but uses them to innovate, to improve and to find ways to make life better for themselves and others. To develop creativity in our children we need to give them countless opportunities to explore and challenge the world around them; countless opportunities to try and to fail, without fear of judgement so they can feel confident to get back up and keep trying; and countless opportunities to discover things that live outside their immediate experience”.
Karen Squires has been Chair of the Academy Advisory Council for Longley Park Sixth Form Academy since October 2022.
I attended Firth Park School many years ago and loved the old Brushes site on which we now sit. I have always worked for H M Revenue & Customs and the job makes me feel like I am always taking from people, so I wanted to give something back to the local community. For many years I volunteered at a local children and families project which supported the disadvantaged which led to me joining the Governing body at Longley Park.
My eldest daughter had to travel to the other side of the city to continue her studies after year 11. I didn't want other people in the local area to be forced to do so and am particularly keen on widening participation in the local community. Longley Park has done an amazing job and I'm glad to be able to support them.
Victoria Beever has worked closely with the Executive Principal in her role as Chair of the Wincobank and Concord since 2019,. Prior to joining the Trust, Victoria worked in a volunteer capacity at a local primary school and as a mentor for the Princes Trust, before being recommended the position by a friend who currently sits on the Trustee Board.
Praising the Trust for the positive outcomes it has on its academies, Victoria looks forward to supporting the academies grow from strength to strength and in time, welcoming further establishments to the Trust to help establish a strong network of academies and allow families an outstanding choice of academies for children. Whilst in position as Chair, Victoria and the rest of the board have established a strong committee of Advisors, who cover a broad range of skills and backgrounds which have shown great benefits to the two academies. In addition, the board has built strong relationships with the local community, which they hope will have a positive impact for pupils in the future.
“The Trust’s success at transforming vulnerable academies means a great deal to me. I
have witnessed and am witnessing first hand and in such a relatively short space of
time it’s fantastic outcomes and I look forward to contributing to this whilst in the role.
The Trust have an excellent ability of ensuring they have a varied amount of experience, not necessarily from a school background to help support and advise them amongst their Board and AACs which ensures variety and diversity, and I am very excited about the future of the academies within the Trust and seeing them add more to their umbrella.
The Trust feels like a family, and both teachers and children are encouraged to move within the Trust, meaning that there is continuity amongst the staff who know the children and the communities in which they live. It is truly unique, and I am privileged to belong to the AAC”.