Background to the Trust
In 2011 two schools St Thomas More and St George’s in Maida Vale approached the Diocese of Westminster for permission to become an Academy. This was driven by government policy which was driving the Academy programme nationally and allocating more resources to Academy schools.
The Cardinal Hume Academies Trust was set up with the agreement of the Diocese of Westminster to be the umbrella organisation for two outstanding secondary schools, St George’s Catholic School in Maida Vale, West London and St Thomas More Catholic School in Wood Green.
The key principles at conversion in 2013 were:
- That statutory responsibilities were with the Trust Board ie: the filing of accounts and ensuring compliance with company law.
- Delegation of operational responsibilities were to the governing bodies.
Both St George’s and St Thomas More are rated as ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED (2014 and 2012 respectively) and by the Diocese of Westminster S48 Inspection (2016 and 2012 respectively). In the last application round, both schools have been over-subscribed and have had to organise independent appeals. The Executive Headteacher is Martin Tissot who has been at St George’s helm for ten years, starting in 2006. In 2010, he was appointed as Headteacher of St Thomas More School. He was appointed Headteacher of Bishop Douglass School in East Finchley in 2015 and this joined the Cardinal Hume Academies Trust in September 2016. Bishop Douglass School is currently OFSTED ‘Good’ (2013) but the leadership are convinced that recent very good examination results for two years running (GCSE results put the school in the 3rd percentile in the country for value-added, A level results are in the top 10% in the country) merit an OFSTED outstanding judgement and the Governors have asked for a re-inspection of the School.
All three schools are mixed, comprehensive schools providing Sixth Form provision (11-19 education) and all share a common set of aim, policies and objectives. The schools have high (St George’s and Bishop Douglass) and very high (St Thomas More School) social deprivation indicators, with the proportion of pupils with Free School Meals (FSM) and Special Educational Needs (SEN) exceeding the national average in all three schools.
The Trust has set up an overarching management board containing governor representatives from the two schools, Diocesan representatives and Martin Tissot who is the Chief Executive Officer for the Trust. Aside from statutory company responsibilities and some monitoring there is maximum delegation to the Governing Bodies of both schools who still assume the mantle of strategic responsibility.
The Trust Board meets four times a year and considers the audit reports, the budgets and accounts of the three constituent schools and the overall performance of the Schools. The Trust has three committees – the Finance and Audit Committee, the Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee (that considers the salary of the Chief Executive). Committees meet three/four times a year.
The current members of the Board are:
Chair – Mr Nigel Wisden -Foundation Director
Vice-Chair – Mr Michael Veal- ex officio
Mrs Anna Clark – Foundation Director
Mr Paulo Camoletto – Foundation Director
Mr Martin Tissot – Chief Executive Officer – ex officio
Mr John Meadows – Chair of Governors – ex-officio
Mr Christopher Horsburgh – Chair of Governors – ex-officio
Audit and Finance Committee members
Chair – Mr Nigel Wisden
Mr Paulo Camoletto
Mr Martin Tissot
Remuneration Committee members
Mr Nigel Wisden
Mr Michael Veal
Mr Paulo Camoletto
Mr John Meadows
Mr Christopher Horsburgh
Risk Committee members
Chair - Mr John Meadows
Mrs Anna Clark
Mr Martin Tissot
The Trust has a professional minute taker, Ms Jenny Ridd. The Company Secretary and Chief Financial Officer is Ms Melanie Barker.