Governance within a multi-academy trust

Frome Vale Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust that is responsible for a number of academies across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.  Governance for a multi-academy trust operates at two levels.  At trust level, there is a Board of Directors.  The directors are accountable to the Department for Education and external government agencies, including the Charity Commission, for the quality of the education the trust provides and the effective use of the associated academy funding. They are required to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, financial probity, safety and good practice. The Board is provided assurance on a number of these areas through various sub-committees, as shown in the diagram below. For further information about the Board, please click

At a local level, each academy has an Academy Council comprising of up to 13 Academy Councillors.  Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academic experience of the students under their care with the aim of securing effective school improvement.  They do this through monitoring performance against an annual academy improvement plan, through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and by overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding of children and the health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff.

Frome Vale Academy Council

The Academy Council at Frome Vale Academy is made up of:


Chair of Academy Council

Laura Walder – Safeguarding

Laura joined the School Council in 2015 and has a child at the school. Since university Laura has worked for various Bristol charities and joined Watershed in 2008, where she is now Head of Facilities

Sponsor Councillor

Brian Atkins

Brian started his educational sojourn studying for a first degree in Mechanical Engineering followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary level). He subsequently taught Mathematics and Physics in both Grammar and Comprehensive Secondary schools. Leaving education and entering Architectural consultancy, Brian completed a MSc in Architecture and a PhD in Building Physics. Despite remaining in the commercial world for a considerable period Brian has, nevertheless, lectured at the Open University and the University of the West of England for over six years. Brian is currently semi-retired.

Parent Councillor

Joyce Adegege-Soyemi

Staff Councillor

Maria Cerapanova

I became an Academy Councillor to get a broader view of how my school works from different perspectives and understand what drives key SLT decisions which affect our whole school community. I am learning about ways our Academy Council influences and supports the Principal to determine the strategic direction for the school. Holding the Academy to account for the success and progress of all our pupils, with their individual and personal needs, is key to our collective success and I am honoured and lucky to be at the heart of this. I hope to bring my individual perspective, experience and knowledge of our community, our children and academy’s unique journey to our discussions, and hope that my contribution will be of increasing value as I gain in experience.


Staff Councillor

Nikki Dawson – Pupil Voice Representative

Nikki began her teaching career in 2004 in Bristol, where she has predominantly worked.   She has a huge amount of experience as a class teacher in all year groups and has taken many different subject leader roles, including Maths, Art & Design and Humanities. In 2009, after being a lead teacher for Bristiol, Nikki moved into senior leadership as a SENCo and assistant head teacher. Nikki joined Frome Vale Academy in December 2017 and she very much enjoys working with the children and supporting the development of Pupil Voice.


Staff Councillor

Dr Jan Saunders – Principal

Jan started her career in education in 2001 at Summerhill Academy following a career in electronic publishing. Following 10 years as  a classroom teacher and curriculum leader, Jan moved into senior management together with a coaching and mentoring role  before joining Frome Vale Academy in 2014, first as Associate Principal and then as the substantive Principal. Jan has a keen interest in professional development, completing an MA in Lifelong learning and an educational doctorate researching emotional labour and teaching.

The meetings for 2018/2019 are: 16/10/18,  | 8/1/19 | 26/3/19 | 30/4/19 | 25/6/18 |

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