Governance Arrangements

Governance in our school and the role of the school board. 

The relationship between the trust and the secretary of state for education is set out in a legal document known as the funding agreement. The funding agreement and the Academies Financial Handbook are two key documents that DSAT Trustees work to.  

DSAT trustees are responsible for three core functions. They are setting the direction of the trust and its schools, holding the appointed DSAT Executives and school leaders to account and ensuring financial probity. 

As charity trustees, they ensure that DSAT complies with charity law requirements and, as company directors, must comply with company law requirements.  

The details of what has been delegated from the trustees to executive leaders appointed by DSAT are detailed in a scheme of delegation. This makes it clear what functions the trustees have delegated and to whom.  

To see who the Trustees are and to access the scheme of delegation, please visit 

Each DSAT academy also has a Local School Board, which acts in an advisory capacity. Our school board members are listed below. It meets three times yearly to consider and scrutinise how we deliver all aspects of education for our pupils and parents. Members of the school board may also support the school in recruitment and other local activities that help ensure the school reflects the community's needs and retains its unique identity. More details can be found here: Local School Boards in DSAT



Governance and statutory oversight of safeguarding lies with the trustees. The main trustee for safeguarding is James Dugmore. However, local boards are ‘our eyes and ears’, the protection of children is the core of this.  We invest in training to provide LSBs with more incredible skills in this area.  We cannot think of a more critical task for an LSB than bringing together their local community knowledge and knowledge of school practice to ensure that safeguarding is at the core of what we do.   The LSB has access to all relevant information, including the audits that DSAT complete centrally. The LSB always asks, “Do the audits reflect how the local community view safeguarding at the school?”

Monitoring School Performance

DSAT’s school improvement protocols mean a school has support visits throughout the academic year.  The Record of Visit will typically focus on the many positive elements we see, but the purpose is to identify areas where support is required.  These ROVs (Record of Visits) provide information that can assist the LSB in asking the right questions at LSB’s meetings.   LSBs can have data to be a better ‘critical friend’ influencing the outcome, not just reviewing it. The LSB is critical to asking the right questions about school progress, understanding the priorities, and ensuring the community’s needs are met. Feedback from LSBs has been very positive regarding the training we provide.  Good data is only meaningful when it is understood.  DSAT aims to ensure through training and coaching that LSBs understand the information to which they have access.  LSBs are not required to pass comments on classroom practice, judge teaching methods or assess the perceived quality of teaching.  DSAT expert practitioners will provide the LSB with this information where it is relevant to do so. At every LSB meeting, the group ask, “Is this school delivering positive progress for every pupil” and asking, “Are relationships with the community and parents supporting this progress?”

Our Local School Board Members:

Mrs Amy Gurner - Executive Head

  • Member due to position in school
  • Responsible for strategic oversight of the school
  • Term of office: 01.01.2024 - ongoing

Mrs Hannah Lambert - Head of School

  • Member due to position in school
  • Responsible for day to day running of the school
  • Term of office: 01.01.2020 - ongoing 

Ms Jenny Sharp

  • Staff Member 
  • Term of office: 17.04.23 - TBD

Mrs Patricia Roper

  • Foundation member 
  • Term of office: 27.09.2022 - 26.09.2026

Mr Steven Fletcher

  • Parent member
  • Term of office: 23.11.2021-22.11.2025

Mrs Emma Verity

  • Parent member 
  • Responsible for Safeguarding & LAC (Looked After Children)
  • Term of office: 23.11.2021-22.11.2025

Mrs Maria Allen

  • Trust member
  • Term of office: 15.03.2022 - 16.03.2023

Mrs Lenka Purshouse

  • Foundation member
  • Term of office: 19.07.2022 - 18.07.2026