What is Council?
Council is the governing body of the King Alfred School Society. Its responsibilities are to ensure that the Society is governed effectively, has in place appropriate executive plans to meet its objectives, and appropriate risk management processes. Because the Society is a company and a charity, that runs a school, Council operates as a board of company directors, a board of charity trustees, and as a school governing body.
Council has the ultimate legal responsibility for our Society and the school. Its members are company directors, charity trustees, and also school governors with all of the responsibilities that these three roles entail.
Council members all sign an agreed code of conduct designed to ensure confidentiality, impartiality, and mutually respectful behaviour.
What does Council do?
Council seeks to ensure that the objectives of the Society are met. The objectives of the Society are set out in our Articles of Association. These are to:
- Operate and develop schools based on the principles of the King Alfred School Society
- Conduct research and develop ideas to improve the education delivered by King Alfred School Society schools
- Make available the methods of the King Alfred School Society and influence the wider education debate
The principles of the Society by which schools are to be operated were set out in the preliminary prospectus and have been updated by Council from time to time.
- Being based on rational, scientific thinking
- Being co-educational and non-selective at entry
- Encouraging parental involvement
- Developing each individual’s talents fully without resorting to the pressure of constant competitive testing through examinations
- Creating a collaborative relationship between tutors and pupils
- Preparing individuals for a fulfilled, socially responsible life beyond their time at school
- Promoting education for its own sake
These principles should all be carried out in accordance with the values set out in the King Alfred School Society Framework.
As a school governing body, Council is required by law to do three things in regard to the school. These are set out in the Education Act, and in further detail on the Department for Education and the National Governors Association websites.
- Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school
How does Council work?
Council operates through a series of committees, each of which covers a specific area of responsibility. Most committees involve invited members of the school’s staff so that there is maximum transparency, and that Council has the advice and support of the school’s leaders. Council meets once each half term as a full body to consider reports from the senior leadership of the school and the various committees. Council meetings are also attended by staff representatives and the school sixth form representatives.
The committees are:
This group takes overall responsibility for formulating the Society’s strategy and developing the school’s strategic direction, which is done in collaboration with the school’s senior leadership team. From this the senior leadership team develop the annual school development plan, which is reviewed by the strategy group and approved by Council.
Current chair is Ian Laming.
This group reviews the education programme of the school and evaluates the performance of the school in achieving its educational aims. It reports to Council on the performance of the senior leadership team in achieving the educational aims of the Society and the school enabling Council to hold the Head to account.
Current chair is Sophie Ricard.
This group receives and considers regular financial reports from the Bursary, develops and maintains the risk register, considers budgets and alterations to budgets and reports to Council on them. A sub group of Finance also benchmarks and reviews the pay and conditions of the senior leadership team. All of this is reported to Council enabling it to oversee the financial performance of the school.
Current chair is Nick Friedlos (Treasurer of the Society).
This group ensures that all governance matters are managed and reported to Council where appropriate. These include for example reviewing the policies of the school, ensuring that the articles of the Society remain current, supporting grievance procedures involving either parents or staff, supporting disciplinary processes if necessary, and maintaining and managing the Council members’ code of conduct.
Current chair is Philip Whale.
Grounds and Buildings
This group maintains the 10 year site development plan, manages development projects such as the Fives Court Building from concept to delivery, makes recommendations on budgets and priorities to Council, and supports the school grounds and buildings team with their operational budgets and decisions.
Current chair is Fiona Hackett.
King Alfred School Society
This group undertakes research into current progressive educational practice in collaboration with the senior leadership team, develops and manages the conferences, and reports to Council on the wider aims of the Society.
Current chair is Kara Conti ( President of the Society)
Contact details of other governors can be found on the Governors (Council) Contact List.
In addition there are a number of other groups that meet as required.
Please feel free to contact members of Council with any thoughts or questions you may have. Please note that members of Council take on this role voluntarily and so it is not always possible for them to deal with emails on a daily basis, please allow at least 48 hours for a response. The names and email addresses of Council Members can be found here.
The Annual Report and Financial Statement for the King Alfred School Society, for the year ending 31st July 2017 is listed below:
King Alfred School Annual Report and Financial Statements 2018
The Society's Reports and Financial Statements for the previous 3 years can be found in the Featured Content Section on this page - Council Archived Documents.