Governance at New River Trust and Alexandra Park School

(Last updated October 2022)

Alexandra Park School became a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) in 2017.  MATs are state-funded organisations that are responsible for running one or more schools.  The name of the MAT is the New River Trust (NRT).  New River Trust MAT is responsible, currently, for running one school, Alexandra Park School (APS).  MATs are directly accountable to the Department for Education (DfE), with whom they have a Funding Agreement.

The governance structure for New River Trust includes the ‘Members’ (the NRT has a total of 5) and the ‘Board of Trustees’ (up to a total of 10).  The Members and Board of Trustees must ensure that they are compliant at all times with our Articles of Association.  The Articles of Association are agreed between the MAT and the DfE. The Articles of Association for the NRT, which are based on the DfE Model Articles, are available on the 'Governance Documents' page.

The governance arrangements and delegated authorities that have been put in place at New River Trust are outlined in full within the Trust's Scheme of Delegation, available on the 'Governance Documents' page. A summary of this information is provided in the diagram and information below.

How is the NRT governance structure set up?

What do Members of the NRT do?

The Members of a MAT are responsible for making sure that the MAT acts within its constitutional powers.  They have the right to amend the Articles of Association and they are responsible for agreeing appointments to the Board of Trustees.  

The Members of the NRT are:

  • Shelia Daley
  • Jamie Scott
  • Nigel Scott
  • Rachel Wells
  • Gloria Wyse

Brief biographical details of the Members are available here.

What does the NRT Board of Trustees do?

The NRT Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Trust, holding the Chief Executive of the Trust to account and for ensuring the MAT's financial probity.  Academy Trusts are also charitable companies and the Trustees are company directors and must comply with company law requirements. Terms of reference for the Board of Trustees are included in the New River Trust Scheme of Delegation.

NRT Trustees are appointed by the NRT Members.

Current NRT Trustees are:

  • Jamie Scott (Chair)
  • Jackie Oldham (Vice Chair)
  • Sheila Daley
  • Uzma Hamid-Dizier
  • Costi Karayannis
  • Lindsay Pinnick
  • David Stout
  • Michael McKenzie (Chief Executive Officer)

Brief biographical details of the Trustees are available here.

Sub-committees of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees has established three sub-committees: the Finance & Audit Committee, the Personnel Committee and the Admissions Committee, and has also established a Local Governors' Advisory Group (LGAG) for Alexandra Park School.

The Finance & Audit Committee retains strategic oversight of the Trust's estates, audit and finance matters, ensuring the Trust's funds are well managed. It also sets and oversees delivery of a programme of internal scrutiny (internal audit) on behalf of the Board of Trustees.  The Finance & Audit Committee is responsible for recommending the NRT's annual budget for adoption by the Board of Trustees and for recommending the annual financial statements for approval by the Board of Trustees and review by the Members. The Terms of Reference for the NRT Finance & Audit Committee are included in the New River Trust Scheme of Delegation.

The current Members of the Finance & Audit Committee are:

  • David Stout (Chair of Finance & Audit Committee, Trustee)
  • Costi Karayannis (Vice Chair of Finance & Audit Committee, Trustee)
  • Jamie Scott (Trustee)
  • Jose Morago (APS Local Governor)
  • Michael McKenzie (Trustee and Chief Executive Officer)

The Personnel Committee retains strategic oversight and review of HR and personnel policy and procedure on behalf of the Board of Trustees. The Terms of Reference for the NRT Personnel Committee are  included in the New River Trust Scheme of Delegation.

The current Members of the Personnel Committee are:

  • Sheila Daley (Chair of Personnel Committee, Trustee)
  • Jackie Oldham (Vice Chair of Personnel Committee, Trustee)
  • Costi Karayannis (Trustee)

The Admissions Committee reviews admissions applications and ratifies admissions in line with the admissions arrangements set by the Board of Trustees. The Terms of Reference for the NRT Admissions Committee are  included in the New River Trust Scheme of Delegation.

The current Members of the Admissions Committee are:

  • Lindsay Pinnick (Chair of Admissions Committee, Trustee)
  • Jackie Oldham (Vice Chair of Admissions Committee, Trustee)
  • Michael McKenzie (Trustee and Chief Executive Officer)

Alexandra Park School is a school within the New River Trust.  The New River Trust will appoint a Local Governors' Advisory Group (up to a total of 11 people) for any school within its Trust.  All Local Governors' Advisory Groups include elected Parent Governors and Elected Staff Governors.  The Headteacher of the school serves on its Local Governors' Advisory Group.

What do Local Governors' Advisory Groups do?

Local Governors' Advisory Groups (LGAGs) provide focused governance for the New River Trust at a local level, i.e. for their own school.  The LGAG for Alexandra Park School monitors the key performance indicators of the school, and acts as a critical friend to the Headteacher, providing challenge where appropriate. Local Governors also act as ambassadors for the school.  The terms of reference of New River Trust Local Governors' Advisory Group are  included in the New River Trust Scheme of Delegation.

The current Local Governors for Alexandra Park School are:

  • Uzma Hamid-Dizier (Chair of LGAG, Trustee)
  • Nigel Scott (Vice Chair of LGAG, Appointed Local Governor*)
  • Jose Morago (Appointed Local Governor*)
  • Jackie Oldham (Trustee, Appointed Local Governor*)
  • Christine Housby (Elected Parent Local Governor)
  • Lee Callaghan (Elected Parent Local Governor)
  • Raymond Johnson (Elected Teaching Staff Local Governor)
  • Tabitha Sandles (Appointed Local Governor*)
  • Ali Sumareh (Elected Support Staff Local Governor)
  • Akua Gee (Appointed Local Governor*)
  • Michael McKenzie (Headteacher of APS and Chief Executive of NRT)(Appointed Local Governor*)

*Appointed Governors are appointed by the Board of Trustees

Brief biographical details of APS Local Governors are available here.

Where can I find more information about NRT governance?

If you’re interested to know more about our people and processes, please take a look at the range of other self-service information we’ve provided on our website, for example:

  • You can find out more about our current members and our Chair in ‘Get to know us
  • You can access published governance documents including our register of interests, scheme of financial delegation and agendas and minutes from our meetings under ‘Governance documents
  • You can find our published policies and procedures on the 'Policies and Privacy Notices' page

How can I contact the governing body?

If you have further questions about Trust governance, you can contact Suzanne McGowan, the Clerk to the Board of Trustees.  Suzanne can be contacted by email at 

Contact Governors.  Any communications for the Chair of the Board of Trustees or Local Governors can also be sent to Suzanne in the first instance.

Please note Governors are not responsible for the day-to-day running of the school. That is the Headteacher’s responsibility, supported by the staff team. If you have concerns about the school or how it is run, please contact the school.  Governors can only become directly involved through our formal complaint’s procedure, once all other options have been exhausted.