To support the work of schools and the Trustees, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust ensures the local stakeholder voice is represented and heard through our Advocates in our primary schools and Local Stakeholder Boards within our secondary settings. They provide a local level of access and accountability for our parents and carers designed to build and deepen partnership and connection. This is the place where the individual pupil and parent voice is heard and understood; where the lived experience of our provision and offer is felt and triangulated.
Advocates meet trustees at the Primary Advocacy Board (split into two committees) which comes together 4 times a year to receive reports and hear stakeholder voice feedback directly.
There are three types of Advocate:
Secondary Local Stakeholder Board (LSB) governors meet 4 times a year and the Chairs from each committee join the Secondary Stakeholder Board with trustees 3 times a year to review LSB action plan, receive an update on the schools and hear about stakeholder voice.
We recognise that understanding the views and experiences of stakeholders – staff, parents, pupils, and those in the local community – is crucial. As MATs expand, trust board engagement with a growing number of stakeholders can become more challenging. The local tier is vital in ensuring that stakeholder voices are heard and that they have people advocating for them. Local volunteers are also able to have a greater awareness of parents’ perspective and can help parents understand what it means to be part of a MAT.
The most important element of the local layer of governance is to be able to capture the voice of the stakeholders and community and communicate this upwards through the Trust.
Along with representing stakeholder voice, the local layer of governance ensure the schools are compliant on all aspects of safeguarding procedures, that additional funding such as pupil premium and sports premium is used as intended and the outcomes of vulnerable pupils are monitored.