Governance Structure

At Acorn Multi Academy Trust, effective governance with robust oversight and assurance enables confident, high-quality leadership. Our governance structures bring rigour, challenge and accountability.

Those involved in our governance at all levels share a common objective - a determination to secure the best possible life chances for the children and young people in our care.

We have three layers of governance to ensure robust leadership and full accountability.

This is in accordance with our Memorandum and Articles of Association and Funding Agreements entered into with the Secretary of State. These statutory documents can be viewed under ‘Key Information’.

Members, Directors/Trustees and Local Governors give their time voluntarily and do not receive any payment. Their wide- ranging skills and experience support our leadership teams to deliver excellence. They provide strategic leadership and accountability across our family of academies. 

They all share a passion to provide the best possible education for the community. We recognise these individuals as being absolutely key to the effectiveness of our academies and our trust as a whole.

Our Members, Directors and Local Governors abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life which are: Selflessness; Integrity; Objectivity; Accountability; Openness; Honesty and Leadership.

Governance Structure

Director/Trustee/Governor Vacancies

There are approximately 380,000 school governors in England – the largest volunteer force in the country and high-quality governance has a significant impact on how well a school is run and what children can achieve.

We are currently looking for trustees and governors with an enthusiasm for education to join our board or one of our local governing bodies. We are hoping that you can help us to fill our vacancies and work with us to continually improve our education offer for every child in our community.

If you are interested in this or have any questions we would be very happy to hear from you. Please get in touch with our governance professional, Veronica Dower. 



Members are accountable to the DfE and have ultimate responsibility for the Trust achieving its charitable objectives. The primary function of the Members is to oversee the proper and effective operation of the Board of Trustees.

The Members' Board meets three times a year.  

Click here to see details of our Members


Directors (also known as Trustees) set the strategic direction for the MAT and are accountable to the Secretary of State for the performance of the schools within it. 

As charity trustees, they must also ensure that they are complying with charity and company law requirements. High calibre directors are appointed for their skills, knowledge or experience as needed by the Board.

The core functions of the role are ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the trust; holding executive leaders to account for the performance of the schools, pupils and staff; overseeing the financial performance of the trust and making sure its public money is well spent. They are responsible for determining the overall strategic direction and development of the trust through good governance and clear strategic planning.

Acorn Trust Board of Directors has two standing committees: Finance & Audit and Pay & Performance.

The Scheme of Delegation sets out the delegated powers between the different bodies involved in the governance and operation of the Multi Academy Trust and member academies. It is the key document defining which functions within the Multi Academy Trust have been delegated and to whom. 

In the interests of transparent and accountable governance, we are required by law to publish the following information about our Board of Directors.

Trust Board of Directors - click Here

Brian Impey - Chair of Directors 

Acorn Academy, The Old Tool Office, Chard Street, Axminster, EX13 5EB.



Local Governors

Each school within Acorn Multi Academy Trust has its own Local Governing Body (LGB) which is a committee of the Trust Board of Directors. Local Governing Bodies are made up of parents and community or foundation representatives. Local governors support the directors and school leadership by adding local context and challenge. They ensure that each school provides the very best provision for the community it serves and that the ethos and core values of Acorn MAT are upheld. 

The Trust greatly values and supports the work of Local Governing Bodies and recognises the significant contribution that excellent local governance can make towards raising standards. In order to assist this, the Trust provides support to LGBs with governor recruitment, induction and training.

The Chairs of the LGBs come together with the Chair of the Trust Board and CEO to form a Chairs’ Forum, which meets six times in the academic year and provides advice on strategy and education, enhancing communications between the Local Governing Bodies and the Trust Board.

Local governing bodies have the governance functions delegated to them by the Trust Board through the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation and are accountable to the Board.

Details of Local Governors, along with their business interests and attendance at meetings for the last academic year are available through the individual school links below.

Chair of Governors (Local Governing Bodies)

Axminster Community Primary Academy: Jo Walsh

Loders CE Primary Academy: John Ryde

Marshwood CE Primary Academy: Sarah Forsey

Membury Primary Academy: Lucy Pearse

Mrs Ethelston's CE Primary Academy: Jo Cursley

St Andrew's CE Primary Academy: Sarah Wyatt

Thorncombe, St Mary’s CE Primary Academy: Catherine Davis