Pontefract Academies Trust hosts Annual Governance Conference

Yesterday Pontefract Academies Trust hosted its annual Governance Conference, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the evolving landscape of governance within the Multi Academies Trust sector. Held at The Education Exchange, the event was attended by trustees and school performance review board members from across the Trust.

The conference commenced with an informal arrival and refreshments, providing attendees the opportunity to network and share insights.

Samira Sadeghi, Director of Trust Governance at the Confederation of School Trusts, delivered the first keynote address. Her presentation, “The Governance Landscape in the Multi Academies Trust Sector,” highlighted the latest trends and challenges facing multi academy trusts, with a keen insight into challenges within governance. Samira emphasised the importance of robust governance frameworks to ensure accountability and drive educational excellence.

Following this, Julian Appleyard OBE, CEO of the Trust, alongside Trustee Reuben Moore, provided a comprehensive overview of the Trust’s achievements to date and outlined the strategic plan for 2025-2028. Their insights into the national educational landscape and the Trust’s direction of travel resonated strongly with attendees.

A panel discussion on Trust Board Governance featured trustees Phil Jones, Andy Clarke, and Reuben Moore. The discussion covered governance best practices, board responsibilities, and strategies for effective oversight, offering valuable takeaways for attendees.

Lastly, the focus shifted to De Lacy Primary School. Headteacher James Parkinson and David Wilkins, Chair of the School Performance Review Board, shared the school’s success story, emphasising the critical role of leadership and local governance.

The conference concluded with closing remarks led by Julian Appleyard OBE, who thanked attendees for all that they do to support the Trust’s pupils, staff and communities.