Statement on effective governance

Strong and effective governance underpins the most effective academies. Wellspring Academy Trust is committed to supporting the highest quality of governance in all it's academies.

The Governing Body is, in effect, a sub-committee of the Trust Board.  The Wellspring board expects members of each Governing Body to govern and to conduct themselves according to the seven principles of public life and requires governors to accept and adhere to the Code of Conduct.

There are three core functions of governance:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction at Academy level and with reference to the Trust
  • Holding the leadership at all levels to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its pupils and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the Academy, making sure that money is well spent.

The Academy Governing Body explained

The Trust Board is responsible to the Secretary of State for the effectiveness of all its academies.  In order to ensure effectiveness at academy level the Board delegates key responsibilities to the Governing Body.

The Governing Body is responsible for strategic overview, scrutiny and challenge at the Academy and discharges is duties within the context set by the Trust Board.  Governors are not expected to be routinely involved in the day-to-day activity of the Academy.

The Head Teacher and Academy staff lead and manage the day-to-day operation of the Academy.

Meet the Chair and Vice Chair

Warwick Firmin

Our Chair of Governors is Warwick Firmin.  With an honours degree in biochemistry and a masters degree in education, Warwick worked in Kirklees 11-16 High Schools for 31 years, firstly as a science teacher followed by 15 years as a senior leader, including 10 years as a head teacher.  He then worked for over 10 years (until recent retirement) as a senior education officer for Kirklees Council, with particular focus on strategic planning (including BSF), resourcing, governance and admissions. Warwick is committed to providing the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people with the equality of opportunities to achieve their potential.  He worked in schools in some of the most challenging circumstances and, as an officer, worked to ensure that all expertise and resources were focused on closing the achievement gap.  Warwick has been a school governor for over 20 years.  Warwick can be contacted via the Clerk to Governors at the school. 

Anne Ivey

Our Vice-Chair of Governors is Anne Ivey.  After obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and Computational Science at Leeds University, Anne has followed a career in IT mainly in Software Development.  Her initial career saw roles in several local companies with a short spell as a contractor for ICL in Manchester and The AA in Newcastle. Anne took several years off to raise her three children and resumed her career at Leeds Building Society 24 years ago. Since then she had held many IT related roles including Head of Software Delivery (a role she held for 15 years), as well as a short spell working as Head of Property Services.  Anne still works at Leeds Building Society where she now focuses on promoting personal development for her IT colleagues. Anne was a parent governor when her children were young and has been a member of Joseph Norton’s Governing Body for a year. She is the Finance and Property link governor, bring a wealth of both business and finance expertise to the school.

Other Governors

George Lane

Our Link Governor for Standards, Achievement and Key Pupil Groups is George Lane. George has an honours degree in History and Politics from the University of York and is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester. Alongside his role as a Trust Appointed Governor, George works as a secondary school teacher in an 11-18 academy in Doncaster, which has high levels of disadvantaged students, and through high quality teaching is helping to close gaps in attainment. George is committed to working towards a day where no child's educational success is limited by their social or economic background. As a proud ambassador for the education charity, Teach First, George remains active in supporting young people to achieve and exceed their personal best. George grew up in a local village to the school and played an active role in politics as a former elected representative of the UK Youth Parliament. He continues to network with local and trust partners to make the difference for the young people of Joseph Norton Academy.

The governors register of business interests can be found here.

To find out more about Wellspring Academy Trust governance, including attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year, please click here.

To request an Application Pack to become a governor, or to request a copy of meeting dates, Academy Governing Body minutes or Trust Board minutes please contact the Clerk to the Governing Body on 01226 720741 or by emailing