Our Governance


The Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust (DCVST) is looking for Governors to join our dedicated and visionary Schools Governance Boards.

The Vine Schools Trust is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) set up by the Diocese of Chelmsford. We are a family of Church of England primary schools located throughout Essex and Thurrock. Our vision is to serve our local communities by providing excellent education rooted in our Christian values. Learn more about the Trust, here.

As a Governor on your school Governance Board you will:
• Be an advocate of the Trust Board so that pupils and schools will flourish in a place where the Trust and School vision and values are translated into action
• Provide support and challenge to school leaders
• Know each school well through focused monitoring to gain assurance of school progress and policy in action which will inform decision making

The closing date for applications is Thursday 13th July 2023 at 12.00pm. Interviews will be conducted w/c 17th July 2023.

The Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust

The Vine Schools Trust is a multi-academy trust and is the accountable body for all twenty three of its schools. Therefore, the overarching responsibility for the governance of the Trust and its schools lies with the Vine Board of Directors.  They fulfil the three core functions of governance:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

To enable the Directors to fulfil their responsibility eight regional Local School Boards work on their behalf and undertake delegated local governance of between two and four schools.  Community Boards in each school enable local support and provide information to enable good governance.

The key principle is that all three Boards together with Executive Leaders will provide an aspect of governance the other cannot as set out in this chart.

Our Local Schools Board

The Colne Valley Local Schools Board has oversight of four primary schools: Belchamp St Paul, Colne Engaine, Ridgewell, St Andrew’s Great Yeldham.

The Terms of Reference for Local Schools Boards and the Scheme of Delegation showing which responsibilities have been delegated to them are in the Download section below.  Also in that section are the minutes of meetings so that you may see the range of work that the Board does over a period of time.

The Board meets twice each term to consider a range of matters pertinent to all the schools.

The Members of the Board
  • Cathy Shergold (chair) ~ Vine Trust appointment
  • Emma Flin ~ headteacher St Andrew’s Great Yeldham
  • Ana De Piedade ~ headteacher Belchamp St Paul
  • Samantha Dunne ~ headteacher Colne Engaine
  • Kirsty Stuart ~ headteacher Ridgewell
  • Claire Kearney ~ Vine Trust appointment as external Vine headteacher
  • Godfrey Evans (vice chair) ~ Vine Trust appointment
  • Nigel Benwell ~ Vine Trust appointment
  • Richard Hopkins ~ Vine Trust appointment

Information about attendance is in the Download section below.

Our Community Board

The Community Board has no delegated responsibilities or powers under the VTB Scheme of Delegation. Any delegation of functions is to the Local Schools Board or to Headteachers. The Community Board has several functions:

  1. To act as a support and a sounding board for school leaders, offer advice and challenge when appropriate or requested
  2. To be interested in the learning and well-being of pupils and the well-being and professional development of staff, including the HT
  3. To be ambassadors for, and champions of, the school
  4. To monitor safeguarding practice in the school and liaise with the Safeguarding Lead at the Local Schools Board
  5. To develop knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the school which can be taken forward to aid discussions at the Local Schools Board
  6. To help sustain and further develop the effectiveness of the school as a church school by, among other things, maintaining links to the Parish Church and the PCC
  7. To provide a local view on any proposal being discussed by the Local Schools Board
  8. To help maintain and highlight ways to develop further links to the local community and the wider world

We meet once or twice a term, depending on requirements, and every member takes responsibility for keeping in touch with some aspect or aspects of the school;  in that way between us we have a rounded picture of life and learning at the school.  In the minutes in the Downloads section below you can see the range of items that we hope to cover over a period of time. Although the Community Board has no statutory responsibilities for anything, unlike a governing body, we take our work very seriously and work to the Code of Conduct you can see in the Downloads section.

Members of our Community Board currently

    Godfrey Evans (chair):representing the community
    Jane Lambert: representing the Parochial Church Council
    Doug McKenzie: representing the community
    Alison McKeown: representing staff
    Tom Owen: representing parents/carers
    Mark Payne: incumbent
    Sam Dunne: headteacher

Richard Pomeroy: representing parents/carers