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Hadlow Rural Community School Governance Structure



Hadlow Rural Community School Members

  • Mr Philip Morris
  • Mr Neil Yeomans
  • Mr Oliver Reeve
  • Mr Mark Nichols

Academy trusts are founded by members who have a general duty to exercise their powers, to further the academy trust’s charitable purpose.

Members play a limited but crucial role in safeguarding academy trust governance. While they must ensure they do not stray into undertaking the Academy Trustees' role, they should assure themselves that the governance of the trust is effective, that Academy Trustees are acting in accordance with the trust’s charitable object(s) and that they, the Members, use their powers to step in if governance is failing.

Members should not be involved in the day-to-day business of the academy trust and must ensure they do not assume the powers of the Academy Trustees. However, they do have an important role in an academy trust, based on a number of key powers set out in the department’s model articles of association and in company law. These include powers to appoint and remove the board and direct the Academy Trustees to act in certain circumstances.


Hadlow Rural Community School Trust Board


Trustee Status

Term of Office Start

Appointed by

Mr Philip Morris

Chair of Trustees

1st July 2013

Lynda Brown

Mr Harvey Guntrip

Vice Chair of Trustees

4th January 2021

Philip Morris

Mr Ian Chappell


11th May 2021

Philip Morris

Mr Michael Laver-Smith

Parent Trustee

3rd January 2023

Philip Morris

Mrs Marie Sweetlove-Smyth


9th May 2023

Philip Morris

Mrs Suzy Moore

Staff Trustee

1st December 2020

Philip Morris

Mrs Heidi Whitmore

Clerk – Governance Professional

1st January 2022

Philip Morris


The trust board, led by a Chair, is the decision-making body of the academy trust and is accountable and responsible for all the academies in the academy trust.

The trust board is the decision-making body of the academy trust and is accountable and responsible for the academy in the academy trust. The academy trust will also be the employer of any central staff and those within its academies. Everyone in governance should be aware of and accept ‘The 7 principles of public life’, as set out by Lord Nolan.

As set out in the Governance Handbook, all trust boards have three core functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of the vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Executive Leaders to account for the educational performance of the school(s) and its pupils and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school(s) and making sure that its money is well spent.

The board is the academy trust’s key strategic decision maker. It may delegate certain responsibilities to the Executive Leader (in certain circumstances) and in accordance with the academy trust’s scheme of delegation, a committee or an individual, but the trust board remains accountable and is responsible for all decisions made. The trust board must make decisions in the best interest of pupils, not personal interests, and welcome a diverse range of viewpoints when debating decisions.

Boards should play a strategic role and avoid routine involvement in operational matters. They should focus strongly on holding their Executive Leader to account for exercising their professional judgement in these matters and all of their other duties.

HRCS Trustees are linked to one of the following specific areas of responsibility:

  • Intent (Curriculum Planning/Content)
  • Implementation (Teaching & Learning)
  • Impact (Achievement/Student Outcomes)
  • Personal Development
  • Behaviour & Attitudes
  • Leadership & Management (including Finance)
  • Audit & Risk
  • Safeguarding

The following links will provide further information on the Trust Board:


Our Board of Trustees

Philip Morris (Chair of Trustees)

- Quality of Education (Impact)

- Leadership & Management


Harvey Guntrip (Vice Chair of Trustees)

- Safeguarding  & Prevent

- Audit Committee

- Behaviour & Attitudes


Ian Chappell

- Audit Committee

- Quality of Education (Impact)


Michael Laver-Smith (Parent Trustee)

- Leadership & Management

- Personal Development 


Marie Sweetlove-Smyth (Trustee)

- Quality of Education (Intent & Implementation)

- Personal Development


Suzy Moore (Staff Trustee)


Heidi Whitmore (Clerk to Trustees)