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Academy Council

Governance within a multi-academy trust

John Cabot Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust that is responsible for a number of academies across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Gloucester and Somerset.  Governance for a multi-academy trust operates at two levels.  At trust level, there is a Board of Directors.  The directors are accountable to the Department for Education and external government agencies, including the Charity Commission, for the quality of the education the trust provides and the effective use of the associated academy funding. They are required to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, financial probity, safety and good practice. The Board is provided assurance on a number of these areas through various sub-committees, as shown in the diagram below. Visit the CLF website for more information about the board.

Academy Council

At a local level, each academy has an Academy Council comprising of up to 13 Academy Councillors.  Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academic experience of the students under their care with the aim of securing effective school improvement.  They do this through monitoring performance against an annual academy improvement plan, through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and by overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding of children and the health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff.

John Cabot Academy Council

Traditionally, schools have ‘governing bodies’, but as John Cabot Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF), we have a slightly different structure. The CLF Board has overall responsibility for the management of all its academies (finances, staffing etc.), but each Academy has its own Council. The Council is made up of teacher and support staff reps, sponsored councillors (appointed by CLF), a local authority representative, 2 parent representatives (elected by parents) and a student advocate.

Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academy for their students. Their focus is school improvement, and they monitor performance through the annual Academy Improvement Plan (AIP), through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and through overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding, health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff and pupils.

Academy Councillors are expected to both support and challenge the Principal and academy leadership team, and work with them to make the academy one that everyone can be proud of.

Academy Council Meetings will be held this year on:

AC121 September 2022
AC212 October 2022
AC37 December 2022
AC41 March 2023
AC53 May 2023
AC65 July 2023

Academy Council Meetings will be held next year on:


If you would like to contact the Chair of the Academy Council please send your email via the clerk on [email protected].

TypeAppointing BodyNameTerm of Office startsTerm of Office ends
Chair of Council
Councillor 1
CLF BoardLinda Tanner10/10/202210/09/2026
Sponsor Nominated Councillor 2Chairs of Academy Council (COAC)Nigel Eaton01/09/202131/09/2025
Sponsor Nominated Councillor 3COACAngela Long07/04/202107/03/2025
Sponsor Nominated Councillor 4COACTbc  
Sponsor Nominated Councillor 5/Vice ChairCOACGeorgina Tankard14/09/202313/09/2027
PrincipalCLF BoardKate WillisEx OfficioEx Officio
Executive PrincipalCLF BoardDan NichollsEx OfficioEx Officio
LA RepresentativeCOAC / Local AuthorityTbc  
Parent Councillor 1Elected by ParentsAndrea Duignan20/06/202319/06/2027
Parent Councillor 2Elected by ParentsFiona Thompson11/12/201910/12/2023
Teacher CouncillorElected by TeachersChris Fuller09/01/202331/08/2027
Support Staff CouncillorElected by Support StaffSimon Horn15/11/202114/11/2025
Student AdvocatePrincipalSimon Horn10/12/202210/11/2026

Academy Councillor Pen Portraits …


Chair of Academy Council: Linda Tanner

Academy CouncilLinda Tanner is the Chair of Council.  Linda is a journalist and a communications consultant.  She was education correspondent for the Bristol Post from 2005 – 2012 and covered the early years of the formation of the CLF.  She became founding chair of Wallscourt Farm Academy Council in 2013 and continues to serve on the council.  She was also a local authority primary school governor from 1997 – 2009.Linda provides advice and support to schools and other education clients both independently and through Local Voice Network as well as reporting and editing for the Voice series of news magazines in Bristol and writing and commenting on education issues.  She is married with three adult daughters.


Academy Council Downloads

Register of Academy Council Pecuniary and Business Interests 2022-23

Minutes – July 2023

Minutes – May 2023

Minutes – March 2023