The Academy is part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust which is sponsored by the University of Brighton.

The trust’s Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the educational and financial performance of all of the academies in the trust; the trustees are the statutory governors of each academy and the company directors and charitable trustees of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Further information about the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s governance arrangements, including its Board of Trustees, Scheme of Delegation, Articles of Association and Funding Agreement, are available on the Trust’s website.

A series of committees, including a Local Board for each academy (or group of academies), supports the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its responsibilities.

The Local Board

Local Board members are volunteers representing different aspects of the academy community including parents/carers, staff and local people. The members contribute to the academy’s vision and future strategy, ensuring they complement the trust’s vision and values. They are responsible for keeping the academy at the heart of the community, maintaining strong community links and effective communication with all stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees.

Local Board members ensure the celebration of staff, pupils and parents and carers is a priority to the academy. They are also responsible for monitoring pupil wellbeing, admissions, complaints and concerns.

Local Board members can be contacted through email at or in writing c/o the academy. Local Board meeting minutes are available on request.

Two pupils looking at the camera

Contribute to education in your community

Find out more about joining a Local Board.

The local board at Blackthorns is here to strengthen the Academy’s strategic leadership by:

  • Overseeing, challenging and supporting Mrs Neller and Blackthorns’ Senior Leadership Team to continuously improve quality of teaching
  • Promoting Blackthorns’ continual improvement by helping to set and implement the highest educational standards for our children
  • Overseeing the solvency and probity of the financial management of the school
  • Assuring that school statutory duties are met and priorities are identified, approved and delivered
  • Engaging and communicating with key stakeholders in the school
  • Ensuring the effective use of Pupil Premium and other resources to overcome barriers to learning.

What does the Local Board do?

The core responsibilities of the Local Board are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Overseeing the educational performance of the academy and its pupils
  • Developing partnerships ensuring the academy works effectively with key stakeholders and partners
  • Ensure that the academy has strong local links and is at the heart of the community.



Who is on the local board?

Our Local Board is made up of people from different groups within our community, including parents, teachers and people from business backgrounds and the local community.

We give direction and focus to life at Blackthorns by performing a vital strategic role as a committee of the University of Brighton Academies Trust Board of Directors. The day-to-day management of Blackthorns is the responsibility of Mrs Neller and her staff. The values and vision for leading our school are shared between the Trust, the local board, Mrs Neller and the senior leadership team.

List of Blackthorns Community Primary Local Board members here.

How to become a Local Board Member

We always need people who:

  • care about and are committed to our children’s learning and well-being
  • are keen to help all children in our school make progress
  • want to make an important contribution to our local community
  • enjoy a challenging but rewarding role.

There are no qualifications, either academic or otherwise, needed to become a Local Board Member. Local Board Members have to be over 18 years of age. A Board Member must be a good listener, and someone who is able to read and assimilate information easily.

In addition, a Board Member must be able to:

  • raise questions and participate in discussion and decision making
  • be discrete, open-minded and fair
  • be a source of ideas and a good communicator
  • be enthusiastic about the work of the school
  • be prepared to participate in its life.

If you are interested in becoming a Local Board Member, please contact the school office or email Jacqui Reid at

Contact the Local Board

If you have any concerns, issues or comments you wish to raise with the Local Board, email