Interim Management Board (The East Manchester Academy)

The IMB was established in March 2020 to secure the rapid turnaround of the academy, following the Ofsted judgement of Special Measures in December 2019. The IMB has replaced the former Academy Committee in performing the role of the governing body and provides regular reports to the Trust board.

Background & Purpose

The IMB meets formally every 3 weeks and members visit the academy every week to provide challenge and support to academy leaders. The focus of the work of the IMB work is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the academy improvement plan which addresses the weaknesses identified in the Ofsted inspection report.

The IMB is comprised of a team of professionals with extensive experience in education, school improvement and children’s social care, each of whom has a designated area of responsibility.

  • Fiona O’Sullivan (Chair – leadership and management)
  • Phil Beswick (Vice Chair – curriculum and quality assurance)
  • Alan Braven (special educational needs and disability, behaviour and attitudes)
  • Maureen Hughes
  • Sharon Gardner (LA and safeguarding link)

The IMB will ensure that the action plan for the school is being implemented and will advise on the development and review of the plan, focusing initially on the 8 Areas for Improvement identified in the inspection report. It will also, over time, ensure that the school is meeting the expectations of the full Ofsted Inspection Framework in readiness for its next section 5 inspection.

The Role, Delegated Authority & Duties of the IMB

  • The core function of the IMB is to secure a sound basis for accelerated current and future improvement in the school and its governance. This includes the promotion of high standards of educational achievement, personal development and safeguarding for all such that the school can be removed from Special Measures within the period of 30 months designated by Ofsted
  • The IMB will take on the responsibilities and functions of the normally constituted Academy Committee, meeting the three core strategic functions of governing bodies described in the government’s Governance Handbook (2019)
  • When appropriate, the IMB will promote the establishment of the Academy Committee for the school, carrying out a skills and capacity audit of potential governors and advising the leadership team and Trust Board of any shortages and governor training needs
  • Support the transition to an Academy Committee, when ready, through supporting training and collaboration as new governors take up their roles
  • Advise and report to the Trust Board and Executive leaders on the implementation of the action plan, identifying and communicating any need for additional Trust or external support that may need Trust Board authorisation, for example significant capital funding
  • Have regard to the Equalities Act in the performance of any duty
  • Act in accordance with the terms of the Trust funding agreement, Articles of Association and current ESFA Academies Financial Handbook in the performance of any duty
  • Ensure that the school is meeting legal requirements and duties and implementing Trust and school policies appropriately
  • Ensure that any funds delegated to the school are safeguarded and their use is astutely and appropriately directed to address the requirements of the action plan and meet students’ needs

The IMB will fulfil its responsibilities through the following three sets of activities:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction by:

    • Ensuring that the school aligns with the Trust’s vision
    • Setting targets for school improvement, with particular reference to the Areas for Improvement from inspection
    • Overseeing the effectiveness of the school leadership and management
    • Monitoring appraisal arrangements
    • Support the Executive Headteacher in the line management and appraisal of the headteacher
    • Ensuring that the staffing structure of the school supports improvement needs effectively and is financially viable
    • Support the school’s leadership team in ensuring that all staff, teaching and non-teaching, meet the expected standards of professional performance
    • Working closely with the Trust, the Department for Education, the office of the Regional Schools Commissioner and Local Authority to secure a future for the school
  2. Acting as a critical friend to senior leaders and holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students by:

    • Monitoring performance against targets set by the IMB and/or in the post-Ofsted action plan through a range of evidence, including receiving regular information from the Headteacher and senior leaders on the performance of all aspects of the school
    • Visiting the school during the working day to carry out assurance activities (such as student, staff and parent feedback), work with school leaders and identify any further strategies and support needed
    • Monitoring the quality of provision and standards of achievement of all students within the school – particularly for SEND and other vulnerable students
    • Quality assuring safeguarding in the school
    • Monitoring the implementation of Trust policies and resultant impact on standards and provision
    • Contributing their expertise to advise and support school leaders and access/facilitate additional, external expertise and capacity where needed
    • Monitoring school self-evaluation and satisfying itself to the accuracy of this, including via external support/reviews as determined by the IMB
    • Ensuring that the school complies with statutory requirements, including the equalities duty
    • Providing challenge and support to the Headteacher and senior leaders – including finance, discipline (student) and HR (including staff disciplinary or competence) support needed to effect change and secure improvement
    • Supporting the school in responding to complaints received
    • Monitoring and evaluating progress towards the requirements of the full Ofsted inspection framework in readiness for a section 5 inspection when relevant
    • Monitoring Health and Safety in the school and directing action needed to address concerns arising
    • Supporting school and executive leaders on estate management and any building works needed to improve the quality of provision and safeguarding for staff and students
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent:

    • Ensuring that the devolved budget is appropriately spent for the good of the learners currently in the school, targeted on improvement priorities and to best secure the school’s future
    • Ensuring that the school maintains an up-to-date and appropriate risk register
    • Ensuring that sound financial management systems are in place in line with statutory and good practice requirements and that school complies with the Trust Financial Scheme of Delegation
    • Evaluating any requests for additional funding and liaising with the Trust Finance Committee and Trust Finance Officer in facilitating and supporting such requests deemed appropriate by the IMB

Learners, Parents, Staff & the Community

The IMB will further fulfil its duties to the above stakeholders by:

  • Ensuring that the school website is informative, regularly updated and meeting statutory requirements
  • Determining, with school leaders, how the school’s relationships with parents will be managed, including what will be communicated about improvements, in what medium and how frequently and liaising with parents
  • Receiving appeals on issues related to staff grievance, capability, complaints and exclusions

Constitution, Terms of Office & Proceedings

  • Members of the IMB will hold office for the period that the IMB is in existence, although individual members may resign at any time (subject to a one month notice period)
  • The Trust Board may appoint additional members of the IMB at any time and may remove existing members for reasons of incapacity or conduct
  • The IMB may make such arrangements as it sees fit for the discharge of its functions by any other person
  • Whilst it is for the IMB to determine the regularity of meetings, it is anticipated that it will meet at least monthly during term time to ensure the pace of improvement is maintained and to monitor improvement
  • IMB members will commit to attending all meetings, unless due to unavoidable prior commitments or urgent personal circumstances, in which case chair and clerk will be informed in advance of the meeting
  • All IMB members, the Executive Headteacher and the Headteacher, unless the Executive Headteacher or Headteacher is being discussed, and members of any shadow governing body which may be established, may attend meetings of the IMB and its committees where established, although non-members will not have voting rights
  • Other individuals and observers may only attend with the agreement of the IMB
  • Where confidential matters are being discussed it will be for the IMB to determine if non-members may be present
  • As much notice as possible will begiven of IMB meetings and papers will be circulated in advance of the meeting where possible. The minutes will be made public following their approval by the IMB at its next meeting, except where items have been deemed by the IMB to be confidential
  • The quorum for all meetings will be 3 members of the IMB

The role of the Headteacher

  • The Headteacher will be responsible for the internal organisation, the leadership and management and control of the school, and for advising on the implementation of the IMB’s strategic framework
  • The Headteacher will provide the IMB with regular information on the performance of the school and will comply with any reasonable request from the IMB for information. It is for the IMB to determine the range, content and regularity of these reports. The IMB may request any member of SLT to attend its meetings to provide information on the performance of any aspect of the school for which they are responsible
  • The Headteacher will facilitate the IMB in carrying out any QA work in school, including such activities as talking to staff or students
  • Where the IMB delegates any function to the Headteacher the IMB has the power to give the Headteacher reasonable directions in relation to that function and oblige them to comply with these directions

Conduct of the IMB

  • The IMB will conduct its business in an open and transparent way, though meetings are closed and attendance is by invite only
  • The IMB is a corporate body and consequently no individual has the power to act alone, unless delegated to do so by the IMB
  • Where functions have been delegated to an individual, or a group, they must report back to the full IMB on actions taken under delegation at the earliest possible opportunity. The IMB remains responsible for any action undertaken on its behalf under delegation
  • Individual members of the IMB must respect confidentiality. It is for the IMB to determine which parts of meetings, and the associated minutes, should remain confidential. Serious breaches of confidentiality may result in the ELT removing an individual member from the IMB
  • All dialogue with press agencies will be through Manchester City Council Press Office and through the headteacher and chair of the IMB. No member of the IMB should have contact otherwise with press agencies, unless authorised by the chair and the chair of the Trust Board
  • Clerking of the meetings will be provided by a clerk from One Education. The clerk will also be bound by confidentiality and will be required to sign the code of conduct


  • IMB minutes will be collated and sent to the chair within one week for approval before circulation to the members of the IMB, by email
  • The agenda for IMB meetings will be determined by the chair of the IMB in the first instance, at least 3 days before the meeting
  • The chair may waive the normal notice period for a meeting where business is deemed to be urgent
  • On request, the Headteacher will present reports to the IMB on information it requests in order to fulfil its monitoring responsibilities
  • The IMB will abide by the Financial Scheme of Delegation for the Trust
  • The chair has the delegated power to take decisions on behalf of the IMB between meetings, where it is not practicable to call a full IMB meeting. All such decisions will be reported back to the next meeting of the IMB
  • The decision-making processes of the IMB will be open and transparent and in partnership in the best interests of the school and its progress towards addressing the key issues identified in the Ofsted inspection report and the statement of action. In the event of a split decision, the chair of the IMB will have the casting vote
  • The IMB, in consultation with the Headteacher, will contribute to regular communications to update parents on the progress the school is making, and will also inform parents of the outcomes of HMI/Ofsted visits to the school
  • IMB members will be available for Ofsted visits where possible

Committee Attendance at Meetings

Contact the Interim Management Board

If parents/carers wish to contact the Interim Management Board, please route any enquiry or written correspondence (addressed private and confidential) to Mrs F. O’Sullivan, Chair of Interim Management Board, via the academy. Alternatively, email

Academy Committee Meeting Documents and Minutes

In accordance with the Academy Trust Handbook, Education and Leadership Trust will make available for public inspection:

  • The agenda for every meeting of the academy committee and sub-committees
  • The approved minutes of each meeting
  • Any report, document or other paper considered at each meeting

For further information, please contact Education and Leadership Trust.

About the IMB

Fiona O’Sullivan has 20 years’ experience as a senior leader in secondary schools, a sixth form college and a school improvement service across four Greater Manchester authorities. Until 2018 she was Principal of Oasis Academy Media CityUK and led it from special measures to achieve a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating within two years. She now holds positions as school improvement advisor and professional chair of governors for two other large multi academy trusts.

Phil Beswick was the Director of Education for Stockport until his retirement in 2018. Prior to this he had a successful career both as a headteacher and a school improvement officer. He was Head of School Improvement for Stockport before he became the Director of Education. He has worked on many national education projects and currently sits on the Greater Manchester Education and Employability Board.

Alan Braven is the Executive Headteacher of the Endeavour Federation which provides education for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs. He has over 25 years’ experience of school leadership both in special and mainstream schools.

My name is Maureen Hughes and I am the proud headteacher of Ravensbury Community School in East Manchester. Ravensbury is a richly diverse school at the heart of its community, where different languages, cultures and religions learn together in harmony. I have spent my entire teaching career, of 33 years, in East Manchester, the last 4 years as a headteacher at Ravensbury, driving school improvement since the school’s last Ofsted inspection, taking it from good to outstanding. I am passionate about ensuring the children in this part of our City have the best educational opportunities possible, both academically and socially and emotionally.

Sharon Gardner

Quality Marks, Awards & Affiliations

Cyber Essentials Certificate logo Real World Learning Awards Winner 2021 logo Confederation of School Trusts logo The East Manchester Academy logo Levenshulme High School logo Whalley Range 11-18 High School logo Whalley Range Sixth Form College logo