Parents and children sometimes hear about “The Trustees of the School”, but little is said about who they are and what they do.
The first Trustees were the generous members of the village community who created the School in 1718. They financed the original building, now School House. They engaged and paid the Teacher and they endowed assets to the Trust to provide future income to support the School. They also decided the form and content of the education and religious instruction that would take place in the School.
Of course, the provision of education along with life in general has changed significantly since the Trust was formed, with the Government now providing both money and policy for education. However, the Trustees still have an important role, which remains unchanged, which is to support and help the School, and to oversee the continuity of its Christian environment and ethos in line with the original Trust. Indeed, the Trustees would be failing in their duty under charity law if they failed to uphold the terms of the Trust.
The Trustees are the successors of the original benefactors who gave the land on which the School is built, and the funds to build and maintain it. It is in that capacity that they hold the school buildings, and the land on which they are built, on trust for the School.
The Trustees manage and control the other assets belonging to the Trust to raise income for the School; these comprise:
(a) cash investments;
(b) agricultural land in Chew Stoke and Burnham on Sea; and
(c) School House. (Until 25 years ago School House was occupied by the School’s Headteacher but when the Head no longer wished to live on-site it was let on a commercial basis to provide a source of income for the Trust).
The benefit deriving from the assets (i.e. income over expenditure) is used to contribute towards many of the school' s capital expenditures. It also finances the gifts of bibles to children joining the school in Reception and dictionaries to Year 6 leavers each school year.
The Trust is a charity registered in its full name – The Chew Stoke Educational Trust. It conducts its activities as set out by the Charities Commission in a form which takes account of the original Trust Deed. This includes such items as the number of and process for appointing Trustees, terms of office, how the “Endowment” (i.e. the assets) can be used, etc. Annual Accounts have to be prepared and an Annual Report is submitted to the Commission.
The Trustees maintain an awareness of the condition of the school buildings, the school’s academic performance and the general wellbeing of the School, its staff, and of course the children. Over the years, many of the Trustees have previously served as school governors.
The Trustees meet two or three times a year, or more often when needed. Meetings take place at the School and are often attended by the Headteacher and/or the Chair of Governors.
Our current Trustees are:-
Keith Williams (Treasurer)
Fiona Barlow (Secretary)
The Trustees may be contacted via the School Office.