New officer for Rushden and Wellingborough schools group

Steve Artis has been appointed as the first compliance monitoring officer for the Education Fellowship NNL-140711-131826001
Steve Artis has been appointed as the first compliance monitoring officer for the Education Fellowship NNL-140711-131826001

The trust which runs nine schools in the county has appointed its first compliance monitoring officer.

Steve Artis has been given the role by the Education Fellowship, whose schools include Rushden Academy, Wrenn School and Olympic Primary School in Wellingborough.

The appointment comes in the same year that a financial review of the academy chain based in Titchmarsh found a series of “highly unusual” and irresponsible practices by the board of trustees.

In a report which was published earlier this year by The Education Funding Agency, a number of concerns were raised about the financial management of the Education Fellowship Trust. Speaking about the appointment, deputy CEO Lizzie Rowe said: “A crucial element in delivering outstanding education to all our students and pupils is ensuring all areas of governance, accountability and auditing are fully compliant and up to date so that any potential areas of vulnerability and risk are identified as early as possible.

“We are delighted that Steve joins us and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent. He will encourage, implement and sustain a positive compliant culture throughout the Fellowship and its academies.”

Mr Artis joins the trust with more than 25 years’ experience working within various disciplines of a public sector audit function.

He spent the past three-and-a-half years working for the Education Funding Agency at the Department for Education where he undertook the lead role reviewing financial management and governance arrangements within academies.

He gained the reputation of being a leading expert on the internal control frameworks required in academies and multi-academy trusts.

His good working relationships with those in the academy trusts led to high levels of acceptance of findings and recommendations for improvement.

The Education Fellowship has 12 academies across Northamptonshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire. Its academies in the north of the county are Olympic Primary, Ruskin Junior, Warwick Primary and Wrenn School in Wellingborough, Rushden Academy and Risdene Academy in Rushden, and Windmill Primary School, Raunds.