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What sets Sally apart?

Sally is an expert advisor within the Bishop Fleming Advisory team specialising in matters of Governance and Risk Assurance. She works across all of our offices to support clients throughout the entire firm.

Sally regularly designs and delivers bespoke training to our clients, but also a wider audience and has delivered induction for new CEOs and Chairs with the Department for Education. As a former National Leader of Governance she has opportunities to be involved in focus and discussion groups in the Education sector. Sally has great experience in matters of financial governance compliance with the ATH and supports clients with embedding a more thorough understanding for trustees, members and where required local governors.

Sally is within a number of formerly practicing NLGs who has successfully completed the External Review of Governance (ERG) training via the DfE to enable her to undertake these ERGs either at trust level or school level. She has completed a significant number of such reviews, working collaboratively with boards to validate good practice and also identify areas for increasing the effectiveness of governance within the organisation. As a trustee herself, she has experience of school evolution from local authority to academy, and also the formation and growth of multi academy trusts.

Working within the Internal Audit team, Sally supports the “deep dive” approach for the audit committee into assurance on both financial and non-financial topics, including (but not limited to) board effectiveness, skills evaluation, induction, communication, governance behaviours and various practice. She supports the boards to answer the “how do we know” questions. Providing guidance to the audit committee she works with clients to support clarity and purpose to their voluntary position.

She focuses on a quality relationship, to understand and support the situation at hand. She has a passion for governance and works collaboratively to review and improve arrangements supporting trustees to focus on strategic priorities, to improve the effectiveness of governance. Sally has had extensive experience as a trustee since 2008, and is currently a trustee at Torquay Girls Grammar School (one of the top performing secondary schools in the country), also Westcountry Schools Trust (a 26 school MAT). She is also a member at a local MAT in Devon. 


Sally Timmins Certificate

Sally's service expertise

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  • Working with trusts to review both governance and financial management
  • Supports trusts with financial conditions and/or restrictions imposed by ESFA
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  • Supports trust boards to improve governance arrangements where deployed as an NLG in conjunction with the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC)

Sally's sector expertise

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  • Trained by Department for Education to undertake External Reviews of Governance (ERG)
  • Combines this with financial expertise to support academies assess and improve the effectiveness of governance
  • Uses the competency framework for governance and works with trustees to assess their skills and form an action plan to focus on development


We chose Bishop Fleming for our Governance and Financial Management Reviews, in good faith and without previously having worked with them. The whole exercise bore much more fruit than we expected. We were delighted with their speed of response and their extensive expertise which resulted in a hugely thorough report. The very clear partnership relationship throughout, was clearly evident in the final report which was hugely powerful for the board.


ACE Schools MAT chose Bishop Fleming to conduct a review of governance based on previous consultancy work and the fact that they have a national leader of governance. The work commissioned was well planned and delivered in accordance with the agreed timescales and included several meetings as well as attendance at a Board Meeting. It was clear that we had engaged a team of experience and knowledge which engaged all the key stakeholders in the process. The final report and outcome was formally presented to our Board of Trustees who now have an action plan to improve our organisations governance processes. I’m sure we will be looking to Bishop Fleming to help and continue to support us on our journey.


The exercise deepened our understanding of the world of academies and enabled us to be precise in prioritising and implementing urgent actions.  At the outset it felt like Bishop Fleming would be working with us; that is exactly what happened!  Thank you for constructive advice and a critical friend approach.

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