Being a Trust Member or Trustee
A multi-academy trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee, made up of a number of academies. An academy is a school in a trust; the trust is the independent legal entity.
A trust’s governance requirements are set out in its Articles of Association and detailed guidance of the implementation of this is contained in the DfE Governance Handbook
Members are similar to a company’s shareholders – they sit above the Trust Board, have a largely hands-off role (normally meeting once per year at the AGM). Members appoint trustees and external auditors, amend the Articles of Association and other matters, including ultimately winding up the trust.
Trustees are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust – both terms are commonly used.
Trustees are accountable to the Members of the trust and the Secretary of State; they determine the trust’s strategic direction, hold the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer to account and ensure the trust’s financial resources are managed appropriately. Trustees ensure compliance with charity and company law and the academy trust’s funding agreement. They oversee the governance within the trust and ensure the Local Governor Bodies carry out their role effectively.