Governance in multi-academy trusts

In a multi-academy trust, a single trust is responsible for a number of schools. The MAT consists of the members and the trustees/directors. An academy trust is a legal entity. It is the direct employer of staff and the holder of land titles. An academy trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee. An academy trust must have both Members and Directors.


It is important that all academy schools are notified that the Accounting Officer for the Trust is the Chief Executive Officer. This role includes specific responsibilities for financial matters, a personal responsibility to parliament, EFA and the financial resources under the Trust control.


The Trust must have a Chief Financial Officer CFO, appointed by the trust board. The CFO should play both a technical and leadership role.


Members are the subscribers to the Trusts memorandum of association. They have an overview of governance arrangements of the Trust and have the power to appoint or remove Directors. Only the Members have the right to amend the articles of association and are responsible for ensuring the MAT Board of Directors are compliant.


The Directors Board's powers are delegated to them by the Members. They are responsible for controlling the management and operation of the Trust.
Directors are responsible for ensuring that the Trust is solvent, well run and that the academies are delivering the standards required.
Directors are responsible for overviewing each Academy budget and appointing the Governors in the LGB's. The most effective governance models recognise that in order for the members to hold the trustees to account, there needs to be some separation between those serving as trustees and those serving as a member.


The LAB's responsibilities are delegated to them from the MAT Board of Directors in a document called The Scheme of Delegation. The level of delegated responsibilities are negotiated with each academy and reviewed on a regular basis.

Such delegated responsibilities are likely to include day to day operational management, student welfare, staffing and budget monitoring.


The Headteacher's Advisory Committee is composed of the Executive Principal, Executive Headteachers and Headteacher of the Academies. This committee ultimately provides the engine to improve standards of teaching and learning and school improvement; providing the professional advice to Directors to ensure both strategic and operational effectiveness.


The Trusts governance model following DfE and NGA guidance dictates that there is separation between Directors and the Local Advisory Board. Therefore, communication links between each Body is facilitated by the LAB reports going to the CEO, who feeds pertinent information into the Directors meetings. Information from Directors meetings are fed back to Head teachers through an agenda item featured on the head teachers Advisory Board. MAT updates also form an agenda item on all head teachers reports to their respective LAB’s.

Click here for governance structure