The Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee (the liability of the members is set at £10 in the model Articles of Association). The Trust has two layers of governance:
- the members, who operate at a strategic level with ultimate control over the direction of the Academy Trust, and
- the governors (often referred to as the directors or trustees) with responsibility for day-to-day management and operation of the Academy Trust.
The functions of the members of the Academy Trust include:
- Overseeing the achievement of the objectives of the company.
- Taking part in Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings.
- Appointing some of the governors.
- Signing off the company’s financial accounts and annual report.
- Power to amend the Articles of the company and, ultimately, to remove the governors/directors.
Overall, members usually have much more limited practical involvement in the management of the company than the governors.
The Governors (the Governing Body)
In Academies, the governors are directors or trustees of the Academy Trust. Most day-to-day management decisions are made collectively through a board of directors typically referred to as the governing body.
The governing body manages the Academy on behalf of the Academy Trust and the key responsibilities are to:
- Ensure the quality of educational provision.
- Challenge and monitor the performance of the school.
- Manage the Academy Trust’s finances and property.
- Manage the staff.
- Exercise reasonable skill and care in carrying out their duties.
- Ensure that the Academy Trust complies with charity and company law.
- Operate the Academy in accordance with the Funding Agreement that has been signed with the Secretary of State.