Can you support education in Cornwall by acting as a trustee for a Multi-academy Trust?
138 schools in Cornwall have now converted to academy status. Academies are publicly funded independent schools. Academies don’t have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times. They still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools. Academies get money direct from the government, not the local council. They’re run by an academy trust which employs the staff.
Many academies are part of multi-academy trusts (MATs). In a multi-academy trust, a single trust is responsible for a number of academies. As these trusts develop and grow, good governance is essential.
The MAT consists of the members and the trustees.
Members: The members are akin to the shareholders of a company. They have ultimate control over the academy trust, with the ability to appoint some of the trustees and the right to amend the trust’s articles of association.
Trustees: The trustees are responsible for the same three core governance functions performed by the governing body in a maintained school: setting the direction, holding the headteacher to account and ensuring financial probity. As charity trustees, they must also ensure that they are complying with charity law requirements. Academy trusts are charitable companies and the trustees are company directors and must comply with company law requirements.
There may be some overlap between members and trustees, but to ensure robust accountability, some separation is desirable.
The further governance structure of the MAT and schools within it will depend on how that MAT was set up and will be outlined in its Articles of Association.
For more information read the NCTL document on Governance in multi-academy trusts.
What skills are needed?
As well as educational expertise, MAT boards need trustees with expertise in areas such as business planning, strategic management, financial planning, auditing, HR, real estate/property, corporate governance, legal, change management.
Trustees do not receive any renumeration and the time commitment is approximately 4-6 hours per month, with termly meetings. The Chair of the Board may be expected to commit more time.
Acting as trustee for a MAT is a unique chance to help support the education of the next generation in your local area. Although the role may differ between different MATs, the essential focus is always what is best for the children attending the schools in the MAT. As part of the board, trustees are advocates for the MATs values, ethos and philosophy.
If you think you have the skills and commitment needed to support schools through acting as a trustee, please contact Katie Chandler, CAPH Business Development Manager email@example.com. Please provide a copy of your CV and a brief outline of how you think your skills would benefit MATs in Cornwall.
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