Leadership and governance structures of trusts

Understand the requirements on how you structure the roles of leaders, trustees and governors in your trust. We explain what the rules are, and what's up to you to decide.

Last reviewed on 26 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 44251
  1. Leadership structures
  2. Governance structures

Leadership structures

You must appoint certain roles

Your board of trustees must appoint a senior executive leader for the trust. This should be the chief executive or equivalent and they may also be appointed as a trustee.

This leader should also be appointed as your accounting officer, another required role, where they'll oversee financial transactions. 

Additionally, your board must appoint a chief financial officer (CFO). They'll be responsible for your trust’s detailed financial procedures, and they should play both a technical and leadership role.

Both of these individuals should be employees of your trust.

See sections 1.33 to 1.48 of the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH).

Overall structure is up to you

There are no other specific rules for the leadership structure of trusts. 

Your structure should be appropriate to your context and central team capacity. You should also make sure that the structure allows stronger school(s) in your trust to support the improvement of weaker schools.