Academy governance supported by The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Academy governance

Discover a wide range of training and resources designed specifically for those working in governance roles within academy schools


Supporting governance in academy schools

The Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance professionals. We support the professionalisation and recognition of the role of governance in academy schools. We provide company secretaries, clerks, trustees, governors and school leaders with the tools to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of academies and support them in establishing good governance practice in each school.

We provide practical guidance, knowledge and training to help company secretaries, clerks and leaders in academy schools to meet their legal and highest standards of governance. We also help trusts to develop good practice that goes beyond compliance and contributes to the achievement of educational aims.

While the Institute provides specific support for academies, we also provide a plethora of resources which support charities, of which all schools will find useful to share with your PTA’s. Often run by volunteers our guidance notes provide a solid basis for which they can learn and implement governance in their roles.

The last decade has seen a transformation in the structure and form of school governance across England with the introduction of the academy trust. Academy governance has evolved as a distinct form of school governance compared to that delivered within the maintained sector for a range of reasons.

Firstly, academy trusts are education organisations, registered companies and exempt charities and therefore work within multiple regulatory frameworks. The board of trustees act as the ‘proprietary board’ of governors, company directors and charity trustees and must fulfil a broad range of duties.

Secondly, academy trusts have multiple layers of internal governance, with members, trustees, the executive team and – within the multi-academy trust context – a tier of local governance. As trusts have developed, the role of headteacher has also expanded to include executive headteachers, regional directors and directors of education.

Finally, with growing numbers of academies operating within one legal entity, expectations of academy governance are increasingly heightened to reflect the size, scale and complexity of trusts working with large numbers of pupils and spending high levels of public funds.

With a range of statutory and good practice guidance documents, but no single ‘code’ of governance for the sector, trusts are given significant freedoms as to how to fulfil requirements and structure internal governance – but must be sure to use these freedoms wisely.



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