Academy trustees: legal obligations

As an academy trustee, you have legal duties as a charity trustee and a company director. Be clear on what they are, so you're compliant. Find out about sources of legal advice.

Last reviewed on 2 November 2023See updates
School types: AcademySchool phases: Primary, SecondaryRef: 3696
  1. Comply with charity law
  2. Comply with company law
  3. Comply with the Academy Trust Handbook
  4. Sources of legal guidance for academy trustees

Comply with charity law

As an academy trustee, you're a charity trustee. Therefore, under charity law, you must:

  • Ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
  • Comply with the charity’s governing document and the law
  • Act in the charity’s best interests
  • Manage the charity’s resources responsibly
  • Act with reasonable care and skill
  • Ensure the charity is accountable

This is outlined on page 72 of the Governance Handbook

The Charity Commission has published guidance on your responsibilities as a trustee

Comply with company law

As an academy trustee you're also a company director. Make sure you're clear on your academy's articles of association.

You must comply with your duties under the Companies Act 2006 to:

  • Act within your powers
  • Promote the success of the company
  • Exercise independent judgement
  • Exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Not accept benefits from third parties
  • Declare any interest in proposed transactions or arrangements

Comply with