Members of the academy trust: role and responsibilities

Learn about the role of members in an academy trust, and share our download to help everyone in your trust understand their key responsibilities. Find out how to resolve any difficulties between members and trustees.

Last reviewed on 21 February 2023
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School types: Academy · School phases: All
Ref: 5406
  1. Members have a largely hands-off role
  2. Key responsibilities
  3. Members must meet at least once a year
  4. Communicate the role across the trust
  5. How to resolve differences between members and trustees

Members have a largely hands-off role

They sit above the board of trustees, similar to a company's shareholders in relation to its board of directors. 

Members can be trustees, but the model articles of association include a requirement that the majority of members must not also serve as trustees (see article 12B).

Their main responsibilities are:

  • Furthering the trust's charitable objects
  • Appointing some trustees
  • Holding trustees to account for the successful governance of the trust

Check your own articles of association for your trust's rules on members, and find out how members are appointed.

Members have a limited liability of up to £10 in the case that the academy trust is wound up. It applies to current members, and those who have been a member within a year of the trust being wound up (see articles 7 and 8 of the model articles of association).

Key responsibilities

Are signatories to the articles of association (if