Members of the academy trust: role and responsibilities

Learn about the role of members in an academy trust, and understand their key responsibilities.

Last reviewed on 30 September 2022
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School types: Academy · School phases: All
Ref: 5406
  1. The role: in summary
  2. Key responsibilities
  3. Members must meet at least once a year
  4. Appointing trustees and holding them to account
  5. Members have a limited liability 
  6. Communicate the role to others in the trust
  7. How to resolve differences between members and trustees

The role: in summary

Members are similar to a company's shareholders – they sit above the board of trustees and have a largely hands-off role. 

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

Their key responsibilities include:

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

The rules for your trust regarding its members are set out in your articles of association. Consult these first if you have any questions. 

Key responsibilities

Are signatories to the articles of association (where they are founding members) Can pass a special resolution to: Amend the articles of association Appoint new members or remove existing members Direct trustees to take a specific action (where trustees are unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the trust) Can appoint trustees, according to the trust's