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 members' key responsibilities. Find out how to resolve any difficulties between members and trustees.

on 26 March 2024
See updates
School types: AcademySchool phases: AllRef: 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

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

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

Members' 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.

You can find out how members are appointed in our other article. 

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 cease to be a member within 1 year of the trust being wound up (see the model articles of association, articles 7 and 8). 

Key responsibilities

Are signatories to the articles of