Role and responsibilities
As private limited companies, academy trusts can choose to have a company secretary. It's good practice to have one, but it's not legally required.
They're more common in multi-academy trusts (MATs), and normally the role covers the whole trust, since it's the trust that's a registered company and not the individual schools.
The role is a legal position, rather than an administrative appointment. They're responsible for making sure the company (the trust) fulfils its duties.
If a clerk is appointed to undertake statutory administrative duties like circulating agendas or minutes, the company secretary still has legal responsibility for making sure these are fulfilled. Our associate expert Martin Owen explained this.
The company secretary can be a director of the company (i.e. a trustee), but cannot be:
- The company’s auditor
- An ‘undischarged bankrupt’ (unless they have permission from the court)
Company secretaries don't