Role and responsibilities
As private limited companies, academy trusts can choose to have a company secretary, but it's not legally required.
Our associate expert Bill Dennison advised that it's good practice to have one. They're most 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), with responsibility 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 retains 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)