Leadership and governance structures of trusts

Understand the requirements on how to structure the roles of leaders, trustees and local governors in your trust. We explain what the rules are, and what's up to you to decide.

Last reviewed on 7 April 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 40732
  1. Leadership structures
  2. Governance structures

Leadership structures

You must appoint certain roles

Your board of trustees must appoint a senior executive leader for the trust, who may also be appointed as a trustee. 


This leader must also be appointed as your accounting officer. They'll oversee financial transactions. 

Additionally, your board must appoint a chief financial officer (CFO). They'll be responsible for your trust’s detailed financial procedures, and they should play both a technical and leadership role.

Both of these individuals should be employees of your trust.

See sections 1.33 to 1.48 of the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH).

Overall structure is up to you

Your structure should be appropriate to your context and central team capacity. You should also make sure that the structure allows stronger school(s) in your trust to support