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 10 November 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 40732
  1. Leadership structures
  2. Governance structures

Leadership structures

You must appoint certain roles

Your trust board must appoint a senior executive leader:

  • In a single academy trust (SAT) this person will likely be referred to as the headteacher or principal
  • In a multi-academy trust (MAT) they'll likely be referred to as executive headteacher or chief executive officer

This leader should also be appointed as your accounting officer. They’ll be personally responsible to parliament and to the Education and Skills Funding Agency's (ESFA) accounting officer, for the financial resources under the trust’s control. Read more about the role and responsibilities of an accounting officer.

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.