Appointing and reappointing academy trustees: the rules

Understand the different categories of trustee and how each one is appointed. Find out the rules for co-opted, foundation/sponsor-appointed and parent trustees, as well as staff and associate members, and directors in church academy trusts.

Last reviewed on 23 April 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42102
  1. General rules
  2. Member-appointed trustees
  3. Parent trustees
  4. Foundation or sponsor-appointed trustees
  5. Directors in church academy trusts
  6. Co-opted trustees
  7. Staff trustees
  8. 'Associate members'

The information in this article is from the DfE's model articles of association. Double-check your own in case they differ.

Find out more about how to recruit school governors and trustees.

General rules

  • No employees other than the CEO/headteacher should sit on the trust board
    • This is explained in section 4.3.1 of the academy trust governance guide and paragraph 1.22 of the Academy Trust Handbook 
    • Your articles may allow you to appoint more staff members, though they can't make up more than 1/3 of your trustees. See the section on staff trustees below 
  • For all trustee types, no more than 19.9% of your board can be LA associated, such as through current or previous employment
    • Previous employment means within the last 4 years
    • This is covered in article 139 of the model articles and section 4.3.1 of the academy trust governance guide 

The number of trustees that can be appointed by members varies between trusts, and is set out in your own

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