Let’s begin by discussing what academy trustees are…

Over the last twenty years, we’ve seen huge changes as schools start to transition into academies. Academy trusts, charitable bodies responsible for overseeing and governing a group of schools/academies, are now responsible for educating more than half of the children and young people in England.

As academy trusts have charitable, not-for-profit status, the company directors (more commonly referred to as academy trustees), play an essential role in how effectively these academy trusts perform. This is through providing strategic governance to academy trusts.   

You can find out more about the role in our blog ‘Academy Trustees: who are they and what do they do?’

What is the Pathway to Trusteeship programme?

The Pathway to Trusteeship programme provides comprehensive training to help you prepare for the role of an academy trustee. It enables you to develop your skills and knowledge of board operations in education and the academy trust landscape.  

The online learning series can be completed at your own pace, to fit it around professional and personal commitments. You can then apply these insights by engaging with live academy trust board scenarios in two online mock trust board meetings.  

Once you have completed the programme, you’ll be supported through the application process. We’ll match you with an academy trust that needs your skills so you can further develop practical experience of board membership.  

You’ll have dedicated support and mentorship throughout the programme from Governors for Schools professionals who are academy trustees themselves. 

Why is the Pathway to Trusteeship programme important? 

A landmark study by CMI in partnership with YouGov, showed that while 1 in 4 people in the workplace have management responsibilities, less than 20% are given any formal training for this. Without access to quality management and leadership development, many report that they don’t have confidence in their ability to do their job and deliver results.  

The Pathway to Trusteeship programme lays the foundations for joining an academy board. This is so you can begin to contribute effectively from day one. The programme provides the opportunity for new academy trustees to strengthen and share:

  • Leadership and management
  • Ability to oversee large scale budgets
  • Strategic planning
  • Risk management
  • Policy making
  • Performance management

What impact can you have as an academy trustee? 

With the average size of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) across the UK standing at 6.4 schools, and 10.5 schools in Priority Education Investment Areas (PEIAs), academy trustees make a huge impact on education. Specifically, the average MAT has 2,750 pupils on roll with this number increasing to 4,700 in a MAT operating in a PEIA.

In short, the influence of effective academy trust governance extends far beyond the boardroom. When academy trustees fulfil their duties, the benefits are seen throughout the entire educational ecosystem.

How can being an academy trustee benefit you?  

Becoming an academy trustee is a great way to progress in your career, develop your NED portfolio, and give back to your community. Through taking on a board-level position, you can make a significant contribution to educational outcomes. 

A report from Bayes Business School demonstrates commonalities between the commercial and charity sectors. You can effectively transfer learning back into your professional role from a voluntary one because both spaces are: 

  • Strategic, with a strong focus on operations.
  • Comprised of individual high achievers, who can work well as a team. 
  • Resilient and adaptable to change, and also efficient in the steady state. 

Find out more about Pathway to Trusteeship

To find out more about our Pathway to Trusteeship programme, please email William Durham, Head of Impact and Corporate Partnerships at Governors for Schools: [email protected]