Debunking Myths: Being a trustee in multi-academy trusts

 

Are you considering becoming an academy trustee within a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) but have reservations about taking up the role? There are many common myths and misconceptions surrounding trustee positions that put people with suitable skills off applying.

In this blog, we’ll debunk those myths and shed light on the rewarding realities of serving as an academy trustee. We’ll highlight the numerous benefits awaiting those looking to take on an academy trustee role and why you should get involved in shaping education.

 

Myth #1: Limited Influence and Impact

One common misconception is the belief that academy trustees have limited influence within MATs. In fact, trustees have significant power in shaping the strategic direction of an MAT. Their decisions directly impact the educational experiences of students, as they oversee matters like curriculum development, financial management, and staffing strategies. Academy trustees play a vital role in ensuring that the trust’s vision aligns with educational standards and goals, actively contributing to the improvement and success of the academies within the trust.

Myth #2: Excessive Time Commitment

Another prevalent myth is the belief that being an academy trustee requires an overwhelming time commitment. While the role of a trustee demands dedication and involvement, it’s important to note that most MATs offer flexibility to accommodate trustees’ professional and personal commitments. On average, an academy trustee will be expected to give 8 hours per month to the role. Trustees typically attend board meetings, participate in decision-making processes, and engage in occasional training or development sessions. This manageable time commitment allows individuals to contribute meaningfully without overshadowing other aspects of their lives.

Myth #3: Lack of Support and Training

Some prospective trustees worry about a lack of support and training available for those new to the role. However, MATs prioritise the support and development of their trustees. They often provide comprehensive induction programs, ongoing training opportunities, and access to resources that equip trustees with the necessary skills and knowledge. Additionally, trustees work collaboratively within a team. They benefit from the diverse expertise and experiences of fellow trustees, fostering a supportive environment conducive to learning and growth. The Trustee Recruitment Service is also always there to provide support – we currently offer our 100 days of trusteeship training free of charge.

Myth #4: You have to have experience in education

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about the role of a trustee is that you need some sort of experience in education. Now, this may sometimes be the case when a trust is looking for an educationalist, but a lot of the time, other skills such as financial management, HR and more are just as valuable. Some trusts also look for general strategic leadership, which requires neither experience within education nor previous trustee/school governor experience.

 

Benefits of Becoming an Academy Trustee in a Multi-Academy Trust

Now we’ve debunked the common myths, it’s time to highlight the rewards and benefits on offer to an academy trustee in a Multi-Academy Trust. These include:

  • Contributing to educational excellence. Firstly, as an academy trustee, you’ll play a pivotal role in shaping educational standards and strategies. Specifically, you’ll contribute directly to the provision of high-quality education. Your decisions impact the learning experiences of students, ensuring they receive the best possible education to thrive in their academic journeys.
  • Professional and personal growth. Additionally, serving as an academy trustee offers opportunities for personal and professional development. You’ll gain invaluable experience in governance, strategic planning, financial oversight, and team leadership – skills transferrable to other areas of your life and career.
  • Networking and Collaboration. Finally, engaging with a diverse group of trustees, educators, and stakeholders fosters networking opportunities and collaboration. This interconnectedness creates a supportive environment where collective efforts drive positive change and innovation in education.

 

Become an academy trustee and shape the future of education

If you’re thinking about becoming an academy trustee, the Trustee Recruitment Service is here to help you on your journey. Whether you’re looking for more information about the role, or have a question about the process, our team is on hand to support you.

To find out more about the role and responsibilities of a trustee, why not take our free ‘Becoming an Academy Trustee Pathway’ by clicking here. Alternatively, if you’re ready to apply, you can skip straight to our application page. If you have any questions about any part of the process or the role, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].