Updated model Articles of Association for Academy Trusts

Updated model Articles of Association for Academy Trusts

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently updated its model Articles of Association for use by mainstream academies, special academies, 16 to 19 academies, alternative provision academies, free schools and studio schools. These are the most common model used to set up both single Academy Trusts and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs).

The new Articles do not make any significant changes to the previous December 2014 model. However, we have noted a few key points from a comparison between the two versions.

1. Reduced Objects of the Academy Trust

These can be summarised as advancing education for the public benefit by establishing and maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum. The additional object of providing a wider community benefit has been removed in the updated model Articles. In practice, this will not affect how an Academy Trust will operate.

2. Appointing members by special resolution

In the old model Articles, it specifically required new members of the Academy Trust to be appointed by passing a written special resolution. References to “written” have now been removed, giving the Academy Trust the option to appoint members by passing a special resolution by voting at a General Meeting.

3. Removed references to “staff trustees”

The definition of, and all references to, staff trustees have been removed from the updated Articles. Once again, this does not make a significant change to the governance of the Academy Trust. The proper process for employing and remunerating trustees must still be followed and there is still a restriction that trustees who are employees of the Academy Trust shall not exceed one third of the total number of trustees.

The DfE will now insist that all future academy conversions use the most up-to-date Articles of Association and other model documents.