In January 2014, Northampton School for Girls became an Academy under the Academies Act 2010 and an Academy Trust was established. As an Academy, the school is funded and maintained directly by the Department of Education rather than via the Local Authority.
The Trust established a Company Limited by Guarantee:
Northampton School for Girls: A company registered in England Wales No. 08591532
Registered Office: Spinney Hill Road, Spinney Hill, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 6DG
The Academy Trust has two levels of governance consisting of members on one level and directors on another. The directors also happen to be trustees and governors and accordingly these names are interchangeable.
As with all UK companies, academy trusts have directors. Each director must be registered with Companies House and will be subject to a range of directors’ duties under the Companies Act 2006.
Academy Trusts have exclusively charitable purposes and are therefore charities. Accordingly, their directors are also trustees under charity law. Any funds held by an Academy Trust are held on charitable trust for the provision of education. The principal regulator of Academy Trusts for charity law purposes is the Secretary of State for Education (in practice this function is delegated to the Education Funding Agency).
Under education law, the body that runs and operates a school is known as a governing body. Similarly, those running an Academy Trust are referred to as governors. This term is used in the articles of association to refer to the directors/trustees.
The role of a member is distinct from the role of a director/trustee/governor. Members are similar to the shareholders of an ordinary share company, although they cannot draw a profit from the Academy Trust. The members must agree to contribute towards the winding up costs in the event that the academy trust becomes insolvent, that is, they guarantee the liability of the company up to a nominal £10.
The members meet each term and at an Annual General Meeting, and are responsible for:
a) Appointing additional members under Article 16;
b) Appointing additional governors under Article 50;
The following powers are reserved to the Members:
a) Amending the articles of association;
b) Changing the name of the Academy Trust; and
c) Removing a Director (subject to certain Companies Act formalities).
Academy Trust Documentation
A copy of the articles of association for Northampton School for Girls is available here:
Articles of Association
A copy of the Funding Agreement agreed with the Department of Education is available here: