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Board of Trustees

St Mary's Primary School is a single academy trust. 

You can contact the Trustees by emailing

What is a single academy trust (SAT)?

A SAT receives funding directly from the Department for Education (DfE) and make their own financial decisions, which means they’re run more like businesses than maintained or Local Authority schools.

Academies have a CEO - Mrs Rachel Blake, and a Senior Management Team who oversee the trust.

What does a SAT or academy governance structure look like?

We have a Board of Trustees who work at a top level and are accountable for all the schools within the trust. Academy trustees can delegate the day to day running of schools within the trust to local governing boards.  We have one board and we are one school.

What do academy trustees do?

Academy trustees are a type of school governor. The main responsibilities of the academy trustees are to:

  • Set the strategic direction of the trust.
  • Hold senior school leadership to account.
  • Oversee the trust’s financial performance.

These are also the three key roles of a school governing board. Trustees, however, operate at a higher level, overseeing strategy and finance across all schools in the trust.

Do academy trustees have liability?

Academy trustees are ultimately responsible and accountable for the trust. It’s up to them to make sure the trust is compliant with its charitable objectives, but also with company and charity law.

What are the differences between governors and academy trustees?

Academy trustees are both company directors and charity trustees as academies have the legal status of both company and charitable trust.

Academy trustees have more specific responsibilities than governors, especially when it comes to finances.

Because academy trustees are directors under company and charity law, academy trustees have legal responsibilities that governors of maintained schools do not.

Who can be an academy trustee?

There aren’t any specific requirements to be an academy trustee. Just like governing boards, a board of trustees must be diverse and be made up of people with different skill sets. Professional backgrounds in areas such as HR, law, finance and marketing are key skills needed on trustee boards, but softer skills such as negotiation, problem-solving and leadership are also great additions.

However, given the extra levels of responsibilities, trustees must be skilled. They must be knowledgeable and able to confidently support and challenge the leadership of a group of schools.

Academy trustees must also have the time to commit to the role, but in return, will gain high level strategic experience and insight into becoming a non-executive director.

Statuary attachments below: