Hitchin Boys’ School became an Academy under the Academies Act 2010 on 1st January 2013. Hitchin Boys’ School is now a single Academy Trust with charitable status (registered with Companies House as Hitchin Boys’ School – Registered No: 08286295)
The Academy Trust has two levels of governance consisting of Academy Trust Members on one level and Trustees on another.
As with all UK companies, Academy Trusts have Directors. Each Trustee is also a Director. They 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 and Skills Funding Agency).
Under education law, the body that runs and operates a school is known as a governing body. Although those running an Academy Trust are Trustees, they may sometimes also be referred to as governors of the school.
The role of Academy Trust Member is distinct from the role of Trustee. However, the Chair of Trustees is an ex-officio member of the Board of Academy Trust Members. Academy Trust Members are similar to the shareholders of an ordinary share company, although they cannot draw a profit from the Academy Trust. The Academy Trust 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 Academy Trust Members meet at least once a term and their responsibilities include:
- Ensuring that the Trust’s charitable objectives as set out in the Articles of Association are met
- Amending the Articles of Association
- Maintaining an overview of the effectiveness of the Trust’s structure
- Determining the ethos and purpose of the Trust and the way it is governed
- Holding the Board of Trustees to account for the improved progress and outcomes for students
- Appointing and removing Trustees
- Appointing the Auditors and receiving (but not approving) the Trust’s annual accounts
- Articles of Association
- Funding Agreement
- agreed with the Department of Education
- Governing Body AGM Minutes
- Trade Union Facility Time
Each year, the Academy produces a report and accounts and the reports from the past two years are below: