Hitchin Girls’ School Academy Trust
In 2011, Hitchin Girls’ School 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:
Hitchin Girls’ School: A company registered in England Wales No. 07697117
Registered Office: Highbury Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 9RS
The Academy Trust has two levels of governance consisting of Members on one level and Trustees on another. The Trustees also happen to be Directors and can also be referred to as Governors and accordingly these names are interchangeable.
Academy Trustees are both charity trustees and company directors of the Academy Trust. The Board of Trustees is the decision-making body of the Academy Trust and is accountable and responsible for the academy. The Academy Trust is also the employer of staff working for the Trust.
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).
The body that runs and operates a school can also be known as a governing body. Similarly, those running an Academy Trust may also be referred to as Governors.
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 infrequently, typically at an Annual General Meeting, and are responsible for:
- 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 Governing Body to account for the improved progress and outcomes for students.
- Appointing and removing Trustees and members.
- Appointing the Auditors and receiving (but not approving) the Trust’s annual accounts.
The Trust has a minimum of 3 Members. A majority of Members are Independent of the Board of Trustees.
Academy Trust Documentation
Each year, the Academy produces a report and accounts and the reports from the past two years are available here:
Information that is required to be published in accordance with the Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 is available here: