MULTI-ACADEMY TRUST – The role of the Chair

Michael Tait, independent chairman, non executive director, sets out the key roles and responsibilities of a Multi-Academy Trust Chair.

A multi academy trust (MAT) is a form of school governance in the United Kingdom. It is where a group of schools come together to form a single legal entity. The MAT is governed by a board of directors, known as the Trust Board. They are responsible for overseeing the overall strategy, direction, and performance of the Trust. The Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust is a critical role. It plays a crucial part in leading the Trust Board and ensuring the success of the MAT.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Chair of a UK Multi Academy Trust:

1. Leadership and Governance: The Chair is responsible for leading the Trust Board, ensuring that it operates effectively and efficiently, and that it provides strategic direction for the MAT. The Chair also has a responsibility to maintain the highest standards of governance and to ensure that the Trust Board operates within the legal and regulatory framework.

2. Strategic Direction: The Chair is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the MAT, working with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other members of the Trust Board to develop a vision for the future of the trust. This includes setting goals, objectives, and priorities for the MAT, and ensuring that these are aligned with the wider educational landscape.

3. Performance Monitoring: The Chair is responsible for overseeing the performance of the MAT and ensuring that it is delivering its mission effectively. This includes monitoring the performance of the individual schools within the MAT, and ensuring that they are meeting the standards expected by the Trust Board and the wider education community.

4. Stakeholder Engagement: The Chair has a responsibility to engage with stakeholders, including staff, parents, and the wider community, to ensure that the MAT is responsive to their needs and expectations. This includes communicating the vision and strategy of the MAT, and ensuring that stakeholders are informed about the performance and plans for the future.

5. Financial Management: The Chair is responsible for overseeing the financial management of the MAT, ensuring that it operates within its budget and that it is using its resources effectively. This includes ensuring that the MAT has robust financial systems and processes in place, and that it is meeting its obligations in terms of transparency and accountability.

6. Risk Management: The Chair is responsible for overseeing the risk management of the MAT, ensuring that it has in place robust systems and processes to manage risk and that it is complying with relevant legislation and regulations.

7. Board Development: The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the Trust Board has the skills and knowledge it needs to perform its role effectively. This includes providing opportunities for board members to develop their skills, and ensuring that the board has access to the information and support it needs to carry out its responsibilities.

In conclusion, the Chair of a UK Multi-Academy Trust plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the Trust. They are responsible for providing leadership and governance. They set the strategic direction, monitor performance, engage with stakeholders. They also oversee the financial management, managing risk, and developing the Trust Board. The Chair is the key figure in ensuring that the MAT delivers on its mission and provides the best possible education for its pupils.

Useful background on Multi-Academy Trusts: