A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a single organisation which establishes and pursues strategic collaboration across a number of academies to maintain and improve educational standards and student outcomes. A MAT is accountable for the performance of every school in its organisation.
Academy trusts have three legal identities; they are companies limited by guarantee, exempt charities accountable to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education and are independent state schools which must abide by relevant sections of the Independent Schools Regulations.
Academy Trust board members are subject to both company and charity law. Additionally, MAT boards must comply with any requirements in relation to grant funding set out in the Academies Financial Handbook; a key document which sets out the financial framework for academy trusts, addresses key aspects of academy accountability and also contains some requirements in relation to governance (Academies Financial Handbook). A Master Funding Agreement with the MAT (and Supplemental Funding Agreements with each individual school) is signed by the Secretary of State for Education and constitutes the formal contract between the MAT and the Secretary of State. The funding agreement also sets out MAT duties and obligations.
The MAT governance structure consists of Members and Trustees with the Board of Trustees responsible for deciding the governance structure and the delegated powers of the MAT; the Articles of Association set out in broad terms what the Trust Board can delegate and to whom as well as the criteria for membership of the board of Trustees.

Documents: please click on the link below or go to the relevant section on the website
Alpha Trust – Articles of Association and Memorandum
Alpha Trust – Master Funding Agreement
Alpha Trust – Supplemental Funding Agreements

This tier of governance can be likened to the shareholders of a company and has overall control of the MAT with the ability to appoint some of the trustees and amend the MAT’s Articles of Association.
There are five Members. The Members Board meets once a year with the CEO and Chief Finance Officer in attendance and any other persons the Members request to be present.
Documents: please click on the link below:
Alpha Trust – Members
Alpha Trust – Members’ Registers of Interest
Alpha Trust – Members’ Attendance Record

Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees determines the scheme of delegation, ensuring all governance functions are undertaken through delegated boards and committees.
The Trustees Boards undertakes the three core governance functions of:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision and determining the strategic direction of the MAT
  • Holding the CEO, CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and school leaders to account for the educational performance of the MAT and students and the performance management of staff
  • Holding the CFO to account and ensuring financial probity and value for money

As charity trustees, members of the Board of Trustees must ensure they are complying with charity law requirements and as academy trusts are charitable companies and the trustees are company directors, they must comply with company law requirements.
There are eleven trustees, one of them being the CEO. The Board of Trustees meets at least three times a year on a termly basis.
The Trustees Board has three committees; Audit, Pay and Resources – their terms of reference and members are below.
Further details are to be found in the Board of Trustees Standing Orders.
The Board of Trustees is advised by the Headteachers Board.

Documents: please click on the links below:
Alpha Trust -Trustees 

Alpha Trust – Trustees’ Registers of Interest

Alpha Trust – Trustees’ attendance record

Alpha Trust – Board of Trustees Standing Orders

Alpha Trust – Trustees Board Committees Terms of Reference and Members:

Pay Committee ToR

Resources Committee ToR

Audit Committee ToR

Alpha Trust – Headteachers Board Members and Role

Local Governing Boards
Each Alpha Trust Academy has a Local Governing Board (LGB) which organises its own delegation structure. This information together with details concerning the membership, roles, attendance at meetings and Register of Governors’ Interests are to be found for each Trust Academy via the following links:

Colchester County High School for Girls

The Gilberd School

Manningtree High School

Home Farm Primary School