Trustee Development Programme

We prepare Academies and Maintained Schools for the journey to Governance Excellence



This Module will provide a comprehensive introduction to how a Multi Academy Trust sits within the local, regional and national education landscape. It will explore the roles in the Trust and the legal context of the Trust itself and the schools in it. The Module will explore the mindset required to succeed in the Multi Academy Trust arena and provide wider context of Governance in general in education.

  • The formation of the Academy Trust, its Trust status and its civic structure
  • Consider the responsibilities of its officers who are the Members, the Trustees and the Local Advisory Boards for the individual academies.
  • Consider the mindset required to succeed in the Academy arena
  • Consider the contractual position of the Academy Trust and the Academies who form part of it.
  • Look at the DfE documents a school enters into
  • Look at the Insurance arrangements for each academy
  • Look at the Funding documents between the DfE and the Academy Trust and what must be followed by the Academy Trust to ensure that they do not breach the terms of this.
  • Working collaboratively
This Module will provide a comprehensive introduction to organisational practice in the Academy arena. It will reflect on the challenges faced by Academy trust leaders. It will explore the culture in a Trust and identity of the decision makers. It will explore the differences between Mission, Vision and Values and examine why we do what we do.

  • Defining both
  • Defining why we do what we do
  • Look at Mission, Vision and Values
  • The importance of understanding how to communicate both ‘How’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘What’
  • Defining, evaluating and leading organisational culture and how that overlaps across all layers of governance.
  • Critical decision-making processes at a strategic level and how it is communicated across all schools in the MAT
  • Consider the balance of Trust Development with School Development
  • Look at the interaction of the Trust roles in strategic decision making
This Module will explore the stages of Academy strategic planning and ask participants to examine their own Trust’s strategy and their own role in it. It will encourage participants to consider strategy in Trust Growth and the actions required. It will explore the balance between planning for the short and long term.

  • Define what Strategic Planning is
  • Look at the 5 stages in Strategic Planning
  • How to develop a robust strategy for growth for a Multi-Academy Trust whilst maintaining school performance?
  • Understand the overall role of strategic management and leadership.
  • Identify a vision for growth in the context of a Multi Academy Trust and develop a strategy to achieve growth objectives.
  • Examine the challenge of change and develop a method for implementing successful change.
  • Identify how to develop a tailored communications plan, aligned to the culture of a Multi Academy Trust.
  • Consider effective due diligence in the Academy Trust context and how to conduct it.
  • Examine why Strategy is about logic not dreams
This Module will provide a framework of who and what a stakeholder is in the Academy arena. It will explore how communication with stakeholders can be done. It will explore how the Trust is viewed by others and how the Trust presents itself when looking to grow. It will explore a Communication Plan that is Trust-wide and examine how buy-in can be achieved.

  • Explore why brand is important to Academy Trusts
  • Consider how brand and engagement impacts both internal and external communications, and perception.
  • Consider what stands your Trust out
  • Examine and understand competitor Trusts offering.
  • Evaluate who is a Stakeholder
  • Evaluate Stakeholder engagement
  • Consider approaches to engage and manage stakeholder communications effectively
  • Consider what a 100 Days Comms Plan looks like
  • Understand working within data protection legislation and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
This Module will provide a broad understanding of how to manage and scrutinise financial decisions within the Trust. It will bring up to date guidance from the authorities on how to hold to account those financial managers whilst ensuring adherence to current Regulations. It will explore emotive subjects such as Topslice and Centralisation of resources.  It will introduce the DfE’s top 10 planning checks for Trust leaders and enable Trustees to improve strategic financial decision making.

  • What is the Academies Financial Handbook? – A look into the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook.
  • The implications of Central Government funding and the functions of General Annual Grant (GAG).
  • Finance and resource management – characteristics of an efficient academy and a Multi Academy trust.
  • Financial arrangements – understand the financial dynamics between Academies and the Trust.
  • Explore academy budgeting and contribution to central MAT costs via the topslice.
  • The balance between enough top slice and ensuring sufficient resource is directed to each school in the MAT.
  • An introduction to financial accounting
  • Management and cost accounting – operational/implementation/strategic financial decision making/performance measurement/budget analysis.
  • Financial decision making
  • Introduction to VAT
  • A look at all income sources
  • Understanding risk, and the role of the Trustee in challenging financial decisions that expose the Trust to risk.
This Module will provide participants an in-depth look at the relationships between the various layers of governance in a Multi Academy Trust. It will explore how delegated powers are made and reviewed. It will provide a framework of how a Trust Board should look and the skill sets required to succeed. The Module will explore effective and robust Due Diligence when growing the Trust or even when Self Evaluating.

  • Attendees will gain greater insight into the governance of academy trust and the key foundations of strong governance structure.
  • Explore and understand the obligations and duties of Directors, Trustees and Members in how the Academy Governing Bodies are regulated.
  • Examine the relationship between the Trust Board, the Members Board and the Local Advisory Boards.
  • Examine how important Schemes of Delegation are in the MAT world.
  • Discuss the legal structures and framework of Multi Academy Trusts.
  • Delivering good corporate Governance and meeting the legal and regulatory challenges: the need for robust internal processes and systems balanced with external oversight
  • Examine Succession Planning
  • Being prepared for OFSTED – What Directors and Governors need to know.
  • What does self-evaluation and a review of governance look like
  • Business continuity planning and crisis management.
  • What does effective Due Diligence look like?
  • Look at when Due Diligence is conducted on you
  • Using Due Diligence to improve





  • 1 Module – £200
  • 2 Modules – £400
  • 3 Modules – £550
  • 4 Modules – £700
  • 5 Modules – £850
  • All 6 Modules – £1000

If you are a Trust looking for an in-house accredited CPD course to develop your Trustee skill set, our fixed price of £7500 plus VAT allows for up to 12 people in your Trust to sit the programme.

That’s just £625 per person to stand your Trust out from the rest.