Principle 1: Delivering the academy trust charitable objects   

The Academy Trust’s Articles of Association sets out the Academy Trust’s charitable Objects and how those must be fulfilled. The Board is clear about its aims and ensures that they are being delivered effectively and sustainably.


Charities, including Academy Trusts, exist to fulfil their charitable Objects. As charity trustees, Directors have a responsibility to understand the environment in which the Academy Trust is operating and to ensure it fulfils its charitable Objects as effectively as possible with the resources available.

Key outcomes

1.1 The Board has a shared understanding of, and commitment to, the Academy Trust’s charitable Objects and aims and can articulate these clearly. In the context of academies with a religious designation this includes upholding the distinctive religious character of those academies.

1.2 The Board can demonstrate that the Academy Trust is effective in achieving its charitable Objects and agreed outcomes.

Guidance on implementation of Principle 1

1.3 Articulating a clear sense of purpose to meet the charitable Objects

a. In determining how it will achieve its charitable Objects the Board agrees and articulates a clear sense of purpose for the Trust.

b. In the context of academies with a religious character the Directors can explain the distinctive religious ethos of those academies.

1.4 Reviewing the implementation of the Academy Trust’s actions to achieve its charitable Objects

a. The Board works with the Executive Leadership Team to develop a strategy, to be approved by the Board, in order to achieve the Academy Trust’s charitable Objects and is clear about the desired outcomes.

b. In agreeing that strategy, the Board considers issues of sustainability to ensure the on-going provision of safe and high-quality educational experiences across the Trust and its Schools.

c. To assess the Academy Trust’s success in meeting its charitable Objects, the Board regularly evaluates the Academy Trust’s impact by measuring and assessing educational, financial, staff, pupil wellness and other outcomes to ensure that the education it is providing is both effective and sustainable.

1.5 Analysing the external environment and planning for sustainability

a. The Board regularly reviews the financial viability and operational sustainability of its business model and its ability to deliver the charitable Objects of the Academy Trust in the short, medium and long term and having regard to environmental issues.

b. The Board considers the benefits and risks of any strategy that involves a change to the nature of the Academy Trust[1]:

c. The Board recognises the Academy Trust’s role in making a strategic contribution to the greater social good and addresses its broader responsibilities towards the Academy Trust’s various stakeholders, e.g. educational community, parents/carers, civic institutions and to wider society. The Board acts on these responsibilities in a manner consistent with the charitable Objects, values and available resources, taking steps to ensure value for money.

[1] A Voluntary Academy Trust will need to refer to the strategy of its Foundation.