Model articles of association for academy trusts

Template documents with standard articles of association for different types of academy trust.

Applies to England



These model articles of association are for:

  • local-authority-maintained schools converting to academy status
  • existing trusts updating their articles of association
  • proposer groups seeking to set up new trusts and their legal advisers

You can use them for single- and multi-academy trusts.

The articles set out the charitable purpose of the trust and its governance structure. This includes information about:

  • what the trust exists to do
  • appointing and removing trust members and trustees
  • establishing committees and local governing bodies

The articles also provide a framework for trusts to act within company and charity law.

You must agree the articles of association for your trust with DfE before we sign your funding agreement.

If you’re converting to an academy, see also guidance about setting up or joining an academy trust as part of the academy conversion process.

Model articles of association for church academy trusts are also available.

If you’re proposing a new free school, see also guidance about applying to set up a free school.

More information about effective governance is available in the governance handbook.

Published 3 January 2013
Last updated 30 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Articles of association for use by mainstream academies, special academies, 16 to 19 academies, alternative provision academies, free schools and studio schools' document to reflect changes in company law and DfE policy.

  2. Removed suspension clauses from the model articles.

  3. Added 'Articles of association for use by mainstream multi-academy trusts with one or more university technical college'.

  4. Replaced 3 co-operative academy model articles of association documents with 1 document: 'Co-operative academy trust articles of association: model 6'.

  5. Updated ‘Academy articles of association: model 1’ with changes relating to the Academies Financial Handbook and technical updates.

  6. Added 'Academy articles of association: model 2'.

  7. Updated 'Academy articles of association: model 1' document to reflect changes to wording in clause 57.

  8. Replaced single academy model memorandum and articles of association and multi academy model memorandum and articles of association with academy articles of association: model 1.

  9. Added model article for co-operative alternative provision academies.

  10. Added new 'Article by article guidance on the articles of association' document. 'Co-operative multi model articles' document has been updated.

  11. First published.