Academy trusts need to broaden business skills on boards

New research from Academy Ambassadors and independent consultants Populus shows academy trusts benefitting from business and financial skills on the board, but few are taking full advantage of the experience on offer.

Beyond education, the most common professional experience of a board member is finance. Wider business and commercial skills beyond finance are still rare. Of the 248 individuals across 20 large MATs profiled, ten note a HR background and nine a legal background, with 28 showing membership on charity or voluntary sector boards.

The research shows a highly motivated group of people joining trust boards from business who feel they are having real impact and nine-in-ten of the leaders interviewed who came from business into multi-academy trusts would recommend the role. The two major motivating factors behind the non-executive Directors’ (NEDs) decision to get involved was the challenge and the chance to make a real difference to young people’s lives at scale. As one appointed NED said: “the appeal was of helping a chain of schools provide a better education for children in more deprived areas.”


The Executive Summary is available here PDF icon Academy Ambassadors Populus Research.pdf.