Reviewing your central leadership team structure

The central leadership team in a multi academy trust (MAT) implement the trust’s strategic vision, manage the distribution of resources across the trust and lead the organisation day-to-day.

As the legal employer and accountable body, the trust board is responsible for agreeing the structure of the central team and for appointing the trust’s chief executive officer as its most senior member.

Download guide to reviewing central leadership structures (PDF)

We recommend that boards review the central leadership team structure at least annually in light of its significance for the trust’s financial position and strategic progress.

This guidance is therefore intended to help trust boards:

  • understand the board’s role in reviewing the central team structure
  • identify when and how to conduct a review
  • recognise the scenarios which should instigate a review
  • explore the issues to consider once a review is underway

NGA research on central leadership teams

Our research on current practice highlights the importance of effective central leadership team structures in delivering many of the benefits of the MAT model, from economies of scale to the targeting of resources and expertise.

The report is based on a series of detailed interviews with 13 MATs. We spoke to a range of key figures including chief executive officers, chief operating officers, trust chairs and governance professionals. These interviews were complimented by an online review of a further 88 MATs, which focused on more general issues such as the size of their central teams and their constituent roles.

Further reading


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