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Compliance & legislation

Changing academy trust articles of association

Understand the legal process and requirements for changing academy trust articles of association.

two people exchanging documents in a meeting

Articles of association stipulate the charitable purpose and governance structure of the trust, including types of trustees and how they will be appointed or elected. They also set out governance procedures including the arrangements for meetings and voting mechanisms.

The Department for Education (DfE) provide model articles of association for different types of academy trust. DfE guidance is clear that "effective trusts review their articles regularly to keep them up-to-date and reflective of the trust’s development and growth."

Changing your articles

As articles of association are a legal document, trusts must follow a specific process when altering their articles, which involves:

  1. trustees agree proposed amendments
  2. proposed changes are sent to the DfE to gain written consent
  3. amended articles are presented to the trust’s members for approval
  4. the amended articles are registered with companies house
  5. a copy of the articles is submitted to the DfE

Our guide explains timescales and key requirements for each stage of the process, covering:

  • reasons for changing articles of association
  • gaining consent and approval for changes
  • entrenched provisions
  • special resolutions


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