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The Charter Schools Educational Trust

Transforming lives through the power of inclusive education

Governance Structure

The Trust is a company limited by guarantee but has no shareholders. The highest tier of governance oversight is provided by the Members who are the guardians of the Trust, its purpose and welfare. However, they have limited governance responsibilities and no day-to-day management responsibilities. They are very much ‘eyes on, hands off’.

The next tier of governance oversight is provided by the Trustees. The majority of Trustees are appointed by the Members to whom they report. They are both trustees under charity law and company directors under company law. The Trustees are legally responsible for the actions of the Trust and its schools and are accountable to the Members, the Secretary of State for Education and the wider community for the quality of education provided to pupils in all our schools and for ensuring that public money is well spent.

The Board of Trustees is the Trust’s key strategic decision maker. It may delegate certain responsibilities to the Executive Leader and in accordance with the Trust’s scheme of delegation, a committee or an individual, but the Board remains accountable and is responsible for all decisions made. The Board must make decisions in the best interest of pupils, and all trust boards have three core functions:

1. Ensuring clarity of the vision, ethos and strategic direction.

2. Holding the Executive Leaders to account for the educational performance of the school(s) and its pupils and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.

3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school(s) and making sure that its money is well spent.

The main delegations from the Trust Board are to:

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust and its schools. The CEO is appointed by the Trust Board and reports directly to it.

Trust Board Committees or Working Groups of the Trust Board, who will act either in a permanent capacity (as directed by statutory guidance from the DfE or as agreed by the Trust Board), or a temporary capacity as ‘task and finish’ groups on an ad hoc basis as agreed by the Trust Board.

The Local Governing Body (LGB) for each school within the Trust to undertake delegated elements of the Trust Board’s strategic role and oversight at a local school level. Each LGB is accountable to the Trust Board in relation to any matters delegated to it. The Duties, responsibilities and authority of the LGBs are as determined by the Trust Board. Please find links below to the Local Governance pages for each school:

Charles Dickens Primary School

Dulwich Hamlet Junior School

Lyndhurst Primary School

The Belham Primary School

The Charter School North Dulwich

The Charter School East Dulwich


The Trust Executive Team which includes the Executive Headteachers, Headteachers and Heads of School. The operation of each academy is managed by a member of the Executive Team. The duties, responsibilities and authorities may vary between academies as determined by the CEO in consultation with the Trust Board.

The Trust Central Services Team (CST) which is the executive management of the MAT, focussing on operation and the educational performance of the schools. The CST operate under the leadership of the CEO, who is by virtue of their position a Trustee of the MAT. The CST work directly with staff in each of the schools, the Trust Board and the LGBs to provide centralised services, ensure compliance and includes the CEO, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), The Director of HR, and The Head of Governance and Communications.