The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) is the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England advocating for, connecting and supporting executive and governance leaders.
We are a membership organisation of organisations. This means that the organisation – the Trust – is the member.
We are proud to support and represent more than half of the academy sector in England.
Our members are responsible for the education of more than two million young people and children.
CST is shaping the education policy agenda for school trusts. Bringing together trusts in England from every region and of every size, CST has a strong, strategic presence with access to government and policy makers to drive real change for education on the big issues that matter most.
To build an excellent education system in England – every school part of a strong and sustainable group in which every child is a powerful learner and adults learn and develop together as teachers and leaders.
A system that holds trust on behalf of children
Selflessness | Integrity | Objectivity | Accountability | Openness | Honesty | Leadership
The Confederation of School Trusts (like the NHS Confederation which is the sector body and voice of NHS Trusts) is the sector body that brings together and speaks on behalf of school trusts.
We are a charitable company, registered with the Charity Commission. Our charitable purpose, as set out in our Articles of Association is, "the advancement of education for public benefit.”
We are governed by a Board of Trustees and are subject to the regulations of the Charity Commission and accountable to our members.
We are strictly apolitical. We work with the government of the day, political parties and politicians across the spectrum to advance education for public benefit.
Like other Sector Bodies (E.g. NHS Confederation), income is generated via a number of different activities. Approximately 50 per cent of our income is generated through membership subscriptions; approximately 25 percent is generated through conferences and events, including sponsorship and exhibitions; and 25 percent is generated through our platinum partner programme.
Income is re-invested in the delivery of the CST’s charitable objectives.
The legal basis of all academies and multi-academy trusts in the country is the charitable trust. We are accustomed to using the word ‘trust’ to describe this legal vehicle. But trust means so much more. As the new shape of our education system emerges, we believe that it is important to give priority to three other meanings of trust.
Our education system must reclaim trust as a relational principle. All school trusts should have as a core focus the behaviours and actions everyone will take to build trust – with children and young people, parents and the community and wider society. Trust as a relational principle should also be at the contractual heart of employer-employee relationship. The principle of trust should represent an objective reality in our education system that transcends cultures and organisations. It is at the heart of education as a public good.
Trust is an essential human value that quantifies and defines our interdependence in relationships with others. As a value, trust should help us determine the rightfulness or wrongfulness of our actions.
Holding trust on behalf of children: when we establish an academy or multi-academy trust, we are effectively making a promise to hold trust with and on behalf of children. Kofi Annan said in The State of the World’s Children (2000): "There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.”