Non-Executive Director X 2
Bright Futures Educational Trust
Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET) seeks two new non-executive directors (trustees) to join its board. The trust is a highly collaborative partnership of seven schools based in the North West. The trust seeks professionals with experience in business growth, accountancy and/or finance or facilities and estates, who can contribute to the broader financial planning for sustainability and potential growth. Board meetings are held in Altrincham or Gorton in Greater Manchester and occasionally in Blackpool.
About the trust
Five schools within the trust are based in Manchester and two in Blackpool. The trust comprises four secondary academies – two (11-16) comprehensive schools one special school (11-19) for young people with complex special educational needs and disabilities and one a selective girls’ grammar school (11-18). There are two large primary schools in East Manchester and smaller primary in Blackpool. The trust’s strategy is articulated through its vision: ‘the best for everyone, the best from everyone’.
Through its mission, the family of schools within the trust aim to place young people, families and communities at the heart of everything they do. The Trust supports a range of communities, some of which are facing significant socio-economic deprivation. The schools operate as a true community with shared responsibility and common core values which create a culture of collaboration, opportunity, respect and innovation. The trust inspires excellence and believes in nurturing the abilities of all within its schools and communities. It aims to empower young people to build purposeful lives and have the courage and confidence to make a positive contribution to society.
The trust was issued with a Financial Notice to Improve (FNtI) in March 2016. The trust has undergone considerable changes since that time including new leadership and some new trustees. Whilst the FNtI is still in place, the financial health of the trust is improving.
The trust has been successful in supporting its sponsored academies with very poor performance to improve and none are now in special measures. Nevertheless, the leaders are keen to drive improvements further.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Improving Education and Standards, moving all schools within the trust to at least Ofsted rated Good
- To achieve intelligent growth and secure improved financial resilience
- To continue to improve the reputation of the trust
The trust’s strategic aims for 2017-2020 are:
- Excellent progress and achievement for all pupils.
- Ensure financial viability
- Ensure environment where all staff and students are valued
- Ensure that the trust’s direction is clear and well defined
Trust ethos & values
Trust values are:
• Community – all within the trust work seek to together for a common purpose acknowledging our diversity as strength
• Integrity – to do the right things for the right reasons
• Passion – to take responsibility, work hard and have high aspirations
Its commitments are: to foster collaborative and strong relationships; to promote professional learning; to be supportive, challenging and fair; to communicate effectively; for strong governance and accountability; to achieve value for money and to be united behind decisions.
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 2 Roles 1 and 2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.
The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.
Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- CFO/ Finance
- Change Management
- Growth Management
- Facilities and estates management
- Turn around
- Risk management
Role 1: The trust seeks professionals with experience in business, accountancy and finance in a commercial setting or experience and expertise in the management of facilities and estates.
Role 2: The trust also seeks individuals with experience of change management and the implementation of successful growth strategies.
Ideal candidates will have experience of board level leadership and management. Candidates will have an in-depth understanding of the impact of effective governance: possessing an independent-minded, enquiring and analytical approach.
A drive for improvement is key to success, as well as preparedness to challenge the status quo and raise standards across the trust. It is important for applicants to have an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
The Trust Board meets 6 times a year roughly once per half term. Meetings generally run for up to 2 hours on Friday afternoons or Monday mornings but can be adjusted to suit the trustees’ availability. Occasionally meetings are preceded by training or presentations to help trustees understand the specific aspects of the trust or its work. An induction programme will be devised to meet the needs of new trustees. One meeting per year (usually the first) is longer with presentations from school leaders on the plans for the year.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are normally held at one of the trust’s academies in Altrincham (Girls’ Grammar School – WA14 2NL) or Gorton (Cedar Mount Academy – M18 7DT). Occasionally a meeting may be held in one of the Blackpool schools.
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.
Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 832 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.
“Boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2019)
Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of our schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education.
Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to email@example.com. Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit www.academyambassadors.org.
We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –
Deadline for applications: Friday 30th August 2019