Non-Executive Director X 3

Location
Halifax, West Yorkshire (GB)
Salary
Unpaid/voluntary
Posted
10 Sep 2019
Closes
04 Oct 2019
Ref
Impact Education Multi Academy Trust
Job role
NED/Trustee
Contract type
Contract
Hours
Part time

Impact Education Multi Academy Trust

Impact Education Multi Academy Trust seeks three new non-executive directors - with skills in the field of legal, finance or HR - to join its board. The Trust also seeks three members to provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. Non-executive directors will ensure governance of finance, risk management and compliance to protect the trust, as a key priority, as the it enters an exciting period of growth. Board meetings are held in the Halifax area.

About the trust

Impact Education Multi Academy Trust was founded by The Halifax Academy and is a values driven organisation with a belief that working collaboratively and sharing ideas can achieve real impact on the education and life chances of young people.

The trust currently has three academies: The Halifax Academy (an ‘all through’ academy serving children from aged 4-16 years and judged Good by Ofsted), Wortley Road Primary Academy (also judged Good by Ofsted and serving children aged 3-11), and Castle Hall Academy (a secondary (11-16) academy which joined the trust after it went into special measures; early indications are that it is making progress.

The leaders are looking forward to Calderdale Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) joining the trust this summer. The PRU caters for children of primary and secondary age groups that struggle to cope in normal mainstream schools and often have social, emotional, behavioural or mental health issues.  The PRU is judged by Ofsted to be Good and the trust is looking forward to sharing the skills, talents of the team across the trust.  In addition, the trust is talking to other schools in the area with a view to further expansion whilst remaining in a localised (hub) model.

Currently, the percentage of children at the trust, eligible for free school meals, is 34% and 77% of students speak English as an additional language; both these figures are well above the national average. 15% of pupils at the school receive special educational needs support and 2.5% of pupils have education healthcare plans. These figures are likely to increase when new schools are added.

Plans for the future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Managing a period of rapid growth with complex projects, potentially doubling the size of the trust over the next 12-18 months.
  2. Managing complex capital projects linked with academies likely to join in the near future.
  3. Ensuring financial sustainability of the trust whilst growing rapidly.

The trust’s growth plans are based on a pyramid approach in Calderdale, North Kirklees and South Kirklees. This means a number of primaries feed into a secondary academy in each area or hub. The trust’s approach is based on sustainable geography and adding capacity to the trust from good academies

Trust ethos & values

Impact Education MAT’s mission is to improve social mobility for the disadvantaged and the life chances of children and young people.

Its vision is a collaboration of partners, sharing the same values, working together to ensure education impacts positively on students, families, communities and staff. The trust aims to be a place ‘where hearts and minds connect’. Values of Heart, Mind and Communication underpin all work within the trust.

Role summary Number of positions advertised: 6 Roles 1-3 – 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.

Person specification

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)

 

  • Audit
  • Finance (ideally with an Accountancy qualification)
  • HR Restructuring
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Risk

Desirable

 

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic
  • Trustee experience

Role 1: Candidates for this role should have strong financial skills, ideally with a background of managing or overseeing complex budgets. Experience of an Audit committee and/or board level finance experience would be a particular advantage together with knowledge of risk management and statutory compliance obligations. Familiarity with the current Charity Commission is not essential but would be an asset.

Role 2: The trust welcomes applicants with a senior HR background from the corporate or charity sector. This role will have a particular focus on supporting/challenging the executives to enable suitable succession planning and ensuring systems are appropriate as new schools join the trust.

Role 3: A broad understanding of legal / compliance is essential for this role. The trust seeks an individual with significant leadership experience and a proven track-record of strategic planning and/or oversight. They must be able to interpret legal and financial data and will have the ability to question and provide challenge.

Time commitment

The Board meets up to 6 times per year (normally on a Monday, early evening) and meetings last for up to 2 hours.  The Board operates two sub-committees; Finance, Audit and Risk which meets three times a year and a Strategy Group which meets according to need (e.g. in relation to the expansion of the trust).  Sub-committee meeting times tend to be adjusted to suit trustee availability.  All trustees are invited to join one of the sub-committees according to skills and interests.  In addition, planning is in place for a full trust conference at the start of the new academic year which is likely to take place over a long morning session which will also include the Annual General Meeting and ensure all members and trustees are aligned with the strategic direction of the trust. The trust employs a professional clerk who is likely to support the induction and training of new trustees, along with the chair and the CEO.

Roles 4 -6 – Member

A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Pennine Academies Yorkshire the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend up to three meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

 

  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance

 

 

 

 

Desirable

 

  • CFO/ Finance
  • CEO/General Management
  • Growth Strategy

Time commitment

The demands on a Member are relatively light and is likely to be around 12 hours over the year. Currently the members have only one meeting a year (the legal minimum, and termed the AGM) but it is intended to increase this to two or maybe three so that Members can understand the scope of Board’s functions and hold the Board to account as necessary.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are currently held at Commanders House, Wellesley Park, Gibbet Street, Halifax, HX2 0BA but these are likely to move to new premises in Brighouse (HD6) at some stage in the new term.

https://www.i-mat.org.uk/

Governance structure

https://www.i-mat.org.uk/assets/Documents/Impact-Governance-Handbook-v2.pdf

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. 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. 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.

Key dates

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 4th October 2019

Interviews:    TBC

 

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