Non-Executive Director X 2
Learning Accord Multi Academy Trust
Learning Accord Multi Academy Trust seeks to recruit two new non-executive directors to its board. The trust was established in March 2017, it comprises four primary academies: three Church of England academies, one community academy, all within the Kirklees area, West Yorkshire. With its relatively new academy status, the trust has an exciting growth and development trajectory. The successful candidates will join the trust’s existing board in ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the trust’s educational and financial performance. Board meetings are held in the Huddersfield area. Applicants of all faiths and none are welcome.
About the trust
The academies within the trust serve semi-rural communities with children from diverse backgrounds although deprivation figures at all four academies are below the national average. The trust works closely with the Anglican Diocese of Leeds and its board has a 5:4 majority of trustees from a Christian faith background. Learning Accord Multi is an inclusive multi academy trust that welcomes both Church schools and community schools. Learning Accord is focused on partnership, collaboration and preservation of distinctive context. The trust is an approved DFE sponsor.
There are currently four academies within the trust with a fifth scheduled to join in the autumn and the potential for further expansion next academic year. Scissett CE Academy was the founding school; it is a National Teaching School and National Support School with a large teaching school alliance (over 50 schools). Scissett CE Academy has had three consecutive Ofsted Outstanding judgements. Others within the trust are: St Aidan’s CE Academy, judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted; Skelmanthorpe Academy was judged ‘Requires Improvement ‘ prior to joining the trust but has made rapid improvements and Helme C of E Academy was judged as ‘Inadequate’ prior to joining the trust but this too is making rapid improvements. Kirkroyds Infant School is joining the trust as a sponsored academy in the autumn having been judged by Ofsted as ‘Inadequate’ last year. The trust has already begun to share practice to accelerate improvements ahead of it joining the trust. The leaders are seeking to expand the trust further.
All Learning Accord schools work together in partnership with a shared drive and focus on improving learning opportunities and outcomes for pupils. As mentioned above, with its relatively new academy status, the trust has an exciting growth and development trajectory. The more successful academies have/are experiencing some growth in pupil numbers, as a result of housing developments locally.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Ensuring financial sustainability for the future during a period of declining budgets whilst at the same time ensuring central functions are enhanced.
- Managing the growth of the multi academy trust, including growing its central team as the trust expands so that it can provide a greater level of leadership, governance and support.
- Ensuring high standards of attainment and progress for all pupils within the trust.
The trust is supporting its academies to become Ofsted rated Good and Outstanding. Within the next three years the trust aims to grow pupil numbers to reach 1400/1600. The leaders are seeking to capitalize on potential economies of scale and reinvest savings to grow even more effective back-office services and school improvement support.
Trust ethos & values
The trust strives to act with preservation of distinctive context, a strong culture of professional development, high quality teaching, learning and support. The trust celebrates diversity and provides a particular vocation to the least advantaged, to enable all pupils to maximise their life chances. The trust believes in high aspirations, making best use of research, pedagogy and child development.
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 2 Roles 1&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
- Growth Management
- Non-executive Director
Role 1: The trust seeks candidates with a high-level financial skill set and the potential to take on the role of Chair of Finance Sub Committee. A recognised financial qualification is desirable. Significant business acumen is required, alongside demonstrable experience of supporting and ensuring financial sustainability.
Role 2: The trust also seeks an individual with a background in law and/or growth. This person should have strong awareness of the risks and challenges relating to business growth and a proven track-record of strategic planning, oversight and managing compliance. This candidate should have a proven record of accomplishment and, where possible, relevant legal/professional qualifications.
Ideal 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.
The Board has four formally scheduled Board meetings each year but occasionally extras may be added if particular issue arise when a school joins the trust. There is the potential for the total to rise to 6 a year. The trust also has sub-committees for Audit, Finance, Education Standards and a Pay/Performance sub- committee that each meet around 4 times a year. Newly appointed trustees are likely to be invited to join ONE of the sub committees. Meeting tend to last up to 2 hours and Board meetings tend to begin at 6 pm whereas sub-committees can be earlier and overlap into the normal school day. However, these can be flexible to suit committee members commitments. Training and induction will be arranged to suit individual needs. In all, trustees will need to set aside 4-6 hours per month (on average) which would include meeting prep (reading papers) and any follow-up.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Scissett CE Academy, Wakefield Rd, Scissett, Huddersfield, HD8 9HR.
Preferably insert link to the information on governance from trust website. If not available, insert diagram of governance structure (if provided)
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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