Non-Executive Director x 3

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Voluntary, unpaid.
13 Jul 2017
28 Sep 2017
Gloucestershire Learning Alliance
Evenings, Weekdays
Academy school

Gloucestershire Learning Alliance based in and around the Cheltenham area comprises of three primary schools, all rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. The trust is undergoing a period of growth, with two further schools set to join the trust in 2017 and is looking for two or three non-executive directors to help them take forward further expansion. Board meetings are held at Rowanfield Junior School, Alstone Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 8HY.


About the trust

The GLA trust currently operates three schools providing education to c.1400 pupils aged 2-11. All schools in the trust are graded good or outstanding by Ofsted. Two of the schools are in areas of high deprivation and all schools have higher than average numbers of children who qualify for pupil premium or have special educational needs. Two of the schools are national support schools and two of the head teachers are National Leaders of Education. The trust is also a strategic partner of Odyssey Teaching School.

The trust is growing, welcoming two new schools in the new academic year -  one is a local infant school joining the trust and the second a new free school opening in September 2017, taking the trust to five schools with approximately 1700 children and over 230 staff.

Schools in the trust or joining:

  • Bishops Cleeve Primary Academy; three form entry, ages 4-11 with 615 pupils on roll.
  • Rowanfield Junior School; three form entry, ages 7-11 with 360 pupils on roll. Pupil premium and SEN
  • Springbank Primary School; two form entry, ages 2-11 with 400 pupils on roll. Pupil premium at the top of the school
  • Rowanfield Infant School; three form entry, ages 4-7 with 270 pupils on roll. School joining September 2017.
  • Longford Park Primary School, opening September 2017, for 210 children aged 2-11.


Trust ethos & values

The trust motto is “Outstanding outcomes for all”, through a partnership ethos and determination to ensure that more young people receive an exceptional education. The trust is ambitious for all of its pupils and staff. They have a very strong track record of school improvement and achieve good and outstanding academic outcomes despite some of the schools operating within areas of deprivation and challenge, and they have high expectations of staff and invest heavily in growing their own teachers and leaders.


Plans for the Future

GLA’s aim is to continue to be a high performing trust of medium to large community primary schools in and around the Cheltenham area. The trust plans to grow in the next 24 months to over 3,000 pupils, by bringing in other local schools – both those rated good or outstanding by Ofsted or sponsor schools which need improvement, and through opportunities to develop further new schools in support of local need; thus maximising the opportunity for cost efficiencies and collaborative working and enabling more pupils to experience outstanding outcomes and benefit from the innovative curriculum, high quality teaching and excellent care and guidance. 

Strong governance, including change and growth management, will be important for the success of the trust over the next few years. The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. To manage through the challenging financial environment – both current low levels of funding in the area and the  much publicised rising costs for schools,  whilst maintaining effective structures to deliver outstanding outcomes and building capacity to manage growth and take on new schools.
  2. To ensure that all schools in the trust remain and are judged to be at least good by Ofsted.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  2 or 3

 Role 1/2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trust is looking for one or two trustees with business and/or finance expertise to join the board and be a part of their finance and audit committee. The opportunity exists to become or succession plan into the role of Chair of the audit committee.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Strategic change management
  • Audit
  • Growth
  • Restructuring
  • Risk


  • Legal/ Compliance in relation to finance and growth
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Chairing

Person specification

The trust is looking for someone who is sympathetic to the inclusive school demographic who can support the board with an understanding of finance and audit, and managing a business through a period of expansion - business growth, restructuring, strategy and change.

Time commitment

6 to 10 hours /month.


Role 3– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

With the growth of schools including those that require rapid improvement and sponsorship, the trust is looking for someone who can strengthen the trust’s expertise around standards, performance management and data analysis, particularly primary data, and who can chair the trust’s standards committee.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Chair
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Turnaround


  • HR
  • Performance management
  • Education standards

Person specification

Candidates will be from a business background with experience of data analysis and performance management and an understanding of education, or from an education context where they can demonstrate effective governance, scrutiny and challenge.  The ideal candidate will have some education experience and understanding of performance data and assessment. They will also have some experience of evaluating learning and teaching.

Time commitment

6 to 10 hours /month.

Further details of the ethos and competencies for the board are given on the trust’s governance pages of their website -


Trust Website


  Governance Structure

In order to support the imminent and planned growth, the trust is in the latter stages of a governance restructure to create greater distinction and scrutiny between the Members, the board of Trustees, the operational leadership team and the local governing bodies, and to bring on board new and strengthened skills. These changes will come into play in the new academic year and once the new schools join the trust there will be 5 Members and 12 Trustees of whom 2 will also be Members, and 4 local governing bodies, 1 for Bishops Cleeve primary, 1 for the Rowanfield schools, one for Springbank primary and 1 for Longford Park primary.  


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 70% of secondary schools and 24% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts.  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.

“Academy 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 focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”  Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

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 don’t need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 



Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit organisation 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 and any supporting information of your interest in the role and trust to 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


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: rolling through to September 2017 as required.

The trust is interested to meet candidates as they come forward and therefore following discussion with Academy Ambassadors, selected candidates’ information will be passed to the trust for consideration across the summer.

Interviews: The trust will hold an initial informal discussion or meeting with shortlisted candidates during the summer.