Non-Executive Director x 3

Northampton, Northamptonshire
Unpaid, voluntary
25 Aug 2017
02 Oct 2017
St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Academy Trust
Evenings, Weekdays
Academy school

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic

Academy trust

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Academy Trust in Northampton seeks three non-executive directors with finance, HR and general NED skills to join the board. Board meetings are held at Thomas Becket School, Beckets Way, Northampton, NN3 6HT.  Applications are welcomed from candidates of all faiths and of none.

About the trust

The St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Academy trust formed in April 2016 under the guidance of the Duns Scotus Trust and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton. The trust comprises of three primary schools and one secondary school. All schools converted in April 2016 with one primary school Ofsted Good and the other three Ofsted Requires Improvement. These three of the schools are on a school improvement journey and all have a strong focus on serving the best interests of each individual child and in particular the disadvantaged.  

Trust ethos & values

The mission of the trust is part of the Church’s mission, to make Christ known to all people, placing Christ and the teaching of the Catholic Church at the centre of people’s lives. The trust works in partnership to best serve the community and in particular the disadvantaged.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Raise attainment and accelerate progress across all key stages. KS4 attainment and progress is a key issue for the Trust as is accelerating progress for all children, particularly the disadvantaged. Schools will be sharing best practice and effective strategies to address these issues.  The schools are working within the Fairfield Teaching alliance of schools in Northampton.
  2. Ensure strong and effective leadership and governance.  Communication, shared vision and close monitoring and scrutiny of the work of individual schools is key across all aspects of governance within the Trust. Skilled governors and directors are in place and the focus is ensuring each knows their specific role.
  3. Ensuring financial security - the trust is taking the necessary steps to address an in year deficit, a result of a reduction in numbers in 2016. Marketing and staffing restructures are taking place while head teachers and their staff focus on raising standards and celebrating success.

Thomas Becket Secondary School is currently being supported by the leadership team from St Josephs Catholic Academy Slough. The focus is to build leadership capacity and establish a strong Catholic ethos. The MAT works closely with Catholic MATs in the Diocese to discuss opportunities for achieving economies of scale.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  3

Candidates do not have to be Catholic, but must, of course be comfortable serving on a board of trustees committed to the Trust vision and drive "Inspired by Christ to achieve excellence, to serve and to build hope for all."

Role 1 – Non-executive director (Finance)

The trust is addressing an in-year deficit and will undergo a restructure of administrative staff in the new academic year. The role will involve working closely with the Chief Financial Officer to ensure actions are taken to attain long term financial security.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Finance/CFO


  • Change Management
  • Restructuring
  • Risk

Person specification

The Board is looking for an accountant to oversee and monitor the working of the CFO, ensure that plans are in place to achieve long term financial security for the trust. This involves supporting a restructure and efficiency savings.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Role 2 – Non-executive director (Human Resources)

The trust is looking for someone who can work within a small team to lead change, manage staff morale and identify strengths which can be used across the trust.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • HR
  • Restructuring
  • Succession Planning


  • Branding/Marketing
  • Change Management
  • Legal/Compliance

Person specification

Relationship management is a key aspect of this role in managing expectations and supporting the trust vision in achieving raised standards while attaining long term financial security.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. Number of board meetings/year

Role 3 – Non-executive director

The Trust is looking for someone who can work within a small team to lead change, provide an independent prospective, support and challenge leaders and identify strengths which can be used across the Trust.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Governance
  • Non-executive director


  • Branding/Marketing
  • Change Management
  • Legal/Compliance

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Trust Website

Governance Structure

 Please see for more information

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 70% of secondary schools and 25% 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 focused 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 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: 2 October 2017