Non-Executive Director x 5

Location
Haverhill, Suffolk
Salary
Unpaid, voluntary
Posted
01 Sep 2017
Closes
12 Oct 2017
Ref
Samuel Ward Multi Academy Trust
Sector
Education
Skills
Finance
Availability
Evenings, Weekdays
Frequency
Termly
Organisation
Academy school

Samuel Ward Multi Academy Trust

Samuel Ward Multi-Academy Trust (SWAT) is a growing trust of nineteen schools on the Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire borders. The trust’s ambition is to unlock the potential of all children; to remove the barriers to aspiration and attainment and to ensure that all children succeed. Its aim is to be the country’s leading trust.  Over the past 12 months, the trust has undergone rapid growth and has doubled in size – from eight schools to nineteen. SWAT now needs to build capacity in order to both consolidate existing growth and also to ensure future growth is sustainable. Trust board meetings are held at its offices in Haverhill, Suffolk.

About the trust

Samuel Ward Multi-Academy Trust currently consists of five secondary, thirteen primary and one special school as a result of rapid growth from eight to nineteen schools over the past year.

The trust contains a varied mixture of schools, including schools judged as ‘inadequate’, ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ and ‘outstanding.’  The proportion of disadvantaged pupils varies across the schools – raising the educational standards of this group of pupils is a major priority and challenge for the trust.

All of SWAT’s schools are close together with no two school more than 30 minutes apart .   This geographical proximity presents opportunities that have begun to be explored through centralising HR, finance and IT staff. Financial sustainability is a priority for the trust in a challenging financial environment of declining real terms funding.

The trust has performed strongly in terms of raising standards across its schools but needs strong support at the board to ensure sustainability and to ensure its performance is maintained during this time of significant change, acquisition and mergers.

Trust ethos & values

SWAT is strongly values based and is focused on evidence based approaches to teaching and learning. It has both Research School and Teaching School status and expects to use both to provide the very best professional development that is possible.

The trust’s central belief is that every young life is special; open to possibility, gifted with the potential to change the world for the better but also bound by the limits of their own circumstances. The trust’s vision is to create a family of interdependent schools that can support and challenge each other.

More about the trust’s values can be found here.

Plans for the Future

Over the next 12 months, Samuel Ward Academy Trust predicts it will grow further, building on its current four hubs and looking carefully at whether it should also grow into a further area. In terms of sharing expertise and resources, this is the right thing to do for all schools and students but the trust will need to build capacity to ensure growth is sustainable.

The key challenges moving forward will be around managing the trust’s growth - developing the necessary infrastructure and integrating new schools into the life of the trust, as well as improving communication and realising economies of scale between the trust’s schools.

SWAT has ambitions to become one of the largest and most sucessful trusts in the Eastern Region, and to be seen in time as the country’s leading trust. It therefore needs additional business and educational expertise to offer strategic advice and support through the growth phase and beyond.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  5

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Essential

  • HR

Desirable

  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Succession planning
  • Restructuring

Person specification

The trust is looking to recruit a candidate who can demonstrate a track record at a senior level in a dedicated HR role within the private sector. It may be helpful for applicants to be CIPD qualified.

Time commitment

4 – 8 hours per month minimum. Currently 5 board meetings per year.

Role 2– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Essential

  • Change Management
  • Growth Management

Desirable

  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic
  • Non-executive/Trustee

Person specification

SWAT seeks a non-executive director who can demonstrate a strong understanding of change management, business development and growth. Expertise of overseeing acquisitions and mergers and post-merger integration would also be advantageous.

Time commitment

4 – 8 hours per month minimum. Currently 5 board meetings per year.

Role 3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Essential

  • Estates and Property

Desirable

  • Corporate governance

Person specification

The ideal candidate for this role would have a strong commercial background and experience in one or more of the following areas: contract management, property development, schools/public buildings design, estates management or have a professional qualification in architecture or chartered surveying. The trust is looking for candidates from different backgrounds across both the public and private sectors.

Time commitment

4 – 8 hours per month minimum. Currently 5 board meetings per year.

Role 4– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Essential

  • Educationalist

Desirable

  • Strategic
  • Succession Planning
  • Non-executive/Trustee

Person specification

Samuel Ward Academy Trust seeks to recruit an educationalist to its trust board, possibly a former HMI. A knowledge of inspection would be highly beneficial although applications from individuals with expertise in other areas of education would be welcome. Knowledge of succession planning within a schools setting would also be beneficial.

Time commitment

4 – 8 hours per month minimum. Currently 5 board meetings per year.

Role 5– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Essential

  • Chair of Finance

Desirable

  • Non-executive/Trustee

Person specification

Samuel Ward Academy Trust seeks to recruit a Chair of the Finance Committee to its trust board. An ACA qualification is essential given the trust’s current gross income of £34m. Experience in a senior finance director role in an organisation of at least the same size as the trust would be beneficial as would board experience, whether as a board member or as a member of the executive reporting to the board.

Time commitment

4 – 8 hours per month minimum. Currently 5 board meetings per year.

Trust Website

http://www.swatrust.co.uk/

Governance Structure

http://www.swatrust.co.uk/governing-body

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.

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. 

Applications

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 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: 12th October 2017

Interviews: TBC