Non-Executive Director (up to 2)

Liverpool Street, London (Greater)
Unpaid, voluntary
28 Nov 2017
11 Jan 2018
Ormiston Academies Trust
Evenings, Weekdays
Academy school

Ormiston Academies Trust

Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), one of the largest multi academy trusts in England with over 26,000 pupils, seeks a new non-executive director with financial skills to strengthen its board and contribute to its continued success. Board meetings are held in Central London (Liverpool Street/Pall Mall).

About the trust

OAT is a not-for-profit organization and has sponsored primary and secondary academies across England since 2008. For many years the trust has raised academic standards in its academies including disadvantaged communities and last year achieved record exam results in both GCSEs and A levels across its 30+ academies. The next step for the trust is to focus on steady, sustained growth so that even more children and young people, including in academies which already achieve excellent results, can benefit from the high quality education offered across its nation-wide network.

The trust currently has 34 schools within the OAT family, five of which are primary academies. Its secondary academies are a combination of both 11-16 and some offer 6th forms. The future plan is to open three to four new academies per year and a free school. There are currently three schools in the pipeline for 2017/18 including a Special School.

Plans for the Future

The new NEDs join a board at the start of a new period of development. The three key challenges for the board and this role over the next 12-24 months are: 1.A strategy for further regionalisation, having successfully piloted this in the East of England. This will include review of central functions, leading change and roll out of the model across other three regions. 2.Improving attainment and progress in all academies in what is a new, challenging and ever changing educational content. 3.Working with the new CEO to ensure that the organisational structure and financial plan is fit for purpose and can provide a strong framework to support growth. The plan is to open three to four academies in this current academic year and to continue this steady planned growth in our existing regions.  

Trust ethos & values

OAT’s roots are in the Ormiston Trust which was set up by Peter Murray and his family to work with some of the most disadvantaged families with complex needs and to provide them with opportunity and support. Many of the original schools in the trust were in areas of significant disadvantage. Since then the trust has grown into a broader family of schools, but retains a strong moral purpose at its core.

OAT’s vision is for all young people to have access to the highest academic, social and practical skills required to achieve their full potential, whether going on to study at university or entering the world of work. As well as academic excellence, each academy shares the central ethos of being committed to enriching the lives of our students by raising aspirations and broadening horizons.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 

1 or 2 dependent upon calibre and skills

Role  – Non-Executive Director

The role of the trustees/non-executive directors is to ensure OAT has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction, to be responsible for OAT performance, for its impact upon stakeholders and its corporate behaviour, to ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements and to ensure that governance is of the highest possible standard.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Risk
  • Corporate Governance


  • Growth Management
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Restructuring Turnaround

Person specification

The ideal candidate will bring senior finance experience and in-depth understanding of financial performance and strategic business planning. This experience may be from either the public, private or voluntary sector, but is likely to include strong commercial skills.

The candidate should have worked in a multi-site organization and understand the challenges of leading change through diverse, multi-site organisations. They will have the soft skills to engage senior leaders, board colleagues, stakeholders and staff in change. An understanding of central headquarter functions would be helpful, as would efficiencies planning. Strong communication skills are essential combined with a sharp intellect.

Corporate governance and ideally NED or Trustee experience is helpful, but not essential. And understanding of multi-layered governance is also desirable. The candidate should be willing to take on a Committee Chair role in due course.

Time commitment

8 meetings per academic year with some pre work hours per month (minimum).

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held in London


Governance Structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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.

“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 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 the 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: Thursday 11 January 2018