Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Location: Unknown
Reference: The Shire Multi-Academy Trust
Contact Email:
Job Published: May 18, 2018 15:14

Job Description

The Shire Multi-Academy Trust

The Shire Multi-Academy Trust is seeking two new non-executive directors to join its board. Board meetings are currently held at either of the two academies, both in the Barnsley area (S72 0EQ or S71 3AF).


About the Trust

The trust currently consists of two primary schools, for 3-11 year olds – Sandhill Primary (a converter academy) and Laithes Primary (a sponsored academy).

Sandhill Primary School has provided school to school support to Local Authority schools for a number of years. Sandhill converted to academy status in April 2015. At this time, it was supporting a school in special measures (Richard Newman Primary) and was approved as their sponsor. Richard Newman Primary was re-branded as the new Laithes Primary School and joined the trust in September 2015. Laithes serves one of the most deprived areas of Barnsley.

The trust actively seeks to expand and intends to continue to grow; such plans will be reinitiated from September 2018.


Plans for the Future

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

  1. Standards – improving outcomes for pupils – the trust has an improvement strategy in operation. It aims to continue to build on its current strengths and improve outcomes for children and their communities.
  2. Consolidating governance and building capacity and expertise. To ensure the trust’s current governance and staff succession plans remain robust during expansion and offer opportunities for all to develop and grow and strengthen the dynamic of its staff and leadership teams.
  3. Trust expansion – growing The Shire MAT over the next 12-24 months. The trust aims to welcome into its family schools who share its ethos, values and ambition.

The Shire Multi-Academy Trust has a core team of skilled staff and the capacity to sponsor a school facing challenging circumstances. It has a clear expansion strategy for governance and school improvement and would welcome additional expertise.


Trust Ethos & Values

The trust’s ethos is simple, it aims to put children first and provide them with opportunities via which they can excel.

Inclusive, Collaborative, Innovative, Accountable and Responsible, Aspirational.


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 role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

Non-executive directors will help develop to the trust’s aims and ambitions and is responsible for maintaining stability during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CEO/General Management
  • Growth Management


Desirable  (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • HR
  • Risk
  • Legal Compliance

Person Specification

The trust seeks an individual who can help shape its strategy for the future and ensure it remains a robust, high achieving trust. It would welcome someone who has leadership/organisational experience in business, financial, HR or the legal sector.

Time Commitment

4-6 hours per month (on average).


Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are currently held at either of the two academies, both in the Barnsley area (S72 0EQ or S71 3AF).


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 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: Friday 25th May 2018