Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Location: Unknown
Reference: Symphony Learning Trust
Contact Email:
Job Published: May 18, 2018 15:14

Job Description

Symphony Learning Trust is restructuring its board to future-proof it in readiness for growth over the next couple of years. It requires a range of skills to replace some of our dedicated team that have opted to remain on local governing bodies and thus relinquish their trustee roles. Board meetings are held in the Leicestershire area.

About the Trust

Symphony Learning Trust was formed on the 1st September 2016 and now consists of seven primary schools. Two of these also have preschool provision and all are deemed ‘convertor academies’.  The schools have worked collaboratively for some time and they vary in size from small rural village schools in Leicestershire, to those in more urban settings at the edge of Leicester City. Ofsted currently rate the seven schools as: two are ‘outstanding’, four are judged ‘good’, and one ‘requires improvement’.

The trust is open to other schools joining as determined and agreed by the trustees. Presently, there are no schools in the pipeline to join.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To ensure the best possible academic outcomes for all of the schools within the trust. All schools to achieve results above the National Average at the end of KS 2. The board’s goal will also be to close the gap so that deprived pupils’ achievement is closer to their non-deprived peers at that it is narrower than the National Average.
  2. To change the governance structure in the MAT, so there are no more than two trustees who also hold office as a local governor.
  3. To find other schools (either single academy trusts or LA maintained schools) or small MATs to join with Symphony and get approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner.
  4. To evolve the trust’s governance structure over the next two years, so there is more external influence and accountability and to work with other small MATs with a view to growing together.
  5. To develop the work of the Teaching School, which will impact on the outcomes for all children in Symphony schools.

Trust Ethos & Values

All schools in the trust are committed to continuing to raise standards. Outstanding learning

and teaching are at the heart of all its activities. All schools are committed to provide exciting learning experiences for our pupils, with our values of aspiration, effort, tolerance and integrity.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: up to 4

Roles 1-4 – 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 be 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 and CFO to account.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • HR
  • Property
  • Change Management


  • Growth Management
  • Risk Management

Person Specification

The trust seeks a mix of professionals who can help shape its strategy for the future and ensure it remains a robust, high achieving trust. It would welcome people with senior leadership experience in business with the skills listed above.   

Time Commitment

4-6 hours per month (on average).


Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Leicestershire area, alternating between Shepshed and Glen Parva.


Governance Structure


Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 28% 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 726 multi academy trusts of 3+ 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: 8th June 2018