Board Member

Job Title: Board Member
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Bradford
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Pennine Academies Yorkshire October 2019
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 01, 2019 12:45

Job Description

Pennine Academies Yorkshire


Pennine Academies Yorkshire seeks four new members to join its Members board. The trust consists of four primary schools within the Bradford area. The trust has developed skills to support a range of students who have additional needs; it recognises this is a growing area of need both locally and nationally. The trust seeks to expand and build upon its capacity over the next four years. In particular, it wants to work with schools that have strength in mainstream Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision, or additional resource provisions. As part of the existing Members board, the new Members will provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. Board meetings are held at one of the trust’s academies which are currently on the western side of Bradford.


About the trust

Formed by three founder schools in 2018, Pennine Academies Yorkshire considers every school that is part of the trust a family member. The trust’s values are centered on the diversity of its schools and how this strength can help its schools grow together to provide the best possible outcomes for pupils, ensuring that every child makes exceptional progress in their academic and social development.


All schools in the family are wedded to the principles of inclusion and the trust makes the maximum effort to make pupils with additional needs even more welcome, to remove barriers and enable their future success. The trust believes this should happen alongside peers in mainstream provision. Consequently, staff in some of the schools are specially trained and resourced to support children with autism and consultations and negotiations are well under way to add to this provision as well as develop separate hubs to support children with visual impairment and those with additional social and emotional health needs.  The trust values the supportive working relationships with the local authority


There are four primary schools within the trust: Laycock Primary which is small and only admits about half a class group each year; Farnham Primary and Hollingwood Primary, both admit two classes each year; and Crossley Hall Primary, the largest school, which admits three classes each year.


The trust is in the process of restructuring its leadership and governance and this is a chance for experienced directors, with a commitment to improving education, to help guide its strategic direction. The schools within this trust have strong reputations and track records; the trust has a view to grow and support other schools that are going through periods of challenge.


Plans for the future

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


  1. To establish a central team to support the schools and centralise finance functions.
  2. Two of the schools are carrying deficits and therefore deficit reduction plans are essential.  The members would need to be confident that the trustees are holding executives to account and meeting the targets to ensure at least break-even balances (with plans for creating suitable surpluses for contingencies) are realistic an on target
  3. As mentioned above, the trust seeks to expand and build upon its capacity over the next four years. In particular, the trust wants to work with schools that have strength in mainstream Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision, or additional resource provisions.



Trust ethos & values

Pennine Academies Yorkshire offers a high quality curriculum, which is exciting, different and tailored to its children's needs. The trust believes in inclusive education meeting the needs of all children including those with SEND, and in high quality ethical leadership and leadership development. For further information visit:


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Roles 1-4 – Member


A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Pennine Academies Yorkshire the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend up to three meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.


Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:


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

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • CEO/General Management




  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Branding/Marketing
  • IT/Technology
  • Real Estate/Property




The trust seeks individuals with an extensive and demonstrable background in a senior leadership role, with strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director.


A good communicator committed to attending Members’ meetings, the ideal candidate will be an individual with good business acumen, as well as experience of working at board level, preferably within a charity or non-profit environment. An interest in education and an awareness of current educational priorities would also be advantageous but is not essential.


Time commitment

The demands on a Member are relatively light and is likely to be around 12 hours over the year. Currently the members have only one meeting a year (the legal minimum, and termed the AGM) but it is intended to increase this to two or maybe three so that Members can understand the scope of Board’s functions and hold the Board to account as necessary.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Meetings are currently held at any one of the four schools. All are in relative close proximity and are clustered around the north and west side of the city with one school out in Keighley. Addresses are on the website at


Governance structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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 832 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.


“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 focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” 
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2019)


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 –