Chair: Non-executive director

Job Title: Chair: Non-executive director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Unknown
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Northern House School Academy Trust - reposting*
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 04, 2018 13:33

Job Description

Northern House School Academy Trust seeks a Chair of the Finance and Estates Committee to join the board of a trust, which educates and nurtures primary and secondary children with emotional and social difficulties. The trust includes four schools, a Pupil Referrral Unit and an Early Nurture Centre. Board meetings rotate across all four locations in Oxford, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Wokingham – dialing into board meetings is acceptable when the location is not within reason.

About the trust

The trust has a long history of supporting students with special educational needs and, after successive ratings of Outstanding by Ofsted atthe Oxford school, it has grown steadily with the most recent school – Wokingham, which also has a residential facility - opening in January 2018 .

The Trust has over 300 pupils aged between 4 and 16 years old, including Northern House School Solihull, which broke new ground offering children an all-through education from reception to GCSEs (aged 4-16) and other academic and vocational qualifications. The Trust also works to reintegrate pupils into mainstream schools whenever that is possible and desirable; for example through the Pupil Referral Unit on the Northern House School City of Wolverhampton campus, which also hosts a primary and secondary school. The current budget is £15m.

Plans for the Future

The key challenges facing the Northern House School Academy Trust Board are:

  1. Stabilising operations after transitioning and expanding into a multi-academy trust. Additionally, the trust aims to raise educational standards across all schools;
  2. Ensuring that the appropriate executive and teaching staff, resources and financial model will secure sustainability beyond 2019;
  3. Developing cost-effective outreach to all schools, pupils and families in the communities the trust serves.


Trust ethos & values

Northern House School Academy Trust aims to educate and nurture children with emotional and social difficulties by providing a caring, positive and secure learning environment. They want pupils to believe in themselves, achieve in their academic and emotional development and succeed in their educational careers.

As the educational landscape undergoes fundamental change, the trust's teams of directors, governors, school leaders, teachers and support staff aim to work hard with parents to deliver an outstanding educational experience for all pupils.

Role Summaries

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

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/CFO to account.

Northern House School Academy Trust is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Role 1 – Trustee and Chair of Finance and Estates sub-committee of the Board
Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • CFO/Finance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Risk
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Non-executive/Trustee

The candidate will provide guidance on financial probity and reporting in addition to scrutinising financial plans for sustainability and growth. The right candidate will have the capability and confidence to lead the Finance Committee, grasp budgetary pressure and complexities and manage risk. The trust welcomes candidates with non-executive experience and/or individuals who have had some contact, understanding and experience with special schools, possibly in a governor role. 

The Trust seeks to appoint Board and Trust members who are passionate about helping improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. They should be team players, committed, responsive, demonstrate initiative and adhere to the Nolan principles.

Time commitment

4-8 hours per month minimum.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Trust board meetings rotate across all four locations of the schools, in Oxford, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Wokingham. While the trust would prefer that candidates could attend every board meeting in person, they understand that the four locations are geographically spread. Conference call dial ins are acceptable for board members who are unable to reach the location of a particular board meeting. 

For more information on the trust, please see their website:

Governance Structure

For more information in regard to the trust's governance structure, please see:

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for approximately 75% 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 (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 7th September 2018