Job Title: Members
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Stockton-on-Tees
Salary: Unpaid/Voluntary
Reference: Horizons Specialist Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 20, 2018 15:21

Job Description

Horizons Specialist Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust (MAT) which supports over 530 children and young people, seeks to recruit a new Member. The trust is a specialist MAT championing the rights of students with special educational needs (SEN) and is committed to providing these young people with high quality educational and learning experiences. Members’ meetings are held at Abbey Hill Academy, Ketton Road, Stockton on Tees. 

About the Trust

Horizons Specialist Academy Trust (HSAT) is a specialist multi-academy trust (MAT) bringing together Abbey Hill Academy including Abbey Hill Academy Sixth Form, Green Gates Academy, Hollis Academy and Westlands Academy. Together, the MAT’s four special schools and sixth form support over 530 children and young people with a range of special educational needs (SEN) in both day and residential provision.

The MAT is underpinned by a single organisational and financial structure under the leadership and management of a Chief Executive.

HSAT champions the right of students with special educational needs and is committed to providing them with high quality educational and learning experiences that aim to develop:

  • confident individuals who are positive about who they are and what they can do,
  • successful enthusiastic and motivated learners,
  • positive participants in their local and wider communities. 

The trust aims to achieve this through improving the quality of expert teaching, providing a range of teaching and non-teaching professionals with the comprehensive skill mix required and creating flexible pathways which expand student opportunities to achieve and successfully move on to the next stage of their journey towards appropriate personal independence. 

The trust’s partnership working with a range of educational, care and adult providers ensures students are equipped to be as independent as possible which, for some, means being prepared for the world of work.  HSAT endeavours to work with other education and funding agencies to adapt and expand its buildings and equipment in order to better serve the student and parent community.

Plans for the Future

Three key challenges for your trust over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Expansion of the trust
  2. Achieving an Ofsted ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ for all of the schools in the trust.
  3. Managing finance within challenging budget constraints

Trust Ethos & Values

HSAT’s vision is to be a recognised provider of consistently excellent learning, teaching and care for children and young people with special educational needs. It has a mission to do more, and to do it better: using expertise and specialist resources to develop confident individuals, who are successful motivated learners and positive participants in their local and wider communities.

Following the trust’s core set of principles, each academy aims to consider the total needs of each child and young person, whilst ensuring quality and respecting diversity. The trust’s representatives aim to maintain high expectations for all and promote positive aspiration for pupils, students and their families. Technology is used by the trust to improve channels of communication and support the best possible learning environment and outcomes for students. The trust aims to identify, address, and challenge barriers to learning, by providing appropriate and alternative learning opportunities, and to continually improve, for the benefit of its young people and their families.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

Role 1 – 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 Horizons Specialist Academy Trust the Members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend one meeting per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of Members.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Strategic
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Legal/ Compliance

Person Specification

The appointment of one additional Member will enhance the overall challenge provided to the trust. The trust is looking for people who are working, or who have worked, at an executive level: people who understand and recognise the importance of strategic governance. Prior experience of working as a non-executive director is sought in order to ensure sufficient understanding of this position. It is important that Members of the trust can be relied upon to act honestly, diligently and in good faith. 

Time Commitment

Approximately two hours per annum.

Members meet annually towards the end of the autumn term to receive the trust’s annual report and financial statements – this is the opportunity for Members to challenge/question the trust board and CEO on the information provided.

Additionally, there will also be opportunities for Members to gain an understanding of the trust through visits, and also updates provided throughout the year via email.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Abbey Hill Academy Abbey Hill, Ketton Road, Stockton on Tees, TS19 8BU. 

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 29% 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 760 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: Friday, 5th October 2018