Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Darlington
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: St Aidan’s Church of England Academy Dec 2019
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: December 12, 2019 16:14

Job Description

St Aidan’s Church of England Academy


St Aidan's Church of England Academy, based in Darlington, Co. Durham, is recruiting a non-executive director/trustee to its board, with a specific focus on finance and/or accountancy as it seeks to strengthen its financial position and ensure ongoing sustainability of the trust while it pursues its aim of raising standards and educational outcomes. The trust is a single academy in a highly deprived area of Darlington. Board meetings are held at St Aidan's Academy, Darlington, DL1 1LL. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.


About the trust

St Aidan's Academy is a single academy trust, consisting of approximately 500 students and growing, in a highly deprived area of Darlington. The academy is a Church of England secondary school and is sponsored jointly by the Crosslands Group and the Diocese of Durham. In recent years the trust has seen continued school improvement and has moved from the Ofsted Category of ‘Serious Weakness’ to ‘Requires Improvement’. A recent Section 48 inspection rated the Academy moving towards ‘Good’ in all aspects.


Plans for the future

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


  1. To continue to improve standards through the development of the leadership team in order to provide the best possible educational outcomes;
  2. To maintain standards and attendance by delivering consistently Good and Outstanding learning experiences;
  3. To continue to remain financially stable and resilient.


Trust ethos & values

The trust promotes care, respect and responsibility and expects high standards in all aspects of academy life. As a Church of England academy, St. Aidan’s aims to build a community clearly based on the Christian values of love, forgiveness and reconciliation, integrity and the unique value of each individual. The trust aims to build self-esteem, and raise student aspirations. Mutual respect and trust are central within the academy.




Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.


The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.


Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.


In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.


Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.


The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:


The strategic expertise required for this role includes:




  • CFO/ Finance





  • Audit
  • Qualified Accountant
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


The ideal candidate will be an experienced and senior leader with a demonstrable background in finance with prior experience of operating in a medium or large not-for-profit / charitable organisation. While an accountancy qualification is highly desirable, along with a demonstrate record of operating in the area of Audit, these are not prerequisites. A candidate with a prior background as a Chief Financial Officer/ Finance Director is highly sought.

The successful candidate may possess a prior experience of a non-executive and/or trustee role along with a strong grasp of corporate governance, through experience working at board/C-suite level. Suitable candidates may have held positions in a non-profit making, commercial, retail or industry setting, demonstrating evidence of growing a business, chain of businesses or franchises, as well as experience of head office or organisational development, including driving business efficiency in central services.

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).



Location of board meetings and trust website

St Aidan's Academy, Darlington, DL1 1LL.


Trust website:


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.


“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. 

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, 24th January, 2020