Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Birmingham
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Forward Education Trust (FET) March 2020
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: March 03, 2020 15:58

Job Description

About the trust

Forward Education Trust is currently a three school multi-academy trust consisting of two primary day special schools - Brays School and The Bridge School - and a 4-18 special school, Hallmoor School. The trust has received approval to open a special secondary free school in Sandwell and is relocating an additional school, which it is sponsoring, and which will join the trust shortly in a new build site in Birmingham. Other schools may additionally join the trust over the short- to medium-term.

The trust provides specialist education to pupils with wide ranging complex special educational needs who cannot receive the education and additional ‘wrap around’ support they need in mainstream settings. Pupil needs include autism, complex medical, including life limiting, conditions, profound and multiple learning difficulties, social emotional mental health, complex physical, severe learning difficulties, sensory difficulties and moderate learning difficulties.

The trust places emphasis on the collaboration of its schools, aiming to operate and perform as a united team. Ensuring consistency across educational approaches within the trust allows it to support all of its schools and maintain a focus on the challenges ahead.

The trust also provides improvement support beyond its schools; Forward Education Services consists of advisers with substantial experience and qualifications, such as serving Ofsted inspectors and National Leaders of Education. Through school improvement contracts the trust supports non-trust schools locally, regionally and nationally to improve educational performance. The trust works with Local Authorities on quality assurance projects for special provision and alternative education. The trust can be contracted to offer other services, including school and pupil premium reviews.

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.

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:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates possessing one or more of the below criteria may be considered)
  • CFO/ Finance

  • Corporate Governance

  • Non-executive/ Trustee

  • Estates/ Property Management

  • Growth Management

  • Strategy

  • Risk

  • Education Leadership

  • Knowledge of education funding processes

  • Knowledge of Free School applications process

The ideal candidate/s will have demonstrable experience with a proven track record in financial oversight and business management; ideally one candidate will possess expertise in property/facilities management, in particular in relation to Free School proposals. An understanding of the Department for Education (DfE) and/or the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is highly desirable, but not essential.

The trust seeks individuals who can commit to its values, principles and its academies possess short and long-term strategic vision and understand the difference between the Executive’s role in operation and delivery compared to the trust board’s role in setting the strategy and providing good governance. 

A clear understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship is vital to anyone considering this role, as well as the understanding that a contribution to the trust direction and strategy, and an ability to work effectively as a member of a team, are core aspects of the role.

As the trust is on a growth trajectory, experience of managing and overseeing the complexities and challenges of growth in a medium-sized non-profit or charity is highly desirable. Experience in managing risk, especially in relation to growth, is likewise highly desirable.

Time commitment

Up to six hours per month on average

Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at various location within the Birmingham area.