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Role

Non-Executive Director

  • Location

    Uxbridge

  • Sector:

    Education

  • Contact:

    Academy Ambassadors

  • Contact email:

    academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org

  • Role ref:

    Vanguard Learning Trust

  • Published:

    10 days ago

  • Expiry date:

    14-07-2018

  • Client:

    Academy Ambassadors

Vanguard Learning Trust in Uxbridge seeks a non-executive director with financial skills to join the board as it looks to expand significantly over the next five years. Board meetings are held in Ickenham.

 

About the Trust

Vanguard Learning Trust was first established as Vyners School Academy Trust in October 2011.  When Ryefield Primary School joined the trust in February 2015 the name was changed to Vyners Learning Trust.  The name was changed again to Vanguard Learning Trust in March 2018, to facilitate further schools joining the trust.

The trust is currently comprised of two schools – one secondary comprehensive school and one primary school. The trust will be expanding to include another secondary comprehensive school from September 2018. Both secondary schools have six-form entry and a sixth form and will be expanding to eight-form entry from September 2019. All three schools are within five miles of each other. Vyners School is in a relatively affluent area and only has a small number of pupil premium students whereas Ryefield Primary School and Ruislip School have a broader demographic and higher numbers of disadvantaged students.

Since becoming a multi-academy trust (MAT), the trust has standardised and centralised some back office functions (especially in finance and ICT). The trustees understand that further efficiencies are only likely to be achieved as a result of expansion in the size of the trust and are keen to grow the trust. The trust plans to grow to ten schools in the next four years. Vanguard Learning Trust envisage two 'hubs' - one in secondary education, one in primary - which will support school improvement.

 

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Governance. The Board of Trustees is still a partly representational model. Four out of eight Trustees are in post because of their position (Both Headteachers and Chairs of Governors sit on the Board). The trust plans to move to a 100% skills based model, with a transitional year in 2018/19. Trustee experience will therefore change significantly.
  2. Trust growth. Current systems and thinking needs to be 'scaled up' to support extra schools coming on board. The trust is keen to find an appropriate balance between centralisation and allowing a degree of local autonomy.
  3. Efficiencies. In order to maximise student funding, all three schools within the trust are keen to explore smarter ways of working and ways in which the MAT can lever savings for all. New areas of centralisation will need to be explored.

 

Trust Ethos & Values

Vanguard Learning Trust’s ethos is focused on the concept of a local MAT, serving the local community with a high quality educational offer from pre-school to Sixth Form. Teaching and learning, and the needs of students, is at the heart of the organisation. All students should be able to achieve their potential and become 'rounded' individuals ready to contribute positively to society.

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

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.

Vanguard Learning Trust seek a finance professional to join the Board to ensure segregation between finance/accounting and suit/risk functions at Trustee level. The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

  • CFO/Finance
  • Audit Committee Chair

Desirable

  • Corporate Governance
  • IT/Technology
  • Nominations Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Chair

 

Person Specification

The trust welcomes applicants with a broad background in financial accounting or risk/audit. They should be capable of strategic overview of an organisation, able to act as a 'critical friend' and willing to share their business experience. Exposure to educational environment is helpful but not essential.

Time Commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Vyners School, Warren Road, Ickenham, Uxbridge, UB10 8AB.

The trust website: www.vynersschool.org.uk

Governance Structure

Please see https://www.vynersschool.org.uk/page/?title=Governance&pid=83

 

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. 

 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. 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 www.academyambassadors.org.

 

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: 9th July 2018

Interviews:   tbc but within three weeks of the closing date