Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Plymouth
Salary: Voluntary
Reference: ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: June 14, 2018 15:39

Job Description

ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust, consisting of an alternative provision and a special school trust, seeks three new non-executive directors and one member to help the trust during a period of expansion. Board meetings are held in Plymouth.


About the Trust

ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust (MAT) was formally set up on 1st June 2016 with the aim of building on the solid foundation established when a number of complementary education provisions throughout Plymouth were brought together under a single umbrella called ACE Schools. ACE Schools now operate around Plymouth from eight different locations and provide education and support services throughout the community to support pupils to access education in schools, medical facilities or their own homes.  As an alternative education provider, and pupil referral unit, ACE Schools has developed a great reputation both locally and nationally for the work that it does. The school’s performance, size and services mean that it is one of the leading alternative providers of education in the UK and it is in a good position to help grow and develop education services both within Plymouth and beyond.

Since becoming a multi academy trust, ACE Schools has been joined by Courtlands Special School, a local primary school for pupils who have Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, and other complex needs. In addition, the trust has plans to expand to be a five school trust within the next twelve months. Work has already started on plans to set up a new free school in Plymouth, The Palmerston Forts School, to support pupils with a range of educational needs associated with the autistic spectrum.


Plans for the Future

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

1.         To support the growth of ACE Schools MAT to a five-school trust;

2.         To facilitate the improvement of failing schools;

3.         To ensure financial stability;

4.         To help the trust grow to a national status.


Trust Ethos & Values

ACE Schools Plymouth gives every child the opportunity to succeed through becoming successful learners, confident and healthy individuals and responsible citizens. ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust supports all children and young people, headteachers, school staff, parents and the wider communities they are part of. They form a supportive and collaborative network that allows their academies to run more efficiently, share best practice, attract, train and retain the best teachers while focusing on delivering equal opportunities for all children irrespective of background and circumstance.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 4

Roles 1-3 – 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 Trust sets the direction and vision for the trust. 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.


The competencies required for this role include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/ Finance AND
  • Growth Management OR
  • HR AND
  • Legal/Compliance OR
  • Restructuring AND
  • Turnaround


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Succession Planning
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Change Management

Person Specification

  • Role 1 – Finance and Growth Management: The trust welcomes applicants who are highly experienced professionals provide robust scrutiny of the financial and audit functions of the trust and to potentially chair the Finance and Audit Committee.
  • Role 2 – HR and Legal/Compliance: the board seeks an experienced professional to hold to account the HR, legal and compliance functions of the trust.
  • Role 3 – Growth Management and Turnaround: the ideal applicant would be able to hold to account the educational standards of the trust, have experience of corporate governance, and to potentially chair the Education Standards Committee.

Time Commitment

6 hours/month minimum.


Role 4 – 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.
The competencies required for this role include:



  • Risk
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance


  • CFO/Finance
  • Entrepreneur/Founder
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance


Person Specification

A member needs to be a person of responsibility with the ability to hold the Trustees to account

in fulfilling the Articles of Association of the trust. Applicants should have skills and experience of board level activity and a commitment to vulnerable children.

Time Commitment

8 hours a year.


Location of Board Meetings and 

Board meetings are held at Martinsgate Building, Bretonside, Plymouth, PL4


Trust Website:

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: 11th July