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Role

Non-executive director

Job Title: Non-executive director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Unknown
Industry:
Salary: Voluntary
Reference: Richmond West Schools Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email: academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org
Job Published: August 09, 2018 09:36

Job Description

Richmond West Schools Trust (RWST)

Richmond West Schools Trust is committed to stabilising and raising education standards across the local community for all of its students. Following recent structural changes, the trust, seeks two non-executive directors with marketing skills or finance background and one Member to oversee plans for turnaround and improvement in all schools. Board meetings are held across the schools.

 

About the trust

Richmond West Schools Trust (RWST) is a multi-academy trust (MAT) comprised of two mainstream co-education 11-16 secondary schools: Twickenham School and Hampton High School.

Twickenham School has recently been judged Requires Improvement (RI) by Ofsted in a report which acknowledges the improvements already underway that have taken the school from a position of inadequate in 18 months and commends highly the school leadership.

Hampton High is also rated RI but has shown a dramatic improvement in pupils’ exam results. Since 2016, Hampton High’s English and Maths GCSE results have improved by 20%, with 66% of Year 11s achieving A*-C in Grade 4+.

Both schools in the trust contain disadvantaged pupils, which is measured by the number of pupils who qualify for free school meals under the government’s criteria. Hampton High has 15.7% of over 600 pupils who receive free school meals and Twickenham School has 12.5%.

Following changes to the trust in January 2018, it has adopted a collaborative operating model with school improvement support provided by Waldegrave School and Orleans Park School two days a week and a two day per week CEO. Both Waldegrave School and Orleans Park are rated Outstanding (Ofsted) and this collaborative approach ensures that best practice in teaching and learning is shared between local schools and economies of scale are exploited.  What unites all schools with this local community is a commitment to providing a disciplined, safe and structured school environment, which nurtures a strong culture of learning in the local community.

The trust offers a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum with a strong focus on the acquisition of skills for learning, literacy, numeracy, social and cultural development, employment and citizenship. They are founded on strong leadership from governors, senior leaders, middle leaders, teachers and students alike.

 

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Low pupil numbers: the trust is currently experiencing low pupil numbers, particularly at Twickenham School Year 7, as a consequence of legacy difficulties including a special measures Ofsted judgement in 2016. Both schools are gaining a better reputation locally but the challenge is to translate improved educational outcomes and behaviours in both schools into increased pupil numbers.
  2. Budgetary pressure: as with all secondary schools, the trust faces a challenge in terms of budget and balancing the needs of school improvement against budgetary realities at both schools. The trust has receive the approval of the Department for Education for its financial recovery plan, but this problem is compounded by low pupil numbers.
  3. Teacher recruitment: the trust is focussed on delivering rapid and consistent improvement in both schools. These aims have been impacted by difficulties in recruiting staff and middle leaders, particularly for the core subjects of English, maths and science.

 

Trust Ethos & Values

RWST has the highest possible ambition for its schools and students. There is a strong focus on teaching, learning and leadership and of shared expertise to ensure that the trust is constantly striving for improvement. It is the trust’s belief that every child deserves the best quality education.

By working together, with support from other schools in the borough, RWST have a positive influence of the educational provision for their local area to ensure all local students are able to attend a good or better school of their choice.

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:

3

 

Role 1 & 2 – 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.

 

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

 

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • Branding/Marketing OR
  • CFO/Finance

 

  • CEO/General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Turnaround
     

Person Specification

Communications: The ideal candidate will have senior experience in marketing and communications within a business background. Candidates will be expected to scrutinise and advise on a strategic marketing plan to increase pupil numbers and to generate positive local coverage and awareness of the trust and its schools.

 

Finance: The trust welcomes applicants with substantial financial business expertise. They should be capable of strategic overview of an organisation, able to act as a 'critical friend' and willing to share their business experience.

Additional skills and experience of corporate governance for both roles would be advantageous.

 

Time Commitment

Four board meetings per year (eight hours in total) plus ad hoc hours per month.

 

Role 3 – 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 Richmond West Schools Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend three meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

 

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • CFO/Finance
  • Turnaround
  • Corporate Governance
     

Person Specification

The trust seeks a high-calibre individual with extensive corporate governance experience in a financial setting. Applicants must be able to oversee the board of non-executive directors without operational interference.

 

Time Commitment

Six hours - one AGM and two update meetings annually.

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held in multiple locations.

For more information on the trust, please see: https://www.rwst.co.uk/

 

Governance Structure

For governance structure of the trust, please see the bottom of the trust’s website’s home page: https://www.rwst.co.uk/

 

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: Friday 10th August