Non-executive director

Job Title: Non-executive director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Unknown
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Trust in Learning (Academies)
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 13, 2018 08:41

Job Description

Trust in Learning (Academies)


Based in Bristol, Trust in Learning (Academies) (TiLA) consists of two primary schools, a secondary school and an all-through learning campus. The Trust seeks two non-executive directors with finance, branding/marketing, IT/Technology or Risk experience to join the board.


About the Trust

Trust in Learning (Academies) (TiLA) in Bristol was created in order to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for pupils and students in areas of disadvantage. The multi-academy trust (MAT) is sponsored by University of the West of England and the City of Bristol College. It currently has two primary schools, a secondary school and an all-through learning campus in the Trust.


  • Orchard School Bristol – secondary school, 11-16 (Ofsted Good)
  • Filton Avenue Primary School – primary school, 5-11 (Ofsted Requires Improvement)
  • Parson Street Primary School – primary school, 3-11 (Ofsted Requires Improvement)
  • Bridge Learning Campus – all through, 3-16 (Ofsted Serious Weaknesses)


The Trust is also an active partner in the support of the New Fosseway Special School which is co-located with the Bridge Learning Campus.

As a Multi Academy Trust (MAT), TiLA is committed to delivering an inclusive approach to education. It is important that TiLA is able to support all schools and communities, but will always seek to ensure the gaps that exist in learning between disadvantaged children and others are overcome. Its goal is to support exceptional, distinctive and inclusive community schools that deliver outstanding education and learning. They undertake to support and challenge each schools’ leadership in equal measure and deliver a balance between school autonomy and collective responsibility. The trust is committed to the principle of collaboration between schools and that outcomes and opportunities for all will improve when staff and governors work effectively together both within and across their schools or academies.

The Trust wishes to expand to a medium size MAT of between 10-15 schools over the next five years.  However, our immediate agenda is improvement outcomes.  The future aim is to continue attracting schools from all difference sectors and continue promoting its all-age all-through vision.


Plans for the Future

The priority focus for the trust is on the improvement of outcomes which will facilitate growth.  The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Improve outcomes: particularly at Key Stage 2 & Key Stage 4. The trust has been through a challenging period of falling outcomes and through targeted focus and challenge for governance and leadership are looking to arrest this in 2018. Current projections are positive but the trust will need to continue and increase the rate of this improvement.
  2. Growth: With improved outcomes the trust will move to a position when it will be able to continue its growth. A further challenge will be ensuring that systems and capabilities are in place to enable such growth.
  3. Leadership: some of the schools have new leaders at senior level or are likely to have in the near future. Sustaining and developing high quality leaders at this level will be a key challenge.
  4. Governance: the trust has benefited from new and external focus at trust board level, which through this recruitment it is looking to continue to enhance. Additionally, the trust seeks to continue strengthening governance at the local level, embedding the improvement culture and securing a better balance between board governance and local involvement.


Trust Ethos & Values

TiLA’s vision is to improve the quality of schooling and the outcomes for children and young people by promoting communities that trust in learning and the endeavour of education to transform lives. They support and challenge this improvement through fostering the autonomy and empowerment of effective leadership and governance.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:



Roles 1 & 2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The Board requires a range of skills. Meetings cover a variety of topics from business strategy, school improvement, quality of teaching, learning, staffing, resources and finance. Alongside it’s statutory accountability, the Board’s accountability is to its pupils, parents and the wider local community. Directors have a duty to fulfil the highest standards of corporate governance. The skills and competencies required for this role include:


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

  • Finance OR
  • Branding/Marketing OR
  • IT/Technology
  • Risk
  • Change Management



  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Growth Management
  • Real estate/Property
  • Turnaround


Person Specification

To support trust leadership in delivering improvement, growth and transformation across its schools. You should have exceptional business skills, willingness to devote time to the role and the ability to challenge and interrogate data to help drive up quality and standards. A strong interest in improving education outcomes, able to support the CEO and the trust’s schools to take forward the vision and school improvement to successful outcomes.


The trust welcomes applicants with experience in either finance, branding/marketing, IT/technology or risk, and those with expertise in leading or supporting organizational culture change.


Time Commitment

There are six Board Meetings a year, one held each term lasting for two hours.

Trustees are also able to join one of the trust board’s committees.


Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Please see Board meetings are held at multiple locations across the trust’s schools.


Governance Structure

Please see

It is anticipated that as the trust is able to move into its growth phase that the governance would be reviewed to further strengthen the diversity, distinction and diversity.


Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 28% 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 726 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: 31 August 2018

Interviews will be a formal discussion with the Chair and CEO. Non-executive directors should be in place for the start of the next academic year.

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