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Role

Non-Executive Director

Job Title: Non-Executive Director
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Boston
Industry:
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Infinity Academies Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email: academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org
Job Published: August 09, 2018 10:50

Job Description

Infinity Academies Trust seeks to recruit two new non-executive directors to support its expansion to four academies which work with some of Lincolnshire’s most vulnerable communities. Successful candidates will have extensive experience of finance, HR, property or general business skills. Board meetings are rotated around the trust’s academies with the majority being held in the Boston area. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.

About the trust 

Infinity Academies Trust was established in February 2013 and currently consists of two ‘Good’ (Ofsted) primary academies; Gipsey Bridge Academy and Spilsby Primary Academy but will soon grow to at least four primary academies with a total of over 1,500 pupils. The trust operates in Boston, where a high number of pupils speak English as an additional language, and East Lindsey area of Lincolnshire.  Many children come from families that endure economic deprivation by standard government benchmarks.

As the trust expands, one of the schools set to join the trust is a Church of England school: this will require some changes to the trust structure and a consultation will commence shortly to explore whether there may be issues; none are expected. The current plan is there will be representation from the Church of England on the Members Board and Trust Board going forward but this is unlikely to change the fundamental ethos of the trust.

Infinity Academies Trust is at an exciting point in its development as it doubles from two to four academies and prepares to grow further.  The Board is being fully restructured as part of this process to help direct the expansion and maintain stability through the change process.

The trust offers a unique model that allows schools the greatest amount of strategy and autonomy for developing a high quality of teaching and learning for all its pupils. It promotes individuality and the right of each school to develop its own strengths and distinctive character. The trust believes that learning never ends and is constantly working to improve its provision for the benefit of its pupils. The trust recognises that collaborative working between pupils, professionals and schools is the key to success, and continually develops through its links with academies, local schools and the wider community.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Infinity Academies Trust aims to form a new board of trustees using current board members from the present multi-academy trust (MAT) and governors from the schools joining the MAT, without weakening the local governing bodies. As part of this challenge, the trust seeks to recruit two new trustees.
  2. The trust intends to grow the current MAT from two academies to four in a way that least disturbs the effective operations of the schools involved.
  3. Following prospective expansion, the trust will need to develop a school improvement package that will benefit all schools within the MAT. This package will also be available to vulnerable local schools that the trust hopes to support initially, with considerations to offer membership to the MAT in future.

This is an exciting opportunity to grow a new MAT in an extremely vulnerable area of Lincolnshire.

Trust Ethos & Values

The children of Infinity Academies Trust need and deserve to experience the highest quality learning environment within their schools, so they can develop the skills and knowledge to thrive, both academically and socially, and be prepared for a future that is full of opportunity. The trust enables its pupils to become adaptable, resilient, confident, tolerant and highly literate individuals. It strives every day to ensure that pupils know they are valued, understood and supported to share their hopes and aspirations and to provide a well-rounded education that celebrates all their successes.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 2

Roles 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 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
  • HR
  • Real Estate/Property

Desirable

  • Change Management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-Executive/Trustee
  • Growth Management

Person Specification

Role 1: Finance or HR: the ideal candidate will have experience in a professional setting, with expertise in sustainable financial planning and/or HR and growth management. 

Role 2: Real Estate/Property: the trust seeks applicants with experience of estates and property management across multiple sites. Candidates will be able to support the strategic development of the trust.

All non-executive directors must be able to work effectively as part of a team. While experience of school governance is not essential, the trust welcomes applicants with a keen interest in using their valued skills and expertise to develop the multi-academy trust board. Applications are welcome from people of all faiths or none; the trust welcomes diversity. However, all trustees would be expected to support the trust’s ethos and values.

Time Commitment

4-6 hours per month (on average).

Board meetings are held a minimum of 3 times per year and normally start around 6 pm. In addition to board meetings, trustees are expected to provide oversight of the trust’s academies, which may involve meetings or communications with key trust personnel.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

There may be occasional meetings at Spilsby so Directors are familiar with each academy, however the majority of meetings will be in the vicinity of Boston.

For more information about the trust, please visit their website: www.infinityacademies.co.uk/ (Please note that the Board is about to go through significant change as a result of this recruitment process and thus its structure and membership shown on the website is likely to change).

Governance Structure

For information regarding the trust’s governance structure, please see: http://www.infinityacademies.co.uk/key-documents/ 

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 31st August 2018