Non-Executive Director -

Job Title: Non-Executive Director -
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Essex
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: South Essex Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: August 30, 2018 14:47

Job Description

South Essex Academy Trust

South Essex Academy Trust seeks a new board member to fill the pro bono role of Chair of Finance with experience of financial management. Many board meetings are held in Hadleigh, Essex although academy governance meetings rotate around the four schools within the trust in Basilson, Chelmsford and Canvey Island.

About the Trust

South Essex Academy Trust (SEAT) was established by Westwood Academy in Hadleigh in 2015. The trust has since expanded to four primary schools in the areas around Hadleigh, Basildon, Canvey Island and Chelmsford in Essex that are committed to working collaboratively to support each other in achieving the very best for the children. Two schools are one form entry and the others are two form entry. One holds an Ofsted rating of Outstanding, two hold Good and one Requires Improvement. Following the establishment of this multi academy trust the original school was turned around from Unsatisfactory, having already reached Good, and is now Outstanding. 

Currently, the trust is responsible for the development of 1300 pupils, 228 staff and a budget of approx. £10 million. The CEO/Executive Headteacher and the Headteachers meet weekly to enable the development of the preferred model where eventually 80% of academy practices are uniform across the trust. There are also plans being developed to open an alternative provision at one or more of the schools.

Find out more about the trust at: .

Plans for the Future

Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. To consolidate and develop the central services of finance, HR and operations in the context of reducing budgets and ensuring each academy has the resources that it needs to maintain and develop school improvement. This will also require developing a new COO role.
  2. To expand the trust’s impact further. As the trust grows to six schools and expands its provisions a fundraising strategy to supplement the trust’s income will be created.
  3. To ensure the challenge and accountability provided by the board enables effective management in maintaining and developing school improvement and positive outcomes for all children. In particular, the trust’s focus will be enabling the RI school, and other schools that may join in challenging circumstances, to improve enough to reach at least a good standard across all areas.

As the trust grows to six schools (another joins in January), there are plans to develop the academies governance structure to two hub boards undertaking the governance of individual academies. SEAT also plans to develop a fundraising strategy to supplement the income of the trust and open at least one alternative provision to improve provision for disadvantaged children.

Trust Ethos & Values

South Essex Academy Trust believes in and is committed to:

  1. COLLABORATION Interdependence whenever it will benefit everyone
  2. INNOVATION Embracing new ways of working that benefits everyone
  3. PERSEVERANCE Committed to the best outcomes for everyone
  4. CHALLENGE Open to the views and needs of everyone

Role Summary

Number of Positions: 1

Role 1 – Chair of Finance

As the Chair of the Finance Committee, the candidate will provide support for and monitoring of the finance team. The appointed non-executive director will work with and report to directors and take a lead in budget settings, working with the trust’s Financial Director. They will also participate in board meetings with a focus on the governance of individual academies, within their availability.

Person Specification

The competencies required for this role include:


-       Chair

  • Finance

-       CEO/ General Management

-       CFO/Finance


-       Audit Committee Chair

-       Change Management

-       Corporate Governance

The trust is interested in a candidate who is currently working or has recently worked in a banking, accountancy or finance office context and has a record of accomplishment of financial responsibility. Candidates must understand and be able to interpret company accounts. The candidate should also display excellent people skills, strong IT, math and problem-solving skills as well as a genuine passion and commitment to improving education.

Time Commitment

Approx. 10 -20 hours per month (hours are negotiable).

Four board meetings per year and min. two Finance Committee meetings per year.

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 30% 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 775 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.

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 9th October 2018

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