4 days ago
About the trust
BMAT is a group of five primary schools and six secondary schools situated between East London and Stansted. The schools within the trust vary in terms of geography, student population and social mobility. Some schools are situated in and around areas of high social deprivation with pupil premium rates as high as 50%. There are approximately 5000 pupils in total across all schools in the trust.
BMAT began as a team of educationalists who completed the successful turnaround of Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow between 2010-2012 and is now rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’. Then trust has grown number, in strength and reputation including some strong primary school performance. In 2018, the trust took over a struggling University Technical College with the goal of addressing the gap in young people pursuing careers the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The BMAT STEM Academy is now making stronger progress.
The trust has just opened a new 11-19 free school in 2019 and that will grow as successive year groups join the school each September. The school currently occupies temporary accommodation until the new building is completed. This will coincide with the opening of the sixth form. The Trust is now in a consolidation phase, during which the trust will look to ensure all its schools achieve Ofsted ratings ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. To both support and strengthen the board through this period, BMAT seeks creative and enthusiastic trustees who are willing to devote their time and expertise to achieving positive outcomes for the pupils in the trust.
Number of positions advertised:
Role 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.
As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, successful applicants will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship, and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully affecting change. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will also join the trust’s finance committee. There are likely to be opportunities for the right candidates to take on leadership positions within the board and its Committees over the medium term as the board develops its own succession planning.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- Change Management
- Human Resources
- Corporate Governance
- General Management
The successful candidate is likely to be an experienced finance professional who has held a senior role in an organisation either similar in size or larger than BMAT with a sharp understanding of the requirements for robust financial governance. (The trust works with a revenue budget of approximately £30 million). Ideally the candidate will have worked in an organisation that has undergone change which they have helped to manage successfully. In addition, the successful candidate will have a proven track record of working collaboratively with other senior leaders, adding their strength and skills to an established team.
The trust board meet 6 times per year (normally once each half term) and three of the meetings are held in the early evening of weekdays and the other three on Saturdays. Meetings generally last up to three hours. The trust also has three subcommittees: Finance, Risk & Audit, and Education Standards. Trustees are invited to join one subcommittee which meets three times a year with these meetings held on early evenings of weekdays. Trustees are expected to devote around 6 hour per month to trust business. Occasional meetings have been called using video or audio technologies, but these are exceptions rather than the norm. Induction and training will be available to ensure new trustees gain a suitable understanding of the trust’s strengths and challenges.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Meetings are generally held at Velizy Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 3EZ but occasional meetings are arranged at other academies within the trust to allow trustees to become familiar with the varying locations. This could include some meetings in Epping or Sanstead.