Non-Executive Director / Board Member

Job Title: Non-Executive Director / Board Member
Location: Newton Abbot
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Learning Academy Partnership
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 07, 2019 11:12

Job Description

Learning Academy Partnership


Learning Academy Partnership is a high performing value led trust in Devon currently comprised of eight primary schools with a new Free School due to open September 2020. The trust seeks three Non-Executive Directors and two Members to strengthen its board, support the trust’s strategy for growth and succession planning. Board meetings are held at Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot.


About the trust

The Learning Academy Partnership (South West) is a family of inclusive and aspirational schools, working together within a multi-academy trust (MAT) with a Church of England Foundation. It is a fully inclusive MAT, welcoming of both church and community schools and those in all Ofsted categories. The schools work collectively, to empower everyone to achieve excellence.


The trust provides education for 1450 primary aged pupils, employs 250 staff and has an income of £8.4m.


The trust’s aim is to establish a family of outstanding schools where world-class leaders place the children at the heart of everything, providing genuinely transformational, world-class education, improving outcomes and life chances for every child. In 2018 the trust was amongst the top ten in England for the progress made by pupils in receipt of the pupil premium grant and in maths and English. The trust is one of only 32 English Hubs in England, runs a Teaching School which has been awarded gold standard by the Teacher Development Trust.


Plans for the future

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


  1. Managing a period of growth, as the trust expands, so that it can provide greater levels of governance and support.
  2. Ensuring financial sustainability of the trust, whilst at the same time ensuring educational and operational functions are enhanced.
  3. Maintaining high standards of attainment and progress for all pupils within the trust.


Future plans:

The trust designed the partnership structure to grow through clear systems of educational and business leadership with strategic governance. It has a track record of successful MAT collaboration and bringing about sustained and rapid improvement that has generated additional capacity and strength through welcoming new schools into the MAT.


Trust ethos & values

To transform children’s life chances.

Core values:

  • Collectively - They are one team and agree to work together as one family.
  • Empowering - They invest in each other and their futures
  • Excellence - They champion excellence for all and in all that they do

URL to full mission statement


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Role 1-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director


Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.


The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.


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


In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.


Person specification

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:


The strategic expertise required for these roles includes:


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

  • CFO/ Finance/Commercial OR
  • Legal/ Compliance OR
  • HR


  • Chair/Succession Planning
  • Change/Growth Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


Role 1 spec: demonstrable record in Senior Legal Practice: particularly at partner level and above, having expertise in corporate, charity and regulatory compliance. Candidates must be able to apply diplomacy, objectivity, integrity and impartiality when monitoring and evaluating the work and the compliance of the trust. Expertise in contracting would be really helpful.


Role 2 spec: a professional with a demonstrable record working at director level with experience of delivering effective HR strategy and is well versed in HR policies and employment law.


Role 3 spec: a professional with a demonstrable record working at director level with considerable experience in commercial, public or charity business with significant financial and people expertise and understanding of managing and leading businesses through change including growth and organisational change.


Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.


Roles 4-5 – Member


Members act as guardians of the constitution and typically meet formally once a year primarily to:

  • Appoint or remove directors/trustees;
  • Appoint the external auditors and receive the audited accounts;
  • Amend the Articles of Association (subject to any restrictions created by the Trust’s Funding Agreement of Charity Law);
  • Change the name of the charitable company and ultimately, wind up the academy trust; and
  • Issue direction to trustees to take specific action.


Members hold significant powers and P45 - 47 of the Governance Handbook provides more detail:


Consequently, Members may wish to meet informally once every six months to ensure they are able to fulfil their roles and responsibilities effectively by maintaining oversight of sector and strategic developments in the trust, invest in professional development and/or plan the AGM agenda.


Time commitment

0.5 hours /month minimum


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Suite 4 Zealley House, Greenhill Way, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, TQ12 3SB.


Governance structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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.


“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 (2019)


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: Friday 15th November 2019