Non-executive director/Chair of Finance

Job Title: Non-executive director/Chair of Finance
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Congleton
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Congleton Multi-Academy Trust (CMAT)
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 25, 2018 12:01

Job Description

Congleton Multi-Academy Trust (CMAT)

Congleton Multi-Academy Trust seeks to recruit a Chair of Finance with strong financial background, including understanding and experience of financial planning and accounting at a management level to challenge and support the trust through a phase of active growth as it seeks to build capacity and develop an ambitious business plan. Board meetings are held at Congleton High School, Congleton. 

About the trust

Established in 2013, Congleton Multi-Academy Trust (CMAT) comprises two primary schools and one secondary school, serving families in the market town of Congleton in Cheshire and also in north Staffordshire.

Congleton High School has around 1,200 secondary students, including a successful post-16 provision, while Black Firs Primary School has 300 children and Castle Primary School just over 100. All schools are rated Good by Ofsted and are working towards Outstanding status. There are over 250 employees working together across three sites.

An effective school improvement model has been developed by the trust, utilising and formalising school-to-school support. Central services also enable schools to benefit from economies of scale and a key strength is the sharing of resources between the schools. CMAT is keen to ensure it provides career and development opportunities to all employees.

Congleton Multi-Academy Trust is about to enter an exciting new phase of development and growth. The expansion of the town of Congleton with over 4,000 new houses means increased demand for new school places.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Achieving and maintaining high levels of teaching, learning and leadership across all schools of the trust.
  2. Creating and managing internal capacity in order to maximise growth and realise aspirations for development.
  3. Strengthening governance by recruiting independent trustees, with a specific focus on financial skills.

The trust is exploring opportunities for growth with other secondary and primary schools in the region and opportunities to develop partnerships with other trusts.

Trust ethos & values

Congleton Multi-Academy Trust is a family of schools working in collaboration and sharing a common goal.

Each school has its own ethos, which enables children and staff to be the best they can be. For more information, please see


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

Role 1 – Chair of Finance

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.

The successful candidate is required to take on the role of Chair of the Finance Committee, including reporting to, and advising, the board on the current and forecast financial position and action required to ensure sustainability. Significant experience in the financial sector and expertise in financial governance is essential to this role.

The role will involve providing support to the CEO in setting the strategic direction of the trust, bringing experience and influence to the trust and chairing meetings effectively. Experience of corporate governance and leadership is therefore beneficial.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Chair


  • Growth Management
  • Real estate/ Property
  • Risk

The trust seeks a qualified accountant, with proven financial skills and knowledge. The candidate must have experience of producing and overseeing the finance function of SMEs, social enterprise and/ or charities, in addition to being skilled in interpreting the organisation’s figures and able to generate succinct reports to the board. This individual is required to challenge and support the trust through a phase of active growth as it seeks to build capacity and develop an ambitious business plan. Additionally, experience in Chairing meetings at a high level, providing leadership and strategic focus is essential to this position.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. 8 meetings a year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Box Lane, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 4NS.

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 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, 2nd November 2018