Non-executive director/trustee

Job Title: Non-executive director/trustee
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Bristol
Reference: Educate Together Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: December 20, 2019 15:25

Job Description

Educate Together Academy Trust (ETAT)

Educate Together Academy Trust is an ambitious and innovative multi-academy trust with a strong ethos around ethical education, providing learning on moral and spiritual development, justice and equality and ethics and the environment alongside the National Curriculum. The trust seeks two non-executive directors to connect with its ethos and support plans to grow across the South West. Board meetings are held in Bristol.

About the Trust

Educate Together Academy Trust, was established in 2013 by the long established educational charity in Ireland, Educate Together. This organisation has been delivering a successful education model for over 30 years to a growing network of schools in Ireland which now number 82 primary and 9 secondary schools. The Educate Together Academy Trust (ETAT) draws upon this depth and breadth of expertise to support its UK schools.

ETAT has four open primary schools and one more in development. Redfield Educate Together Primary, which opened in 2014 in the Bristol is currently rated as Good with outstanding features by Ofsted. The second primary school Somerdale Educate Together primary is in Keynsham opened in September 2017 and two further primary schools in Weston-Super-Mare and Mulberry Park in Bath opened in September 2018. Abbey Farm, Swindon is scheduled to open in 2021/22. The board currently consists of six trustees and hopes to grow to 12 trustees on the board.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To develop the relationship with ETAT’s sponsor organisation (Educate Together Ireland) onto the next stage as the trust grows and becomes more independent within the UK.
  2. To recruit a permanent chief executive/executive head in the next 12 months.
  3. Moving to a four-school MAT and establishing appropriate governance and systems for a larger organisation as the trust plans to open Free Schools and academies to eventually become a cluster of 10 new schools in the South West.
  4. Ensuring effective succession planning in governance.

Trust Ethos & Values

Educate Together Academy Trust schools have a strong ethos based on the following principles:

  • Equality based – i.e. all children having equal rights of access and all children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected.
  • Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities.
  • Learner-centred in their approach to education
  • Democratically-run with active decision inclusion for the children, alongside participation by parents in the daily life of the school, whilst positively affirming the professional role of the teachers.

In addition to the subject areas of the national curriculum, schools deliver Educate Together’s ‘Learn Together’ ethical education curriculum through which children develop their skills and knowledge in four strands: moral and spiritual development, equality and justice, belief systems, and ethics and the environment.

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.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • HR/Organisational development OR
  • Finance


  • Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive/ Trustee

Person Specification

Given the ambitious growth plans for the trust, candidates with experience of growth management is highly desirable. Candidates would ideally be willing to join one of the HR, Finance or Standards/Curriculum committees.

  • HR: The ideal candidate will provide expertise in matters associated with Human Resources including organisational development recruitment, retention, succession planning and be able to guide the trust as it grows.
  • Finance: The trust seeks an individual with a strong finance background for example in the area of accountancy, banking or a senior finance role in organisation of significant size or complexity. 

Time Commitment

6 board meetings per year, and up to 6 meetings for each committee.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are usually held at Redfield Educate Together Primary Academy, Avonvale

Road, Bristol, BS5 9RH.

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 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. 


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 –

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