Non-Executive Director X 2

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 2
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Cheshire
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Adelaide Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 26, 2018 11:16

Job Description

The Adelaide Academy Trust seeks two new non-executive directors - with legal, HR or finance experience - and two new Members to join its board and provide support during an exciting period of growth. Board meetings are held at multiple locations.

About the Trust

The Adelaide Academy Trust was established in 2013 and comprises three special schools: Adelaide School, St Johns Wood Academy and Finch Woods Academy.

The trust works closely across the three sites and has developed an effective school improvement model, which utilises and formalises school-to-school support and has made a difference to the sponsored academies within the trust.

The trust has centralised services which allows it to share resources between schools and benefit from the economies of scale that this brings. It is dedicated to improving the educational experiences of young people and preparing them to be full and active citizens of society.

The schools within the trust have recently been inspected by Ofsted: Finch Woods Academy moved from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ in June 2017, Adelaide School maintained its ‘Outstanding’ judgement in February 2018 and St Johns Wood Academy, which joined the trust in September 2016, was inspected after five terms and placed in ‘Special Measures’.

The trust is keen to grow and has begun informal conversations with a number of primary and special schools.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To ensure that all schools are working towards a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted judgement.
  2. To ensure that governor, trustee and Member vacancies are filled in line with any identified skills gaps.
  3. To seek trust growth to further enhance capacity.

The trust is exploring opportunities for growth with other special schools and with its partners in primary mainstream education. Over the coming months, the trust aims to further enhance its governing board to include trustees or Members with skills in Finance, Audit, HR or Legal.

Trust Ethos & Values

To ensure that all young people have an educational experience that prepares them to be active citizens in British society - through an environment which is inclusive, nurturing and is built on mutual respect.

The trust ethos goes beyond its schools, both Adelaide School and Finch Woods Academy have successful outreach provisions offering behaviour management support to primary and secondary schools across Cheshire East and Knowsley areas to improve all pupils’ learning experience.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:


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.

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

Person Specification

The competencies required for this role include:

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

  • CFO/ Finance
  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance


  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management

Role 1: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong audit/finance background and specific experience of managing budgets. This individual is required to serve on the audit/resources committee and to support them through a period of change, as the trust seeks to grow in future. While not a prerequisite, the ideal candidate will possess a relevant finance/audit qualification.

Role 2: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong and demonstrable background in either a HR or a legal background - the appropriate individual will be skilled in change management, succession planning and turnaround in order to help shape the trust as it seeks to grow in future. 

Time Commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Roles 3&4 – Member

Members are signatories to the articles of association and can pass a special resolution to amend the articles of association. They are responsible for appointing trustees, according to the trust's articles of association, and can also remove serving trustees where necessary and appropriate.

Members have oversight of the trust's governance and should keep themselves informed about how the board is performing and have an awareness of when they may need to exercise their powers to ensure effective governance.

Person Specification

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Succession Planning
  • Risk
  • CFO/ Finance
  • HR
  • Legal/ Compliance

The trust seeks two individuals with knowledge and experience of the role of a non-executive director or trustee in a charity or non-profit environment. A good communicator and a ‘team player’, the successful candidate/s will be committed to attending members’ meetings and meetings with the Chair of Trustees and the trust’s Principal. While not a prerequisite, the ideal candidate/s will possess relevant qualification in on of Legal, HR, Audit and/or Finance.

Time Commitment

1 hour per month on average

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Adelaide Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 3DT. 

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 –

Deadline for applications: Friday, 9th November 2018