Non-Executive Director X 1

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 1
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Northampton
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Skylark Partnership
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: February 22, 2019 10:44

Job Description

The Skylark Partnership

The Skylark Partnership in Northamptonshire is looking to recruit a non-executive director with expertise in finance and IT. This exciting new trust supports young people with medical and mental health difficulties across the South Central North West London region of the country. It is creating a family of exceptional schools for children with medical needs. Board meetings are held at Delapre Learning Centre, Alton Street, Northampton, NN4 8EN.

About the trust

The Skylark Partnership is a new trust that has been set up specifically for education providers, such as hospital schools and medical pupil referral units, for pupils with medical and mental health difficulties who cannot attend school full time. The educational centres are spread across the counties; in hospital settings such as John Radcliffe Hospital; in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Units like The Brambles for young people with eating disorders; in a hospice; in outreach centres and, for some pupils, in their homes, nearby schools or other appropriate environments. The focus is on keeping education alive in the pupil’s life during their illness.

The education teams work in a multi-disciplinary manner with the health staff in the hospital settings and the education plans contribute towards the child’s recovery plans. When the pupils are well enough, they return to their home school or post 16 destination so there is a ‘revolving door’ type change in pupil cohorts throughout the academic year.

Hospital and Outreach Education, a medical PRU from Northamptonshire currently rated Outstanding by Ofsted, will be the first organisation moving into the trust within the next 3 months. Another school is undertaking due diligence in preparation for joining. The trust will be made up of alternative provision schools (medical and mental health difficulties), hospital schools and home tuition services.


Plans for the future

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

  1. Establishing the Trust Board: To get the trust up and running with an effective trustee board.
  2. Growth: To have a clear growth plan to include other medical needs provisions from across the Midlands region.
  3. Value for money: To provide good value for money in terms of providing personalised learning approach in line with the values of the trust.

To establish the trust as a centre of best practice for pupils with medical and mental health difficulties along the model of a teaching school alliance.


Trust ethos & values

The Skylark Partnership aim to provide access to appropriate education for all children and young people with medical and mental health needs, keeping education alive in the pupil’s life, maintaining progress and enabling them to achieve their potential.

The trust is committed to developing its provision in collaboration with stakeholders and schools to ensure that it is able to meet the ever-changing needs of those young people who have medical and/or mental health difficulties, which make attending mainstream school a challenge.


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Role 1 – 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.

Person specification

The successful individual will have a strong financial background with excellent IT skills. They will be expected to sit on the Finance and Audit Committee, supporting the CFO and Chief Accounting Officer in their roles and holding them to account. A knowledge of HR processes and change management are advantageous.

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.


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
  • IT/Technology


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Risk
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • HR

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum. The trust is likely to hold six board meetings a year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Delapre Learning Centre, Alton Street, Northampton, NN4 8EN.

Governance structure

The Members will appoint the majority of the Board of Trustees who will delegate to their committees and governing bodies in accordance with the trust’s scheme of delegation.

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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 855 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: TBC