Non-Executive Director X 1

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 1
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Truro
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Special Partnership Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Job Published: May 22, 2019 10:22

Job Description

Special Partnership Trust (SPT)


Special Partnership Trust in Cornwall seeks a new trustee/non-executive director with a professional finance background to join its board and support the strategic direction of the trust. Board meetings are held at Pencalenick School, St Clement, Truro.


About the trust

The Special Partnership Trust (SPT) was formed in 2016 and is made up of four special schools - three all-through schools and one secondary. Pupils needs vary, with each school having a specific school offer to ensure every pupil is placed appropriately. Three of the schools, Nancealverne, Doubletrees and Pencalenick are currently rated Good by Ofsted with Curnow School rated Outstanding.


The trust have recently included two Area Resource Base (ARB) units as part of their provision, with more in the pipeline. These small bases are hosted by a large group of primary and secondary schools across Cornwall. The purpose of ARBs is to support pupils with more complex special educational needs (SEN) than those children and young people with SEN who typically attend mainstream schools.


Plans for the future

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

  1. School Improvement v Growth: the board is looking to get the balance right before growth i.e. by maintaining the focus on driving improvement in existing special schools before expanding further but is developing a MAT growth strategy.
  2. Delivering strong pupil outcomes: in the context of diminishing specialist support service provision from the local authority the trust is proactively developing professional networks and partnerships with multi-agency groups to meet individual pupil needs.
  3. Recruitment and retention of high performing staff: the Trust wishes to be the MAT of choice for staff.


Trust ethos & values

The Special Partnership Trust ensures effective collaboration, developing and sustaining inspirational learning centres of outstanding provision. The partnership secures exceptional learning and outcomes for all, irrespective of the challenges they face.


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.


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.


Person specification

The trust seeks an individual with a strong background in finance, preferably a qualified accountant, who can effectively support and challenge the CFO. The successful applicant will be committed and enthusiastic, challenging and supportive and will have a genuine interest in supporting children and young people with special needs and their families.


Ideal candidates will have a strong understanding of governance and will be expected to hold executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the trust. Previous experience of having chaired a committee is desirable.  


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 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)

  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • CFO/Finance
  • Non-executive/Trustee


  • Change Management
  • Risk
  • Committee Chair



Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at c/o Pencalenick School, St Clement, Truro, TR1 1TE.


Governance structure


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: 1st May 2019