Non executive director X 2

Job Title: Non executive director X 2
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Sawston
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Anglian Learning
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: November 20, 2018 15:59

Job Description

Anglian Learning

Anglian Learning seeks two new Trustee/Non-Executive Directors with Finance, particularly procurement, or Legal experience to strengthen its board through a period of growth.  Experience of Change Management is also desirable. Board meetings are held at Bottisham and Sawston Village Colleges, Cambridge.

About the trust

Anglian Learning was established in September 2016, formed of a small multi-academy trust of 2 secondary schools, and 2 other local, successful secondary schools in the Cambridge area. There are, therefore, three Village Colleges which provide adult and community education in addition to regular 11-16 provision. The fourth is the only urban school in the group, celebrating a diverse intake of pupils and providing its own sixth form. The school has proven financially challenging but has achieved Good in its very recent Ofsted inspection.

Since its formation, Anglian Learning has grown to include a hub of three primary schools in and around Cambridge. As a community, the schools support outstanding education but endeavour to provide a broad and enriching curriculum, supporting the arts and sport as well as providing students with every academic opportunity.

Individual school performance is positive with three secondary schools rated Good and one school rated Outstanding by Ofsted in their latest inspections. The trust is looking to pursue a course of school improvement, working towards ratings of Outstanding in all their schools.

The trust has further plans for growth, although is mindful of the need to do so steadily. It has won a bid for a new primary school and is hoping to establish a second hub of primary schools, as well as increasing its existing number of secondary schools. With these developments, the trust will need to restructure over the next 12-24 months. Anglian Learning, therefore, seeks creative and enthusiastic trustees to support the board through this period of growth.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Financial: to formulate a rigorous and sustainable financial model which will help support the schools in the trust, and help maintain an active and competitive sixth form at one secondary school.
  2. Progress: as a fairly new organisation with a new CEO who started in September 2018 and a new Finance Director starting in January 2019, the trust looks to develop new and existing structures of leadership.
  3. Growth: to develop a sustainable and economically viable growth plan and effectively monitor risk as the trust goes through a period of growth.
  4. Improving outcomes: to maintain and improve outcomes for all students, especially those from the poorest backgrounds.

Anglian Learning is planning to expand its existing primary hub, set up a second hub and bring on board additional secondary provision. This will require some restructuring over the next 1-2 years. The trust’s existing governance structure is under continuous review by the Trust Board’s Governance Working Group, to ensure that the above targets are met.

Trust ethos & values

Anglian Learning schools share the belief that successful learning communities are underpinned by ambitious vision, trust and strong inspirational leadership. The trust believes that these values are reinforced by working with like-minded schools, leaders and teachers to provide an excellent education for all our students, improving outcomes and student 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 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 welcomes candidates with strong financial and/or legal backgrounds, preferably qualified accountants. They will have experience in some or all of the following: procurement, property services, financial modelling, growth planning and identifying risk. Prior board experience 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, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully effecting change and will be encouraged to sit in on one of four existing committees: HR, Finance and Audit, Education and Remuneration.

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
  • Risk
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance


  • Real Estate/Property
  • Branding/Marketing

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum. 5 board meetings a year held at 8am (no longer than 2.5 hours). 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held on a rotational basis between Bottisham Village College, Lode Rd, Bottisham, Cambridge CB25 9DL and Sawston Village College, New Road, Sawston CB22 3BP.

Trust website:

Governance structure

Please see:

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 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: