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Role

Non executive director X 2

Job Title: Non executive director X 2
Location: Nottinghamshire
Industry:
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Believe Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email: academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org
Job Published: December 18, 2018 12:21

Job Description

Believe Academy Trust

Believe Academy Trust seeks to recruit a Chair of Human Resources and a Chair of Audit to join its board. The trust was formed following Southwark Primary School’s original conversion to academy status, expanding to become a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) through the partnership with Arnbrook Primary School in 2014. Board meetings are held at Southwark Primary School, Old Basford, Nottingham.

About the trust

Believe Academy Trust comprises three primary schools: Southwark Primary School, Arnbrook Primary School and Derwent Primary School. Arnbrook and Derwent were both sponsored academies and have made good progress since joining the trust. Standards in all areas have risen and the trust plans to grow further either through adding converter academies who wish to join for mutual benefit or adding sponsored academies seeking support from the trust.

Currently comprising approximately 1,300 pupils within its academies across three different Local Authority areas - Nottingham city, Nottinghamshire and Derby city - all academies currently within the trust experience high levels of deprivation. There resultantly a high level of young people eligible for Pupil Premium across the trust’s schools.

The trust, which grew from Southwark Primary Academy Trust as its founding academy, has ambitions to develop its support and core services in order to evolve its offering to others locally who might wish to join the trust in the future.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To continue improving outcomes and experiences for pupils;
  2. To maintain viability in a challenging financial environment;
  3. To build clear and effective approaches for business-critical roles such as Finance and HR and harmonise procedures to secure best practice across the trust.

The trust seeks to grow without impacting on the experience within its current schools; it has set a target of adding up to three schools over the next three years. This is influenced by factors such as long-term financial planning, capacity modelling and current position of schools.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s values can be summarised in the following:

  1. Academies with their own identity;
  2. Belief and confidence in it academies to excel;
  3. Only the best for it children;
  4. Outstanding providers of education.

More information is available at: www.believeacademytrust.net

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:2

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.

Role 1 – Chair of Audit

The successful candidate is required to take on the role of Chair of Audit Committee, including reporting to, and advising, the board on the current and forecast financial position and action required to ensure sustainability. Inherent in this is oversight of the implementation of new financial and audit systems across the trust and development of financial forecasts for the MAT. Significant experience in the financial sector and expertise in financial governance is essential to this role.

The role will involve providing support and challenge to the CEO in setting the strategic direction of the trust, bringing experience and influence to the trust and chairing meetings effectively. Experience of corporate governance and leadership is therefore beneficial as well as an awareness and understanding of the Nolan Principles for public life.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Risk
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Corporate Governance

Desirable

  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • Legal/ Compliance

The trust seeks a qualified accountant and/or auditor with experience of governance at board level. Experience of management of a complex organisation with multiple sites/subsidiaries and delivery of cost savings from economies of scale is essential. This individual is required to challenge and hold the executives to account whilst ensuring value for money. 

Time commitment

There are three board meeting per year and three pay and personal sub-committees (i.e. a total of six meetings - approximately one per half-term). In addition, candidates may be invited to join one of the two other sub-committees which meet twice a year (business, finance and operations and risk and audit). Meetings typically commence at 5.30pm on Thursdays and last for roughly two hours.

It is expected that trustees will need to dedicate 4-6 hours per month on average. This would include meeting preparation, attending meetings and occasional follow-up as well as training - some elements of which are delivered online.

Role 2 – Chair of Human Resource

The board additionally requires an experienced HR non-executive director to chair its HR sub-committee, bringing strategically oversight to the expansion of the trust and the executive team in the management of HR risks.

The role will involve providing support to the board and Chair in setting the strategic direction of the trust, bringing experience and influence to the trust and chairing HR sub-committee meetings effectively. All trustees have a responsibility to support and challenge the executive team (including the CEO) and to provide oversight of the trust’s finances. Experience of corporate governance and leadership is therefore beneficial as well as an awareness and understanding of the  Nolan Principles for public life.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • Growth Management
  • HR
  • Succession Planning

Desirable

  • Change Management

The trust seeks a candidate who occupies a senior HR position in commerce or industry. This individual must have sufficient skills and experience to guide the board and its constituent academies on overall human resources services, policies and programs. Demonstrable experience in a leadership role is highly sought, as well as a track record in reporting to, and working with, senior colleagues at board level.

Time commitment

There are three board meeting per year and three pay and personal sub-committees (i.e. a total of six meetings - approximately one per half-term). In addition, candidates may be invited to join one of the two other sub-committees which meet twice a year (business, finance and operations and risk and audit). Meetings typically commence at 5.30pm on Thursdays and last for roughly two hours.

It is expected that trustees will need to dedicate 4-6 hours per month on average. This would include meeting preparation, attending meetings and occasional follow-up as well as training - some elements of which are delivered online.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Southwark Primary School, Park Lane, Old Basford, Nottingham, NG6 0DT

www.believeacademytrust.net

Governance structure

https://www.believeacademytrust.net/governance-and-finance-information/

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 832 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. 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. 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 www.academyambassadors.org.

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, 8th February 2019

Deadline for applications: Friday, 8th February 2019