The Priory Federation of Academies Trustearners Academy Trust
12 days ago
The Priory Federation of Academies Trust
The Priory Federation of Academies Trust seeks to recruit two new board members both to build upon existing progress and further develop the trust. Whilst one of the non-executive directors will have general business skills, the other will possess financial acumen in order to chair the finance sub-committee. Board meetings are held at The Priory City of Lincoln Academy, close to Lincoln city centre.
About the trust
The trust has approximately 7,000 pupils and around 1,000 employees across nine academies in Lincolnshire, and one in Leicestershire. The trust attributes its growth and development to a consistent, collaborative approach throughout its academies.
The Priory Federation of Academies Trust was formed in 2008; the Local Authority and the Department for Education invited the trust to unite three academies. In 2010, the trust was expanded further by adding two secondary schools in Grantham. In 2012, the trust opened a sixth-form boarding house on the campus of one of its existing academies. In 2015, the trust opened the Keyworth Centre, which is the focal point for the training programme that incorporates apprenticeship training, post-16 vocational programmes, a Teaching School and SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training). In 2017-18, the trust experienced further growth with the addition of five schools.
At present, the trust consists of 10 academies, comprising five secondary academies, four primary academies and one all-through academy, which caters for students from the age of two to 18. A primary academy and a special needs academy are set to join the trust in the near future. The growth experienced since 2008 is set to continue as the trust anticipates expansion to approximately 15 academies over the next three years.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Mitigating the impact of financial and budgetary challenges. However, it is worth noting that the trust still has a comfortable reserve, having spent some of this recently to improve the overall assets and provision. Priory Federation of Academies trust is not currently facing the challenges experienced by some trusts and it wishes to maintain this strong and prudent approach.
- Maintaining and building pupil numbers in key areas, particularly where competitor academies are sponsored and the trust is working to turn around legacy perceptions of local families.
- Continuing to recruit high-quality staff to deliver positive outcomes.
Trust ethos & values
The trust’s mission is to improve the life chances of its pupils so they become true citizens of the world and develop core values of wisdom, curiosity, generosity, courage and passion.
Within the trust, there is a responsibility for everyone to work collaboratively to achieve the mission. The trust places emphasis on supporting others throughout the trust, at an individual level and at an academy level. As individuals, departments or academies gain in strength, expertise and capacity, they earn the responsibility to support others.
Further information on the trust’s ethos and values can be found on the website: https://www.prioryacademies.co.uk/values
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, either through its Articles of Association or Scheme of Delegated Authority. 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.
Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
The competencies required for this role include:
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- IT/ Technology
- Real estate/ Property
Experience at non-executive director level is required in order to oversee strategic vision, educational performance, governance and compliance. Adherence to the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.
The trust board meets four times per year and meetings are held on Monday evenings at 17:00 and run for up to two hours. It is likely that the successful candidate will be invited to join a sub-committee. Sub-committees meet four to five times per year, although days may vary according the sub-committee membership. Trustees will be expected to commit to some routine training and overall may be required to commit to an average of around four to five hours per month, including preparation and follow-up for meetings.
Role 2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director (to chair the Finance Sub-committee)
The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO/ Finance
- Growth Management
- Change Management
- CEO/ General Management
- Corporate Governance
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 [finance] sub-committee meetings effectively
This individual must have sufficient skills and experience to guide the board and its constituent academies on overall [finance] operations, policies and programmes.
The trust seeks a qualified accountant capable of offering scrutiny and challenge to the Chief Finance Officer and the rest of the executive leadership team. The trustees on the Finance Committee have oversight of the trust's accounting processes and major spending decisions. The appointee will possess demonstrable experience of financial management. Adherence to the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.
The trust board meets four times per year and meetings are held on Monday evenings at 17:00 and run for up to two hours. The successful candidate will be asked to chair the finance sub-committee which meets additionally four to five times per year. As the new chair, you will be able to work with your committee to determine a suitable time slot for meetings. All trustees will be expected to commit to some routine training and overall may be required to commit to an average of around four to five hours per month, including preparation and follow-up for meetings.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at The Priory City of Lincoln Academy, Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln, LN6 0EP.
Trust website: https://www.prioryacademies.co.uk
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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, 22nd February 2019.