Non-Executive Director X 2

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 2
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Bedford
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Sharnbrook Academy Federation
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 08, 2019 15:24

Job Description

Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF)


Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF) offers two non-executive directors the opportunity to help support the expansion of a high performing multi-academy trust in the Bedford area. The trust is community focused and insists on achieving the highest standards for the children of Bedford and the outlying regions. The trust now seeks one non-executive director to chair the Finance Committee and a second non-executive director who will strengthen the trust’s risk expertise. SAF encourages candidates with senior finance skills to apply. Board meetings are held in Bedford.


About the trust

Sharnbrook Education Federation (SAF) is based in north Bedfordshire and began in 2011 and has since evolved into a multi-academy trust (MAT) with five schools and has an appetite for further growth. The trust consists of two secondary schools and two primary schools all rated Good by Ofsted and a newly-opened primary school not yet rated.


The SAF board has four committees: Finance; Risk and Audit; HR and Pay; and School Improvement & Workforce Development. Articles of Association and financial statements can be found here:


Plans for the future

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

  1. Finances
  2. Improving standards
  3. Risk management


Over the next five years, SAF aim to continually improve standards for young people, consolidate standardisation of practice in their existing schools and to secure the long term sustainability of the MAT.


Trust ethos & values

SAF exists to provide an outstanding education for all students, putting their progress at the heart of everything they do. That means that they will always pursue excellence and shall focus upon achieving outstanding results by: ensuring that the curriculum offered is wholly focused upon the needs and requirements of students; measuring student progress and achievement so that their learning experience may be adapted to their needs; making available high quality support to staff so that they deliver good and outstanding lessons for students.


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.



In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.


Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.


The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:


The strategic expertise required for this role includes:



Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • CEO/General Management
  • Risk
  • Growth Management



  • Chair
  • Change Management


Chair of Finance: the trust seeks applicants who have clear experience of managing substantial budgets, preferably with relevant professional qualifications.


Risk: the trust would welcome applicants who have clear experience of managing substantial risks across multiple sites, preferably with relevant professional qualifications..


Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Great Ouse Primary Academy, Seaforth Gardens, Bedford, MK40 4TJ although there are plans to meet in each of the academies in rotation; meetings are at 5pm.

For more information on the trust, please visit their website:


Governance structure

For more information in regard to the trust’s 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 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.


“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 (2019)


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: Friday 23rd August 2019

Interview dates: Monday 2nd September 2019