Non-Executive Director X 2

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 2
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Cambridge
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET)
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 24, 2019 16:29

Job Description

Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET)

Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) is an excellent partnership of like-minded schools in South Cambs committed to offering an exceptional learning experience for all pupils and, in turn, preparing them for a successful future. It seeks two non-executive directors to join the board. Board meetings are held at Histon & Impington Junior School with some rotation at the other sites.


About the trust

Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) was formed in 2012 and is comprised of five primary schools: Histon & Impington Junior School, Histon & Impington Infant School, Hatton Park Primary School in Longstanton, Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge and Somersham Primary School (which joined in April 2019).  The schools serve a variety of pupil needs and the trust is committed to providing an inclusive offer across the whole school community. CPET employs 190 staff, has an annual income of £5million (plus other income streams) and will be supporting over 1500 pupils from Sept 2019.


CPET includes a range of primary schools with different strengths and needs, including three 4-11 years’ schools which serve differing communities.  Is newest school in Trumpington was purpose built, opening in 2017 and sits in the centre of a new development.  50% of the families have English as an additional language which brings an even greater richness to the community.  Establishing routines, traditions and expectations are some of the many challenges for this school.  It is an exciting place to be.


The trust’s Infant and Junior schools in Histon & Impington are well established and high performing.  The hope is that within the next year or so, they will convert to 4-11 years’ Primary schools due to the growing population and excellent reputations.


Hatton Park in Longstanton is a sponsored school which has grown from under 150 pupils to over 300 pupils since it joined the Trust.  Children have made great progress and are achieving well.  The community are very supportive, but the school needs continued to support to sustain the high standards being achieved.


The trust’s recent addition (from April 2019) is Somersham Primary School which was judged inadequate in June 2018.  Somersham is also a sponsored school which has great potential to be a high achieving school.  The children, parents and community are very responsive and willing to support the necessary change needed to move the school on.  A new Head of School has been appointed with other staff changes from September 2019.  The trust realises that the quality of teaching and learning needs to be the focus.  Progress is being made.  The buildings and environment also require improvement as they have clearly been neglected over many years.


CPET is proud to have National Teaching School status. Through this status all CPET teachers are given unrivalled opportunities for professional and career development. Collaboration and cross-school working leads to an enriched educational experience for children in CPET schools and beyond.


Executive Principal, Lesley Birch, plays a leading role regionally in the self-improving school led system. She is the East of England representative on the National Teaching Schools Council, seeking to raise attainment across the region.


The trust works in collaboration with a variety of other MATs across the region and through the Teaching School it has very strong networks locally and regionally.


Plans for the future

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

1. Building capacity and excellence in the trust’s staff within available budget allocations.

2. Ensuring the trust’s HR provision is robust and supports a sustainable staffing structure.

3. Agree a considered growth plan which brings new schools into the trust for the benefit of local education provision and standards.


Trust ethos & values

CPET’s vision is to develop a self-sustaining partnership of schools that provides an outstanding education for all their pupils by offering a broad and balanced curriculum whilst remaining embedded in the local community. Its ethos is to build capacity, which enables effective support for teaching and learning and raises standards for schools both within and outside the trust, thus building a community of high achieving schools.  Trustees are committed to enhancing local education for the benefit of the children and the whole community.


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 core functions of their role are:


  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.


The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.


Non-executive directors are 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.


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
  • Legal / Compliance
  • HR
  • Growth Management



  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Real Estate / Property
  • Risk
  • Change Management
  • Restructuring


Role 1: The trust is looking for a professional with a demonstrable record working at director level with experience of delivering effective HR strategy and is well versed in HR policies and employment law.   Experience of supporting HR functions within an organisational restructure would be desirable. Working as an effective team member, the successful candidate will have skills and experience in corporate governance and bring depth of knowledge, scrutiny/critical challenge to the board.

Role 2: The trust is looking for a professional with a demonstrable record working at director level with considerable experience in the finance/audit sector to provide support and ensure that efficient and effective financial controls and audit processes are maintained within the trust. The individual should have experience in the analysis/scrutiny of financial information and have the ability to provide financial guidance on the implications of growth plans and schools joining the trust.


Time commitment

Up to 6 hours (on average) per month (minimum). There are five board meetings per year held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.  There is an expectation to join the financial and property or HR committee which meet 4 times a year.  There will be additional focus afternoons with Members, Trustees, School Advisory Bodies as well as staff, parents, pupils and the local school community.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Histon & Impington Junior School, The Green, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9JA


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 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: 30th August 2019


Interviews:  Mid-September 2019