Non-Executive Director x 2

Job Title: Non-Executive Director x 2
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Northwich
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Sir John Brunner Foundation
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 30, 2019 17:06

Job Description

The Sir John Brunner Foundation

The Sir John Brunner Foundation seeks an individual with extensive and significant management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board. Currently the Foundation comprises Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College (16-19 students), with three good and outstanding high schools working towards joining the Foundation between September 2019 and September 2020. Board meetings are held in the Northwich area.

About the trust

Each school within The Sir John Brunner Foundation shall retain a strong sense of identity, place and purpose with each school contributing to a shared experience of excellence, pride and tradition whilst celebrating its own uniqueness.

The trust aims to value and recognise all aspects of a broad and diverse education which adds to a child’s personal, social, spiritual and creative development.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To shape a geographically close Foundation of Academies with a commitment to children in mid-Cheshire. All academies in the trust will strive to be distinguished in their provision and will aspire to be in the top 25% of institutions nationally.
  2. To develop and embed effective business and support services across the trust which will underpin the smooth running of each academy.
  3. To embed an engaging and dynamic focus on professional development to: establish a sense of belonging and commitment to the trust’s cultural principles, grow and shape new teachers and grow future leaders

In the long term, the trust seeks to explore a primary element.

Trust ethos & values

The shared ambition of The Sir John Brunner Foundation is that every child’s life shall be enhanced and advanced through the highest standards in education and achieving the best results at each key stage and beyond.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

Role– 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 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.

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:


  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management


  • Risk
  • Non-executive/Trustee

The trust seeks an individual with extensive and significant management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board. In particular, the trust seeks individuals with a proven track record and, where possible, a relevant professional qualification, in the field of change or growth management.

Time commitment

6 hours per month.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Sir John Deane's Sixth Form College, Monarch Drive, Northwich, CW9 8AF.

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: 7th September 2019