Non-Executive Director X 2

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 2
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Darlington
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: St Aidan’s Church of England Academy
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 24, 2019 09:52

Job Description

St Aidan’s Church of England Academy


St Aidan's Church of England Academy seeks two non-executive directors (trustees) to join its board, bringing demonstrable skills in the areas of finance, change and growth management. The trust is a single academy in a highly deprived area of Darlington. Board meetings are held at St Aidan's Academy, Darlington, DL1 1LL. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.


About the trust

St Aidan's Academy is a single academy trust, consisting of approximately 500 students and growing, in a highly deprived area of Darlington. The academy is a Church of England secondary school and is sponsored jointly by the Crosslands Group and the Diocese of Durham. In recent years the trust has seen continued school improvement and has moved from the Ofsted Category of ‘Serious Weakness’ to ‘Requires Improvement’. A recent Section 48 inspection rated the Academy moving towards ‘Good’ in all aspects.


Plans for the future

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

  1. To continue to improve standards through the development of the leadership team in order to provide the best possible educational outcomes;
  2. To maintain standards and attendance by delivering consistently good and outstanding learning experiences;
  3. To continue to remain financially stable and resilient

Trust ethos & values

The trust promotes care, respect and responsibility and expects high standards in all aspects of academy life. As a Church of England academy, St. Aidan’s aims to build a community clearly based on the Christian values of love, forgiveness and reconciliation, integrity and the unique value of each individual. The trust aims to build self-esteem, and raise student aspirations. Mutual respect and trust are central within the academy.




Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Trustee/Non-Executive Director X 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.


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.


Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:


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

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Audit
  • Change Management
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Growth Management
  • Corporate Governance



  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • Growth Management
  • Turnaround
  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


Role 1: The ideal candidate will be an experienced and senior leader with a demonstrable background in finance with prior experience of operating in a medium or large not-for-profit / charitable organisation. With a preference for skills and experience in succession planning, managing business growth and development of financial strategy while working at board level, suitable candidates may have held positions in a non-profit making, commercial, retail or industry setting, demonstrating evidence of growing a business, chain of businesses or franchises, as well as experience of head office or organisational development, including driving business efficiency in central services.

Role 2: The trust seeks individuals who will bring demonstrable experience into their management and individuals that show an ability to guide the leadership team in improving the life chances for their students are desired. Experience of working in a non-profit or charity environment is advantageous.


Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).



Location of board meetings and trust website

St Aidan's Academy, Darlington, DL1 1LL.


Trust website:


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.


“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 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: 1st November 2019