Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Watford
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: January 10, 2019 14:34

Job Description

Herts for Learning Multi Academy


The Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust seeks one Member and two non-executive directors/trustees to join the trust. The trust is in need of support to overcome the challenge of growing from 2,710 pupils in 2018 to 10,000 pupils to achieve greater financial stability. The annual budget is  £13m. Board meetings are held across multiple locations.

About the Trust

The Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust (HfL MAT) currently consists of nine primary schools in Hertfordshire – five in the Watford area, two in Letchworth Garden City, one in Welwyn Garden City and one in Borehamwood. Six primary schools were the first wave of schools to join the trust in September 2017 and a further three primary schools joined in January 2018.

It has been described as a SIP MAT – a school improvement partner multi academy trust – because of the association with the successful founding organisation Herts for Learning Ltd, which is the largest Schools Company in the UK providing school improvement services. Herts for Learning Ltd is the founding sponsor and appoints eight of the 12 trustees.

The trust was established as a cross phase MAT; the CEO has a secondary headship background and is currently in discussion with a number of secondary schools about joining the MAT. The trust would also welcome special schools.

Plans for the Future

Over the next two years, the trust plans to:

  1. Gain sufficient pupil/school numbers to grow to a financially sustainable and educationally effective scale.
  2. Raise attainment and improve the progress made by the overall MAT and each school within the trust.
  3. Develop an effective and responsive central function, bringing services into this aspect as capacity allows and efficiency dictates.

In the long term, the trust plans to sponsor schools requiring significant support, consider mergers with other smaller MATs, develop the ability to open free schools and may create a cluster model with associated staffing structure.

Trust Ethos & Values

The Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust is an inclusive and collaborative trust, bringing likeminded people together to work together, learn together and succeed together. Further details about its approach, vision, aims, objectives and ethos can be found at

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:3

Role 1 and 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.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Property and estate management
  • HR

Person Specification

Candidates should have a strategic vision, ability to think creatively and have good, independent judgement. They should have a desire to create positive change for young people, a commitment to the principles, aims and objectives of the trust and an ability to build productive relationships and ask pertinent questions. Given the scale of the trust and its ambitions to grow and the current skill set of the Board, a trustee with an understanding of marketing or communications, property and estate management or HR experience would be particularly welcome.

Time Commitment

Approx. 26 hours of meetings across the year plus email correspondence, average a minimum of 4 hours/month.

Role 3 – Member

A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend two or three meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance


  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Risk

Person Specification

There is an expectation from the DfE that Members should have skills in corporate governance, finance, legal, HR and education to enable holding the Trustees to account. Current Members are from secondary education, local government, higher education and governance/risk management/QA backgrounds.

Time Commitment

Approximately three meetings per year (two hours) plus email correspondence.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board and Committee meetings rotate across the schools in the trust (five in the Watford area, two in Letchworth Garden City, one in Welwyn Garden City and one in Borehamwood). Member meetings take place either as part of, or alongside, Board meetings or at member employment locations.

Trust website:

Governance Structure

Please see

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 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:  Friday 7th September

Interviews: currently scheduled for 21st September