Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Watford
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Westfield Academy
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: February 22, 2019 10:48

Job Description

Westfield Academy

Westfield Academy is a single academy trust that seeks two new trustees/non-executive directors and a Member to help strengthen the governance of trust. Westfield is recognised locally as a trust that always goes the extra mile for its students. It prides itself as an integral part of the local community. The trust looks to welcome new ideas from future trustees. Board meetings are held in Watford.

About the trust

Westfield Academy is a non-selective community school that converted to an academy in September 2013. A few months prior, Ofsted had judged Westfield Academy Good in all areas and did so again in 2016. Exams results for students are consistently the highest for a non-selective school in the Watford and Hemel Hempstead area, with students making at least Good progress.

At Westfield Academy, one size does not fit all. The trust celebrates the individual differences of its students. This is reflected in the school’s curriculum where subjects range from Further Mathematics and Latin, to Hair and Beauty, Horticulture and Construction, depending on the requirements of the student.

The school’s sixth form offers a choice to students between the academic A-Level program, taking on a BTEC or joining one of the school’s ‘Academies’. There are two Academies, one for Hair and Beauty and one for Football. The Football course is a joint venture with Watford FC and has proven to be both popular and successful among the students in the school.


Plans for the future

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

  1. Financial Stability: To satisfy the requirements of the Education Skills Funding Agency's (ESFA) Financial Notice to Improve (FNTI). Refer to the annual financial report for August 2018 and the ESFA report and FNTI.
  2. Governance: To broaden the expertise of the trust body with non-executive trustees who are committed to an inclusive education.
  3. Partnership: To improve the partnership with the senior team and supporting its own evolution to meet changing needs.
  4. Increasing student numbers: Westfield Academy's new premises are built for c.1600 students – the trust currently has c.1000.
  5. Sixth form: The sixth form is seen as a priority for the trust over the next few years as overall outcomes are currently judged as Requires Improvement.


Trust ethos & values

The trust’s motto is “believe, strive, achieve”. It highlights the qualities that Westfield Academy believe all young people need to thrive in the modern world. The school itself is a purposeful focused environment where every child gets the opportunity to succeed.


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.

The Non-executive directors will be responsible for ensuring good governance through acting as critical friends to the senior leadership team. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

Person specification

Until the Independent Review of Financial Management and Governance at Westfield Academy is delivered and accepted by the ESFA, it is not possible to say exactly what the long term requirements of any new Trustees will be. However, the trust is accepting applications from candidates with a strong understanding of governance. They will be expected to hold executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the trust. They will be responsible for setting the trust’s vision and values and the strategy for achieving this vision.

As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, successful applicants will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information.

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
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Remuneration Committee Chair


  • Change Management
  • CEO/General Management
  • HR
  • Restructuring
  • IT

Time commitment

In the first year this is likely to be 10-12 hours per month minimum reducing to 6 hours a month in future years.

Role 3 – Member

Members are the equivalent of the shareholders in a company. 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.

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.

The competencies required for this role therefore include:

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

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • HR


  • Risk
  • Change Management

Time Commitment

Members only meet once a year so the commitment is likely to be 6 hours a year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 6NS.

For more information on the trust, please see:

Governance structure

For more information, 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.

“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: 2nd April 2019