Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Nottinghamshire
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Archway Learning Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: March 25, 2019 11:40

Job Description

Archway Learning Trust

Archway Learning Trust seeks up to three new non-executive directors to join its board. Archway grew out of Bluecoat Academy, providing a Christian education to children in Nottingham since 1706.  Not all of its academies belong to the Church of England and designated as ‘faith schools’ and the Trust plans to grow with both faith and non-faith schools over time. The Trust currently serves around 4,700 students many of which come from backgrounds of deprivation and some of them from among the most challenging areas in the city. Board meetings are held in the Nottingham area. Applicants of all faiths or of no faith are welcomed.

About the Trust

Archway prides itself on its diversity and the quality of the education provided, while remaining highly inclusive and with very low exclusion rates. The trust has a proven model for school improvement, having taken Bluecoat Beechdale Academy from ‘special measures’ to ‘good’ in three years, as rated by OFSTED. In 2018 its Wollaton Park site achieved Ofsted ‘outstanding’.

It is expected that the Trust’s secondary provision will grow to around nine or ten secondary schools and its primary family grows from our current one to another four or five over the next three to five years. The trust is currently in the latter stages of exploring the potential for a small trust (one secondary and one primary) to join Archway; these academies are experiencing some significant challenges. In addition. The Trust is awaiting the outcome of an application to open a brand new secondary Free School.  The Trust is also a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider, working with a number of partner schools in both secondary and primary phases, as part of the Trust’s commitment to work collaboratively and help provide the next generation of great teachers. 

The Trust currently consists of Bluecoat Aspley Academy: 11-19 years; Bluecoat Beechdale Academy: 11-16 years; Bluecoat Wollaton Academy: 11-16 years; Bluecoat Primary Academy: 3-11 years; Nottingham Emmanuel Academy: 11-19; Bluecoat SCITT.


Plans for the Future

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

  1. Strengthening the Board of Trustees to achieve clarity of strategic vision and more effective scrutiny of activity across the trust.
  2. Sustainably building resources in central educational and support teams to facilitate further expansion, without putting at risk improvements already secured in the trust’s academies.
  3. Improving the trust’s offer to primaries to achieve the strategic vision of a trust balanced across primary and secondary phases.


The trust wants to grow to be a large enough ‘family’ across primary and secondary phases that economies of scale can be achieved and to remain small enough to focus on the local communities so that genuine school to school improvement can take place.

Trust ethos & values

Archway Learning Trust is passionately committed to raising aspirations and improving the life chances of young people in and around the Nottingham and West Lincolnshire. The trust believes in the transformational power of education for each individual.

The Trust’s vision is: "Working together.  Transforming lives".

For further information, visit -


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  3

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.

Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

Archway has been approved to grow further by the Regional Schools Commissioner and has the blessing of the Diocese to develop the MAT with a mix of church and non-church academies. There are no faith-based criteria for trustees in the Archway MAT and they welcome interest from people of all faiths or none.


Roles 1, 2 and 3 - The competencies required for this role are listed below. Applications are invited from people with one or more of the essential and/or those listed as desirable:

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

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Growth /Change Management
  • Legal/HR/Compliance
  • Branding/ Marketing
  • CEO/General Management
  • Change Management


  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic
  • Turnaround / Restructuring
  • Non-executive Director/Trustee
  • Risk
  • Real estate/Property

Person specification

The Archway Board is at an interesting stage and is looking to broaden its skill profile with executives from business with experience in one or more of the following areas. 

Role 1: The trust seeks an individual with experience in financial oversight/management, analysis, planning for medium/large organisations. Experience of mergers and acquisitions would be helpful including aspects of due diligence, risk management.

Role 2: Experience in communications, marketing, corporate identity, outreach etc to further the Trust's contact and engagement with stakeholders and potential partners.

Role 3: Experience in improving organisations (possibly through turnaround or restructure) including change management.


Time commitment

The board currently meets 5 times a year (Oct, Dec, Mar, May, Jul), normally around  5.00pm for up to 2 hours each time. The board also has recently developed a sub- committee structure which oversees Finance and Curriculum & Standards. Trustees may be invited to contribute to a sub-committee depending on their skillset. These groups meet 4 or 5 times a year, usually late afternoon or early evening and last up to 90 minutes.  There is a structured programme of induction and a training plan to help all trustees fulfil their roles.  In total trustees are likely need to commit (on average) 4-6 hours per month which would include reading time for meeting preparation with slightly more time at the outset to include the induction.



Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Bluecoat Aspley Academy, Aspley Lane, Nottingham, NG8 5GY.


Governance Structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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 26th April 2019