Berkshire Schools Trust (BST)
28 days ago
Berkshire Schools Trust (BST)
Berkshire Schools Trust is made up of three primary schools and seeks three new non-executive directors with either legal, Human Resources or property experience to strengthen its board. There are six board meetings a year, held in Reading. The trust’s core values are to ensure all pupils have an outstanding start to life by supporting pupils to develop as leaders. The trust welcomes applicants of all faiths and none.
About the trust
Berkshire Schools Trust (BST) is a community-led multi-academy trust made up of three primary schools. The trust was formed when St John’s CE Primary provided senior leadership support to a local school, New Town Primary that was struggling. Following a successful collaboration in 2016, New Town Primary was lifted out of Special Measures helping to establish a permanent relationship between schools. The trust’s community and collegiate ethos, with a strong philosophy of relational and whole-child education, has proven attractive to neighbouring schools and New Christ Church Primary joined the trust in May 2018.
BST serves over 950 pupils in Reading and the surrounding area with approximately 150 children enrolled in the schools’ nurseries at St John’s CE Primary and New Town Primary. The schools’ most recent Ofsted inspections judged them Outstanding, Good and Requires Improvement. The trust is looking to grow and is currently in discussions with two other primary schools in the Reading area.
BST is committed to the challenging context of Reading. Working with well-established community connections, the trust has a proven track record of supporting pupils with poor reading, writing and math skills. With a diverse, multi-ethnic intake, the trust tackles issues relating to pupils with English as an additional language. The trust is looking for three new non-executive directors to support its plans for growth and to contribute to its positive work in the local community. By early 2019, BST would like to establish a consistent governance model in order to provide trust-wide training and bespoke support for each school. The trust manages a £7.5m budget.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Recruitment: To improve the recruitment of staff across all levels of the trust, particularly at leadership level, to drive school improvement.
- Growth: To carry out the ‘growth with care’ plan over a period of three to five years to ensure economies of scale are embedded and the trust can deliver its own service level agreement model.
- Financial: To establish a sustainable financial model that maintains strong leadership and highly experienced teachers, as well as one-to-one support for children with special educational needs.
Trust ethos & values
Berkshire Schools Trust is a community-led trust with plans to establish a family of eight to 10 good and outstanding local schools with a shared goal in mind: for its children and staff to be confident, independent, empowered and flourishing whilst remaining relational, rooted and grounded. The trust emblem of a grapevine is reflective of the diversity of the community, welcoming both Church and community schools.
Number of positions advertised:3
Roles 1-3 – 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.
The successful candidates will be experienced business leaders and strategic planners with the ability to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will be team players who can work as part of a skilled volunteer Board to oversee the trust. As the trust looks to expand, experience of growth management is essential, as well as the ability to assess and identify risk. All trustees will be expected to ensure the trust is commercially sustainable and is meeting its financial targets. The trust seeks individuals who are supportive of educational excellence in both a community and church school setting.
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)
- Growth Management
- CEO/ General Management OR
- Real estate/ Property
- CFO/ Finance
- Corporate Governance
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- Succession Planning
Legal: Candidates will be able to assess and advise in areas of legality, risk and compliance and to ensure the organisation complies with its articles; charitable, company and employment law. In this role candidates must apply diplomacy, objectivity, integrity and impartiality when monitoring and evaluating the work and the compliance of the Trust.
HR: The trust seeks an applicant with previous senior-level HR experience. They will have the skills and experience to advise on the trust’s existing recruitment processes, bringing their own ideas and HR expertise.
Real Estate/Property: The ideal candidate for this role will have an understanding of issues regarding land, property assets and the ability to support the strategic and operational development of the property portfolio. With the trust looking to grow, experience of estates/property management across several sites is essential.
6 hours per month minimum.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at BST Head Office, New Town Primary School, School Terrace, Reading, RG1 3LS. Please see: http://www.berkshireschoolstrust.org/
For more information, please see: https://www.berkshireschoolstrust.org/attachments/download.asp?file=4&type=pdf
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 30% 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 775 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 www.academyambassadors.org.
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 11 January 2019