Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Sunderland
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Oak Learning Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 08, 2019 16:19

Job Description

Oak Learning Trust


Oak Learning Trust is seeking three new board members with demonstrable skills and experience in finance, branding or change and growth management. Board meetings are held at multiple



About the trust

Oak Learning Trust is an ambitious multi-academy trust situated in Washington, Tyne & Wear, currently comprising two primary schools.


The trust is passionate about children’s education and personal development and has the highest aspirations for everyone in the trust. The trust believes learning should be fun and engagement and should equip its children with the skills, knowledge and personal attributes that they need to achieve their ambitions.


OLT is committed to collaborative working and has strong relationships with local schools, the Local Authority and its local universities.

The Trust Board and senior Leadership team at Oak Learning Trust are passionate about ensuring that all children in schools within the Trust receive the best possible education to allow them to reach their full potential in all areas of their lives. Because of this we ensure that all of our schools focus not only on excellent academic achievement for all but that we provide an exciting and enriched curriculum.

One of our schools, George Washington Primary school, was included in the Sunday Times list of the top 250 primary schools in England on 19th November 2017. We are all very proud of this achievement.


Plans for the future

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


  1. Growing and developing the trust board. We seek to recruit trustees to maintain the strength and skills range within our board and enhance our governance for our next stage of growth;
  2. Building the size of the MAT by partnering with new schools which have synergies in terms of cultunre and ethos to join the trust, sharing expertise and working collaboratively;
  3. Managing the financial challenges facing education so that OLT can continue to provide an excellent education for pupils in schools in our trust.


OLT is ambitious to grow by attracting good schools with a similar ethos, to develop its existing schools by sharing resources and good practice. The trust is also keen to sponsor schools in challenging circumstances to help them improve.


Trust ethos & values

OLT is passionate about children’s education and personal development. It possesses a belief that learning should be ‘fun and engaging and should equip our children with the skills, knowledge and

personal attributes that they need to achieve their ambitions’.


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Roles 1-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.


The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, 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.


In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.


Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.



The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:


The strategic expertise required for this role includes:


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

  • CFO/ Finance AND
  • Non-executive/ Trustee OR
  • Branding/Marketing OR
  • Growth and Change management


  • Corporate Governance
  • HR
  • Risk
  • Legal compliance


Role 1 spec: Finance - The ideal candidate will be an experienced finance professional with a demonstrable background in finance in the private, public or charitable sectors. 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 day to day financial management, 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 spec: Branding/ Marketing- Experience in communications (internal, B2B or B2C), marketing, corporate identity, outreach etc to further the trust's contact and engagement with stakeholders and potential partners.

The board is keen to engage with individuals with professional marketing, media or, communications or PR backgrounds in order to develop a branding strategy both externally and internally.

Role 3 spec: Business growth and change management- The trust seeks an individual with experience in senior general or operational management to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board. In addition, the trust seeks an individual with a proven track record in managing a complex organisation through a period of growth and/or change, as well as experience in handling and managing risk.


Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.



Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at multiple locations in the area of Washington, Tyne and Wear.


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.


“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 focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” 
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2019)


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: 9th August