Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Swindon
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Grove Learning Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: November 25, 2019 16:38

Job Description

Grove Learning Trust


Grove Learning Trust is a new multi-academy trust due to open on 1 December 2019 overseeing two small schools in Swindon. The trust will operate with a budget of £2m and employ 70 members of staff whilst providing an education to 460 students. The Board is ambitious about its plans for the trust and is looking to recruit three new non-executive directors to provide oversight and guidance of its establishment and future growth. Board meetings will be held at Southfield Junior School, Swindon.


About the trust

Grove Learning Trust is a new trust, planning to open on 1 December 2019. The trust is at an exciting stage of development as it scopes out its structure and future. The trust will open with two schools: Southfield Junior School and Eastrop Infant School and be providing nursery provision to children from the age of two. The Junior school moved from ‘Requires Improvement’ Ofsted rating to ‘Good’ in June 2019.


The trust will operate with a budget of £2 million and employ 70 members of staff whilst providing an education to 460 students. The trust will provide education to a range of pupils with differing backgrounds and needs. Current school figures suggest that 8.5% of the students will be in receipt of Free School Meals and 12% will be in receipt of SEND provision.


Plans for the future

Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:


  1. Establishing the trust - developing executive leadership capacity via the implementation of a new and scalable MAT staffing structure and providing training to support the new CEO and CFOO.  Also, to ensure effective strategic leadership and governance by the MAT board which will be comprised of five trustees/non-executive directors on opening. The Scheme of Delegation has been developed to ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities across the governance structure.
  2. Growth –To develop the trust’s strategy for growth. The trust is located close to the borders of Wiltshire/Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire, all of which feature a lot of schools experiencing rural isolation.
  3. School improvement and financial sustainability - The trust is in the very early stages of development and is working on a collaborative, sharing best practice approach to improve the quality of education and pupil outcomes; aiming to do the very best job in using its resources (human and financial) to build a strong performing MAT in line with its vision and values. In the longer term, the trust plans to market itself in order to benefit from cost savings that can be applied to curriculum projects that influence children's learning and progress.


Trust ethos & values

The primary objectives of the trust are to build upon and extend the existing good practice between the schools in order to support and improve standards across a wider family of schools, through further sharing of best practice and better targeting combined resources. Please see separate document for the MAT’s vision statement.

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)

  • Audit OR
  • CFO/ Finance / Qualified Accountant OR
  • IT/ Technology OR
  • Growth/Change/Risk Management



  • Real estate/ Property
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/ Compliance



Time commitment

1 day per month but there could be additional meetings in the initial set up phase.


Location of board meetings

Southfield Junior School, Shrivenham Road, Swindon, SN6 7BZ.

The new website is currently being developed.


Governance structure

Please see separate document.

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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 focused 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: 10th January 2019