Non-Executive Director x 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director x 3
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Essex
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Burnt Mill Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 26, 2018 14:12

Job Description

Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT)

Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) is a multi-academy trust supporting primary and secondary schools across Essex and East London. They seek three non-executive directors with Risk, HR or Finance experience to add strength and depth to the existing board. Board meetings are held at the STEM Academy in Harlow, Essex.

About the trust

Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) is a group of five primary schools and five secondary schools situated between East London to Stanstead. The trust was established in 2011 with Burnt Mill Academy, rated Ofsted Outstanding, as its original school. The schools are grouped into three hubs – East London, North Essex and West Essex.

The West Essex hub is the largest within BMAT with eight schools, supporting children and young people from nursery to sixth form. The hub’s most recent addition is the new STEM Academy, formerly the Harlow University Technical College. The North Essex hub has two schools including the first brand new school for BMAT which opened in 2016 with pupils now in Reception, Year 1 and 2 and had a new school building open in September 2018. The East London hub is the smallest with one secondary school which joined the trust in January 2018.

The schools within the trust vary in terms of geography, student population and social mobility. Some schools are situated in and around areas of high social deprivation with pupil premium rates as high as 50%.

With the plans to open a new 11-19 school in 2019, the trust is now entering a consolidation phase to ensure all eleven schools become Ofsted rated Outstanding.  

Plans for the future

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

  1. Recruitment: To ensure the recruitment and retention of outstanding staff and leadership and to develop intake of associate staff.
  2. Sustaining School Improvement: With the trust entering a period of consolidation, a key challenge is to ensure all its schools are rated Ofsted Good or Outstanding in their upcoming inspections. The trust also wants to ensure Post 16 provision becomes Outstanding.
  3. Embedding best practice: The Board is focused on ensuring that best practice in educational, financial, operation and risk management is shared and embedded across its schools and within its organizational structure.  

Trust ethos & values

BMAT’s vision is to work together to smash through the barriers that prevent children from becoming confident, high achieving and independent individuals. Please see for more information.

Role summary

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.

Person specification

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. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully affecting change and are openly encouraged to join one of the trust’s three committees, Finance, Standards or Pay. There are likely to be opportunities for the right candidates to take on leadership positions within the Board and its Committees over the medium term as the Board develops its own succession planning.

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)

  • Risk
  • HR
  • Change Management
  • Finance


  • Corporate Governance
  • Chair
  • Legal/Compliance
  • CEO/General Management

Risk: The trust seeks an experienced business leader with a strong track record in risk and change management to support the qualitative and systematic reporting and analysis of risk in a growing organisation.

HR: The successful individual will bring expert knowledge of HR processes, helping the trust to recruit, retain and develop high-calibre staff and leadership. Experience of succession planning is desirable.

Finance: An experienced finance professional with robust finance and governance skills is desirable, preferably an individual who has held a senior role in an organisation similar in size to BMAT. The trust works with a budget of approximately £10 million.

Change management: The trust welcomes interest from individuals with experience of leadership within organizations that have undergone change. The trust has grown rapidly in a relatively short space of time and the Board seeks to add strength to the existing skills and experience of its Directors in delivering strategic leadership in this new phase for the trust. 

Time commitment: 6 hours /month minimum plus committee meetings.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held five times a year at STEM Academy, Velizy Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 3EZ.

Please see

Governance structure

Please see

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 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: 19th November