Non-Executive Director x 4

Job Title: Non-Executive Director x 4
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Sheffield
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Chorus Education Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: October 14, 2019 15:12

Job Description

Chorus Education Trust


Chorus Education Trust seeks to recruit four non-executive directors to the board, which currently oversees three secondary academies and has plans to expand further in the future.  In December last year Westfield School in Sheffield joined the trust and in September this year Hope Valley College joined the trust: both schools were deemed inadequate by Ofsted when then joined.  The trust team are currently working with both schools, sharing skills and experience to build capacity and quality.  Early evidence is encouraging, but clearly there is much more to do. The trust seeks professionals who are keen to work with the trust’s team and make a strong contribution to consolidating the trust’s position and developing the trust into its next phase.  Board meetings are held in the Sheffield area.


About the trust

Chorus Education Trust started as Silverdale Multi-Academy Trust, with Silverdale School at its centre. Silverdale School is based in state-of-the-art buildings in south-west Sheffield.  It is considerably oversubscribed and includes a highly successful sixth form; over 30 languages are spoken across the diverse and rich community.


Chorus Education Trust now served almost three-and-a half-thousand students (some of whom come of areas of disadvantage) and employs over 300 staff.  The annual budget is approximately £20 million.


The trust’s Teaching School - one of the biggest in the country - was designated as one of the first

Teaching Schools in 2012 and sits at the heart of the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance (STSA). It has a large, cross-phase, nationally-recognised School Direct Teacher Training Programme in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University, providing Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and a fully developed programme of professional development for existing teachers.


Plans for the future

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


  1. Consolidating the trust’s position, now that it has three secondary schools. Ensuring each school is stable and growing in line with the trust’s strategic plans.
  2. Building additional capacity and skill in the new board as several new trustees join at the same time.
  3. Further improving the performance of Westfield School and Hope Valley College.
  4. Management of finance and funding.



Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to be highly inclusive and aspirational for its students - with a strong emphasis on outstanding teaching and learning.


 URL to full mission statement


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 4


Roles 1 to 4 – 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 roles 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 (and in accordance with DfE requirements) all new trustees will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.


Person specification

The trust seeks professionals who are keen to share their specialist skills in a broad strategic context to help build further on its strong reputation and further raise standards in the sponsored academies.  This may require some trustees to join working parties (along with fellow trustees and trust staff) to target specific projects, in order to challenge and support the trust’s leaders.


Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life 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
  • CEO/General Management
  • HR
  • IT/technology
  • Risk



  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive director
  • Corporate Governance



The trust seeks pro-active people who will prepare thoroughly for the meetings and are able to contribute to specific projects/working parties as necessary, working closely with other trustees and employees. Senior experience in either the public or business sector is welcomed.


Time commitment

Board meetings are held every half term (= 6 meetings a year) and are held on Thursday evenings starting at 6 pm and run for 2 hours. The trust has two sub-committees (Resources & Finance and Education Standards) to which some trustees are invited to join.  For those with more time available, there will be the opportunity to bring challenge and support to working parties to drive improvements further and help the board understand the day-to-day challenges. 


An induction programme will be devised to meet individual needs but this may be in conjunction with other newly appointed trustees.   It is expected that trustees would need to devote around 8 hours per month minimum which would include reading papers and attending meetings as well as any training and follow-up.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Silverdale School, Bents Crescent, Sheffield, S11 9QH


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 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: Friday 15th November 2019

Interviews:    TBC