Non-Executive Director X 4

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 4
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Doncaster
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Empowering Minds Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: February 22, 2019 14:30

Job Description

Empowering Minds Academy Trust

Empowering Minds Academy Trust seeks two new non-executive directors and two new members to join its board. This is a family of schools where every child/young person receives the best possible education through the sharing of best practice and world-class professional development opportunities for staff. The trust has the highest of expectations, promoting excellence and personal achievement. Board meetings are rotated around the various academies: all are in the Doncaster area.

About the trust

Empowering Minds Academy Trust stems from a federation between Southfield Primary and Bessacarr Primary which shared a close working relationship. The executive headteacher is a Local Leader of Education and through her links with Tranmoor Primary and Highwoods Primary encouraged the four schools to join together to provide strength and improvement for the children in their care. Ofsted have rated Southfield, Bessacarr and Tranmoor as ‘good’.  At the last inspection (two years ago) Highwoods was rated as ‘requires improvement’; since then the team have worked effectively and Highwoods now has some of the strong children’s progress data across the trust.  Consequently, the trust is optimistic for the future and is actively looking at similar like-minded schools to potentially join the trust.  Levels of deprivation in the areas covered by the trust vary from very deprived to average.

Academies within the trust follow an established nurturing ethos, rooted in the ‘Thrive approach’, facilitated by trained staff to identify and support pupils with any emotional, social or behavioral needs and enhances overall well-being. The trust values and embraces each school’s uniqueness and the community it serves, whilst seeking to learn from and share with each other so that it spreads excellence effectively.


Plans for the future

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

  1. To sustain and build upon the improving outcomes for pupils.
  2. To further improve financial stability, specifically building up reserves to ensure sustainability of the trust.
  3. To grow the trust strategically and developing leaders with collaborative skills which benefit more than just one school.


Trust ethos & values

Empowering Minds Trust is a growing child-centered multi-academy trust where challenge, collaboration, inclusivity and support is at the heart of the trust ethos. It intends to develop the children it teaches to be independent, strong, empowered individuals who fully understand their place in the world.


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 4

Roles 1 and 2 – 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.

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.


Person specification

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)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • CEO/General Management
  • Branding/Marketing


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
  • Entrepreneur/Founder

Role 1: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong background in finance, to support it through a period of change and financial pressure, as it seeks to grow. It is desirable that the individual has experience of dealing with operational challenges and managing a budget of at least £6-8 million.

Role 2 spec: There are skills gaps within the board for someone with PR and/or marketing experience. This individual should possess a strong, general management skill set, demonstrated through experience in running an organisation of significant size, with responsibility for sizeable budgets and workforce.

Time commitment

The Board meets once each term (3 times a year) and is in the process of creating sub-committees, the first of which will be to oversee finance.  This sub-committee is also expected to meet three times a year and specific trustees will be invited to work with this group.  The meetings are held on a rota basis in each of the schools to allow trustees to see some of the work of each school.  Meetings generally start at 4.30p.m. and run for up to 2 hours each. Including preparation for meetings, occasional training etc, trustees will need to allocate around 4-6 hours per month (on average) for trust business.  


Roles 3 and 4 – Member

A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Empowering Minds Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend up to three meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.


Person specification

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)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic

These individuals should be good communicators, committed to attending members’ meetings. The ideal candidates will be individuals with good business acumen. The trust welcomes applicants with a keen interest in using their valued skills and expertise to develop the multi-academy trust board and improve education for children in the area.

Time commitment

Members are invited to oversee trust meetings (see above). Normally members will need to commit 2-4 hours per month to the trust.


Location of board meetings and trust website

The meetings are held on a rota basis in each of the schools to allow trustees to see some of the work of each school.  All schools are in the Doncaster area (three in Bessacarr/Armthorpe areas and one in Mexborough) 

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.

“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: Friday 5th April 2019

Interviews:    TBA