Non-Executive Director X 4

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 4
Contract Type: Contract
Location: Cornwall
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Duchy Academy Trust x 4
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 04, 2019 09:20

Job Description

The Duchy Academy Trust


The Duchy Academy Trust seeks up to four new trustees/non-executive directors with a broad range of skills, including HR, legal, marketing/PR and/or finance experience, and two Members. Board meetings are held across Lewannick Primary School, Callington Primary School and Boyton Primary School, Launceston, Cornwall.


About the trust

The Duchy Academy Trust was formed as a multi-academy trust (MAT) in 2014 and comprises three primary schools in South East Cornwall. The three schools are Boyton - a small rural primary school of less than 100 pupils; Lewannick - another rural primary school with less than 200 pupils and Callington which is a rural town primary school of about 400 pupils. The trust values the distinct identity of each school, with their variety in size offering strengths and challenges unique to each institution. 


The Duchy Academy Trust is currently undergoing a number of changes. An external governance review was carried out in January and the Board is now focused on streamlining its schemes of delegation and trust-wide policies. There have been various staff changes, most notably the appointment of an executive headteacher who oversees two of the schools.


To steer and manage change the trust seeks skilled and enthusiastic business leaders who are willing to devote their time and expertise to supporting the Board through this phase and will help to set the strategic direction of the trust going forward.


Plans for the future

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

  1. Planning for long-term financial sustainability: as a small MAT, the trust is focused on maintaining its financial viability, balancing increasing costs with sustained pupil intake.
  2. Recruiting and retaining staff: as with all schools and trusts, recruiting and retaining high quality staff members at all levels of the trust is challenging and this requires particular attention in a rural location.
  3. School improvement: The Board recently commissioned an independent review of Lewannick Primary School and as a result they will now oversee a school improvement plan.
  4. Embedding new governance to separate the local governing bodies (LGBs), trustees and Members into three clear layers of governance, ensuring rigorous structures of accountability are in place.



Trust ethos & values


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:

Up to 6


Roles 1-4 – 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.


Candidates for this role are expected to sit on the main board and a sub-committee.


Person specification

As experienced professional or business leaders, 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 duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information with rigour and independence.


Successful applicants will build a strong understanding of governance and will be expected to be comfortable holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the trust. They will be responsible for setting the trust’s vision and values and the strategy for achieving this vision. No education experience is required.


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)

  • General management




  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Branding/Marketing
  • CFO/Finance
  • Succession Planning
  • Risk
  • Remuneration
  • Corporate Governance
  • Qualified Accountant


Finance: The trust seeks an experienced finance professional with expert finance and governance skills, and they should preferably be a qualified accountant who has held a senior role in an organisation either similar in size or larger than The Duchy Academy Trust.


HR: The trust is interested in hearing from candidates who have senior HR experience and an expert understanding of HR policies and/or employment law. Successful candidates will support and provide appropriate challenge on matters of HR, performance management, staff retention and recruitment although they do not provide operational HR leadership or day-to-day functions


Legal/Compliance: The trust is open to meeting candidates from a range of legal backgrounds, such as employment, family law or compliance. The role is not open to current employees of Browne Jacobsen or Bishop Fleming to avoid potential conflicts of interest.


Marketing/PR/Comms: The trust seeks an individual with a senior professional background in marketing/branding, communications or PR. The successful individual will support the development of the trust’s identity, helping to strengthen its reputation in the region.



Time commitment

7-8 hours per month minimum including committee meetings. Meetings are held at 6pm on weekdays. Board members are provided with a calendar of board meetings at the beginning of the academic year in advance of all meetings. Every Summer term an additional budget-setting meeting is held.


Roles 5-6 – Member

Members sit above the trust board and meet only once or twice per year. 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.


Person specification

Members should have a good understanding of the role of governance in public life. This may have been gained in a wide range of senior leadership roles. They are likely to have previous experience in a non-executive director or trustee role. As Members are responsible for receiving the accounts of the trust, a strong financial understanding is important for at least one of the appointees.


The competencies required for this role include:



  • Corporate Governance
  • CFO/Finance



  • Risk
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Succession Planning
  • Change Management
  • Qualified Accountant



Time commitment

0.5 hours per month minimum. Members only meet once or twice per year.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held across Lewannick Primary School, Callington Primary School and Boyton Primary School, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7QG.

Please see:


Governance structure

For more information, please use the following links:


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 855 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: 2nd August 2019