Non-Executive Director x 5

Job Title: Non-Executive Director x 5
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Plymouth
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust Oct 2019
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: November 05, 2019 14:28

Job Description

ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust


ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust was established in 2016 and oversees the provision of alternative and special education provision in sites located between Launceston, Tiverton and Plymouth. The board has initiated a programme of change and seeks new non-executive directors to hold executives to account for delivery of its strategy and to support succession planning for the board chair and vice-chair. Board meetings are held at the trust’s Head Office in Plymouth.


Trust Ethos & Values

Ace Schools Partnership focusing on their pupils needs, stand for excellence in education, uncompromising professionalism and solution-focused support.


About the Trust

Ace Multi Academy Trust incorporates three Academies, ACE Schools Academy; Courtlands Special School and Ace Tiverton. The Trust oversees a combined income of £10.3m; 250 staff and 500 pupils. It operates from an office in Plymouth with 23 staff.


ACE Schools operates a pupil referral unit in Plymouth.  It also has a further six operations providing alternative education around Plymouth. An outreach team provides education and support services throughout the community educating pupils at homes or places away from school. IT then operates a base in Exeter (soon to expand to two bases) and has three further bases in Cornwall.  ACE Schools has developed a good reputation locally and nationally for its approach and work with challenged pupils. The school’s performance, size and excellent services has projected it to being one of the leading alternative providers of education in the UK.  Ace Schools has 380 pupils and 162 staff.


Courtlands Special School, is a Plymouth based primary school for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, and other complex needs.  The school has circa 85 pupils and 51 staff; but operates from a very challenging building which was due for replacement prior to it becoming an academy.


ACE Tiverton opened in September 2019 catering for pupils with Education Health and Care Plans, including Autistic Spectrum Condition or Social Emotional and Mental Health. The school has 35 pupils currently (set to rise to just over 70 at full complement) and 14 staff. The premises have been custom converted by Devon County Council in a substantial £4.5m refurbishment project.


The MAT also have expressions of interest lodged for four further schools planned to open over the next three years.


Plans for the Future

The long-term goals for ACE schools MAT are to provide the best possible education for pupils needing alternative education in the South-West and readying them for further education or a career.  Recognising the fundamental importance of all staff, the MAT looks to provide the best development and infrastructure.


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


  1. To ensure pupils receive the best education striving to move good Ofsted ratings to outstanding.
  2. To plan and manage radical improvement for the school sites (other than Tiverton). The capital budget and imaginative funding and provision arrangements need to be scoped and planned.



Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 5

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 leadership group to account for the educational, safeguarding 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.


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 these roles includes:


Role 1 - 5 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director (NED)


The competencies required for these roles include:



At least one of the following:

  • CFO/Financial Management
  • Audit
  • Estate Management/Facilities
  • Corp. Communications/PR/Marketing
  • IT/Technology

Interest from 2 NEDs to become either:

  • Board Chair or Vice-Chair


  • Non-Executive Director
  • Change/Growth Management
  • Local Authority Management
  • Professional networks in the South West
  • Working collegiately and collaboratively





Time commitment

Circa 1 -1.5 days per month minimum (including school visits).



Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at the trust’s Head Office, Unit 3 Ensign House, Parkway Court, Longbridge Road, Plymouth PL6 8LR


Trust website: The websites are currently being overhauled and are out of date.


Governance Structure

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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. 


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: 30 November 2019