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Role

Non-Executive Director x 5

  • Location

    Huntingdon

  • Sector:

    Education

  • Contact:

    Academy Ambassadors

  • Contact email:

    academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org

  • Role ref:

    Spring Common Multi Academy Trust

  • Published:

    23 days ago

  • Expiry date:

    26-02-2020

  • Client:

    Academy Ambassadors

The Trustees at Spring Common MAT are seeking five new candidates to join the board and assist with the growth of the trust. The successful candidates will join the trust at an exciting time in its growth with the development of a new free school. They are looking for vice chair of the board, a committee chair, a trustee and two members to help with the trust’s aim to contribute to system leadership for special education in the East region and nationally. The trust is based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. 

About the trust

Spring Common MAT is a small trust with only 2 schools and 195 students. The trust manages a budget of £4 million and employs 120 staff members. Spring Common Academy teaches children from the ages of 3 – 19 with special needs in the Huntington area. The school fosters the growth of PMLD and complex needs pupils, SLD, autism and pupils with medical condition. The Academy was again rated Outstanding, by Ofsted in December 2018. The school aims to create self-confident young people ready to take on the challenges that face them after school, both in the local community and wider world.

Plans for the future

Strategic Plan:

  • Be one of the leading providers for special education in the East region;
  • Contribute to system leadership for special education in the East region and nationally;
  • Prepare pupils for adulthood, help overcome barriers to disadvantage and improve life their life

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

  1. Development of a new 130 placement Special Needs Free School. Also ensuring the agreement of

contracts is fulfilled for the supply of services with a co-located secondary school in a different Trust

(DEMAT).

  1. Growth of trust, adding more special schools or provision whilst maintaining our present outstanding quality of education and provision.
  2. Recruitment and training of additional workforce for trust growth and development. Ensuring

any re-structuring is managed well to maintain values and vision of the trust.

Trust ethos & values

  • Moral purpose
  • Trust and respect
  • Listening
  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Building confidence
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Enabling innovation

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 5

Role 1 - Vice Chair of Board

The vice chair will support the chair who leads the board of non-executive directors, or trustees, managing its business while providing an element of leadership for the organisation as a whole. The role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team, most specifically the CEO. The Chair needs to ensure that the board is able to deal with problems and related proposals professionally, both in terms of the skills of the trustees and the way in which it conducts its business. S/he will have a key role to play in recruiting and inducting new trustees.

The Chair also provides strategic leadership and governance for the trust. They are responsible for the safeguarding and education of pupils, as well as for setting and monitoring performance benchmarks.

It is expected that the vice chair will take on the role of hair in the future

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • Chair
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Growth Management

Desirable

  • CEO/ General Management
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Succession Planning

The successful applicant will have a track record of successful Chair/CEO experience. They will have strong inter-personal skills, with an adaptive approach and strategic mind-set. Additionally,

they will be committed to the trust’s ethos and values. This means having the willingness to devote time and effort to create positive change for pupils.

As vice chair they will work with the finance people and premises committee to compliantly budget and monitor expenditure, in line with legal obligations. They will develop productive and supportive professional relationships with the board and CEO.

 

Time commitment

6-8 hours /month minimum.

 

Role 2 – Committee Chair

Person specification

The trust seeks a committee chair for Finance, People and Premises for the trust. Accountancy and audit skills are required to support the Trust’s Finance Manager, Accountants and audit providers to ensure compliance. The right candidate will have experience as a Finance Director and the skills to provide attention to detail and compliance with ESFA Financial Handbook

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Growth Management

Desirable

  • Audit
  • Change Management
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Risk
  • Qualified Accountant

The successful applicant will have a track record of successful Chair/CEO experience. They will have strong inter-personal skills, with an adaptive approach and strategic mind-set. Additionally,

they will be committed to the trust’s ethos and values. This means having the willingness to devote time and effort to create positive change for pupils.

As Chair, they will compliantly budget and monitor expenditure, in line with legal obligations. They will strategise for asset management and risk management, and will develop productive and supportive professional relationships with the board and CEO.

Finance NEDs 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.

Time commitment

6-8 hours /month minimum.

 

Role 3 – Trustee

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 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.

In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

Person specification

The trustee will support commercial contracts and property development in the best interests of the Trust at a time of growth. They will be able to provide scrutiny and advice to Executive Head, with documents for legal compliance, and advise the Trust board.

The successful trustee will ideally be a partner in a legal team involved with property or estates management. They will have the ability to support scrutiny of legal documents for the Trust in addition to legal services.

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

 

Essential

  • CEO/ General Management
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Real estate/ Property

Desirable

  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Restructuring
  • Risk

 

A partner in a legal team involved with property or estates management.

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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

 

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Roles 4-5 Member

A Member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) Trustees/directors where necessary. Members provide independent oversight into the work of the Board of Trustees in order to ensure appropriate accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Spring Common Academy  Trust the Members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend on average two meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members. An understanding of executive and non-executive trustee boards and the role of an “eyes on, hands off” membership with the ability to communicate effectively with the Board of Directors is essential.

Person specification

Every Member 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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

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)

  • Non-executive Trustee
  • Corporate Governance

Desirable (candidates may have experience in one of the following areas)

  • Higher education
  • Business management
  • Real estate/property
  • Branding/marketing

Time commitment

Two hours/month minimum. SCAT offers an induction to all new members. The members meet once a year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Spring Common Academy, American Lane, PE29 1TQ 

www.springcommon.cambs.sch.uk

Governance structure

https://www.springcommon.cambs.sch.uk/trustees

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 900 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. 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. 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 www.academyambassadors.org.

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, 6th March 2020