Non-executive director x2

Job Title: Non-executive director x2
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Unknown
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF)
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: September 18, 2018 10:54

Job Description

Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF)


Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF) offers two non-executive directors the opportunity to help support the expansion of a high performing multi-academy trust in the Bedford area. Chair of Audit Committee is included in one role; SAF encourages candidates with senior finance skills to apply. Board meetings are held in Bedford.


About the trust

Sharnbrook Education Federation (SAF) began as a federation of four schools in 2011 and has since evolved into a multi-academy trust (MAT) with five schools and plans for two more to join in the next two years. The trust consists of two secondary schools and two primary schools all rated Good by Ofsted and a newly opened primary school not yet rated.


Bedford schools has recently completed a move from  three-tier (upper, middle and lower) to two-tier (primary and secondary) phase of education. The trust is based in rural North Bedfordshire with all schools experiencing lower than average levels of deprivation and learners of English as an additional language.


The SAF board runs the MAT and has four committees: the Finance Committee; the Risk and Audit Committee; the HR and Pay Committee; and the Education and Learning Committee. The SAF board has delegated some matters to these committees and some matters to individuals but accountability is retained at the board level. Articles of Association and financial statements can be found here:


Plans for the future

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

  1. Finances
  2. Staff recruitment & retention
  3. MAT growth and sustainability


Over the next five years, SAF aim to consolidate standardisation of practice in their existing schools and to secure the long term sustainability of the MAT.


Trust ethos & values

SAF exists to provide an outstanding education for all students, putting their progress at the heart of everything they do. That means that they will always pursue excellence and shall focus upon achieving outstanding results by: ensuring that the curriculum offered is wholly focused upon the needs and requirements of students; regularly measuring student progress and achievement so that their learning experience may be adapted to their needs; making available high quality support to staff so that they deliver good and outstanding lessons for students.


Role summary

Number of positions advertised:



Roles 1-2 – 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 during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and 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
  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Restructuring
  • CEO/General Management
  • Risk
  • Growth Management




  • Chair
  • Change Management
  • Restructuring


Finance: the trust seeks applicants who have clear experience of managing substantial budgets, preferably with relevant professional qualifications.


Risk & Audit Chair: the trust would welcome applicants who have clear experience of managing substantial risk registers across multiple sites, preferably with relevant professional qualifications. In this role, candidates will assume the role of Chair of Audit Committee.


Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Great Ouse Primary Academy, Seaforth Gardens, Bedford, MK40 4TJ.

For more information on the trust, please visit their website:


Governance structure

For more information in regard to the trust’s governance structure, please see:


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 30% 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 775 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:

Thursday 25th October 2018