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Role

Non-executive director x3

Job Title: Non-executive director x3
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Unknown
Industry:
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Levels Academy Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email: academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org
Job Published: August 02, 2018 13:34

Job Description

The Levels Academy Trust seeks three non-executive directors with experience of one of the following: legal, HR or change management to support plans to improve financial stability and expand. The trust consists of 75% of schools rated Good by Ofsted. Board meetings are held in Langport.

 

About the trust

The Levels Academy Trust initially formed in 2011 as the Huish Community Education Trust to facilitate co-operation between the four schools centred around Langport – Huish Episcopi Primary, Hambridge Primary, and the federated Middlezoy Primary and Othery Village School. The schools all converted to academies in April 2015, and the trust was renamed to reflect it becoming a small multi-academy trust (MAT). All four primary schools feed into the Huish Episcopi Secondary Academy, also in Langport.

 

Following recent inspections, Middlezoy Primary School is rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted, while all three other schools are rated Good by Ofsted. The trust experiences a proportion of deprivation among pupils with Middlezoy Primary School as the highest percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals at 17%. The four primary schools range in size from approximately 50 pupils, at Middlezoy and Othery respectively, up to approximately 120 at Huish Primary. Hambridge also has a nursery attached, and this September a new pre-school provision will start at the Othery site.

 

Plans for the Future

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

  1. The trust’s greatest challenge is to grow the MAT. In today's political and economic climate, the drive for academy conversion appears to have significantly slowed, so they find themselves with a pool of potential candidate schools who are currently not feeling any urgency to convert themselves.
  2. The trust is eager to improve financial stability. Their smaller schools have a constant struggle to avoid setting deficit budgets. They are constantly faced with trying to improve standards and outcomes for pupils while deploying staff in the most efficient manner possible. In time, employing new members of staff across the trust should facilitate this.
  3. Review of Governance to introduce additional Non-executive directors/Trustees, to ensure a more objective MAT-focused perspective. Establishing a clear scheme of delegation and terms of reference for the original governing bodies is a work in progress. Succession planning to replace the current Chair.

 

The Level’s Academy Trust has recently appointed a new business manager who will ultimately take over responsibility for both finance and operations. This should enable them to focus more on preparing bids for other sources of funding and exploring opportunities for expanding the trust.

 

Trust Ethos & Values

Children are at the heart of everything The Levels Academy Trust does and they strive to inspire learners and change their lives, as a result of their vibrant and personalised educational provision. The trust want each child to discover the skills, abilities, talents and interests that lie within them.

For more information on the trust’s mission, please see: https://levelsacademytrust.co.uk/mission-aims/

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:

3

Candidates are welcome to express an interest in the Chair role as the Trust is currently succession planning as the current Chairs office comes to an end.

 

 

 

Roles 1-3 – 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.

 

Role 1 – The competencies required for these roles include:

 

Essential

  • CFO/ Finance

Desirable

  • Chair
  • Growth Management
  • HR
  • Risk

 


Person Specification

Finance: The trust is eager to appoint a non-executive director with specific financial expertise or experience on the finance side of school governance. Ideal candidates will have previous MAT board experience. This role might suit a candidate with some free time during school hours to liaise with trust finance staff – however, this is not essential.

 

Time Commitment

8 hours per month (minimum)

 

 

Role 2 – The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

  • HR

Desirable

  • Chair
  • CFO/Finance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Risk

 

Person Specification

HR: The trust seeks a candidate with experience of HR management in commercial organisations or public bodies to fill the role of non-executive director. Candidates must have an up to date knowledge of HR legislation. While not essential, candidates with previous MAT board experience are preferred.

 

Time Commitment

8 hours per month (minimum)

 

 

Role 3 – The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive/ Trustee

Desirable

  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Risk

 

 

Person Specification

Growth Management: the trust is in need of more non-executive directors/trustees on their board. They seek a candidate with previous experience in a similar role, such as corporate governance, to aid plans to expand and develop the MAT.

 

Time Commitment

8 hours per month (minimum)

 

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Trust office at Huish Episcopi Primary

For more information on the trust, please see their website at: https://levelsacademytrust.co.uk

 

Governance Structure

For more information in regard to the trust’s governance structure, please see: https://levelsacademytrust.co.uk/trust-structure/

 

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 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. 

 

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: September 11th 2018