Feb 232018

Non-Executive Director x 2, Member - Dormers Wells Learning Trust (DWLT)

North West London and South Central England | Southall | Ealing
CFO/Financial Growth Management Human Resources Legal/Compliance
Deadline date: 9th March 2018

Dormers Wells Learning Trust (DWLT) is a newly formed trust in Southall, Ealing. The trust seeks one members and two non-executive directors to support the trust’s plans to grow in a diverse community with high levels of deprivation. Board meetings are held in Southall, West London.

About the trust

Dormers Wells Learning Trust (DWLT) is a small trust in Southall, Ealing currently made up of two schools: Dormers Wells High School and Dormers Wells Junior School. The trust serves a diverse community where approximately 70% of the school population have learnt English as an additional language (EAL) with over 30 languages spoken across the community, and where approximately one-third of pupils live in areas with high levels of deprivation. The trust also provides for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities with the most common needs being cognitive and learning as well as social and emotional needs. DWLT strives to support all groups of pupils to overcome barriers and achieve success.

DWLT intends to grow in a measured and sustainable manner. Initially, the trust has capacity to support one primary school, and through that will build up the expertise and capacity to support others as that primary improves. DWLT anticipates being able to sponsor a new school approximately every 18 months so that each school can be secure before another school joins (this timescale may reduce as the trust grows and current successful schools join who would boost the pool of expertise and the capacity of the trust). The trust envisages containing approximately six schools by 2020 with all DWLT schools being easily accessible to each other in order to maximise the opportunities for collaboration and support.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Managing the finances of both schools and planning for future growth of the trust.
  2. Recruitment of pupils and teachers.
  3. Developing the strategy and guidance to support the planned growth of the trust.

Trust ethos & values

The Dormers Wells Learning Trust knows that all children can succeed. Every school will have the highest expectations for the wellbeing, progress and achievement of all its learners, reducing the achievement gaps between groups of children and their peers and for improving the performance of each school.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 3

Role 1-2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The Board of Trustees is accountable for the performance of the Trust. The role of the Trustee is to set strategy and hold the Executive Headteacher to account for delivery of that strategy and performance (including compliance).

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)

  • HR OR
  • Legal OR
  • Finance OR
  • Growth management


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • CEO/ General Management
  • IT/ Technology
  • Non-executive/ Trustee Change Management
  • Restructuring
  • Growth management

Person specification

The ideal candidates will have strong strategic or change management background with the ability to provide direction and oversight of the trust’s relationships. Candidates are particularly welcomed with a background in business growth, with an understanding of the risks and challenges facing organisations seeking to grow sustainably. The candidates will also need to commit to the vision, values and objectives of the trust, possess strong communication skills, an ability to evaluate, and develop specific knowledge and understanding of the trust and community.

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Roles 3 – Member

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. At Dormers Wells Learning Trust, the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Chair
  • IT/ Technology


  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • HR
  • IT/ Technology
  • Legal/ Compliance

Person specification

Candidates should have an ability to develop an objective view of the trust’s financial and corporate health and form a strategy to support the long-term vision of the trust.

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website


Board meetings are held at Dormers Wells High School, Dormers Wells Lane, Southall, UB1 3HZ.

Governance Structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 72% of secondary schools and 27% 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.


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 9 March 2018

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