Feb 052018
 

Embrace Multi Academy Trust - Non-Executive Director

East Midlands and Humber | Leicester
CEO/ General Management CFO/Financial Human Resources Legal/Compliance
Deadline date: 23rd February 2018

Embrace Multi Academy Trust (MAT) seeks two members and three non-executive directors to join its newly forming board.

Discussions around the formation of the trust have been taking place since April 2017. It is now the trust’s intention to form a strong and highly skilled trust board, ahead of September 2018 when all schools linked to the trust are to be integrated as part of the MAT. Board meetings will be held in the Enderby area of Leicester.

About the trust

The trust covers both secondary and primary phases. It will comprise of schools which, prior to conversion, existed as a mixture of maintained and single academy trusts. Embrace is a Church of England majority Multi Academy Trust comprising Church and non-Church schools; it caters for young people of all faiths and of none.

The seven schools within the trust are all within the South Leicestershire area and represent a range of villages/towns which are diverse in their nature. All the towns/villages have areas of deprivation within them, whilst some areas are relatively affluent. The trust is being formed across schools that have a very healthy working and supportive relationship towards each other. The MAT is being set up with the primary aim of supporting school improvement across all of its schools. All schools involved are currently rated by Ofsted as good schools.

There are currently seven schools working towards the formation of Embrace MAT: Arnesby Primary School (3-11yrs); Brockington College, Enderby (secondary) (11-16yrs); Croft Primary School (3-11yrs); Huncote Primary School (4-11yrs); Manorfield Primary School, Stony Stanton (4-11yrs); St Peters’ Primary School, Whetstone (4-11yrs); Sherrier Primary School, Lutterworth (4-11yrs).

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Establishing the trust to be operational with all initial seven schools as of September 2018. Final approvals will be granted shortly, once the board is in place, but this already has the agreement in principle from the Department for Education.
  2. Embedded school improvement work and working partnerships from the date of establishment. Ongoing work prior to the trust’s official launch. Once opened as a MAT, the trust wishes to embed processes for the benefit of all schools. This will lead to improved pupil outcomes, shared services and economies of scale.
  3. Within 24 months, the trust plans to be in a strong position to sponsor schools that are judged by Ofsted to require improvement or are inadequate. By this stage its school improvement work will be very effective and procedures/policies will be embedded.
  4. To expand the number of schools/academies. Initial trust leaders are already in dialogue with other schools, but see it as a priority to bring other secondary schools into the MAT. A further aim is to be recognised for excellence of support for disadvantaged pupils, which leads to outstanding outcomes.

Trust ethos & values

The trust respects the ethos and vision of each individual school. Learning is at the heart of its culture. The trust operates under the principle that its schools are stronger together and that they will support one another.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 5

Roles 1 to 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.

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.

Embace Academies Trust seeks a trustee who will strive to promote an environment which allows all our children to realise their full potential as learners and citizens, as outlined in the Trust vision statement. Establish the overall Trust strategic direction and steer its development Ensure good governance Ensuring the financial probity of the Trust.

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
  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance

Desirable

  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
  • Real Estate/Property

Person specification

  • Role 1 spec: The ideal candidate will have the skills and experience required, in finance/accountancy, to advise on and challenge the trust’s processes, policies and systems. The trust is looking for somebody able to balance risk with intended outcomes and understand the operational principles of best value.
  • Role 2 spec: This individual will have a HR background, ideally in an educational environment. This HR specialist will be equipped with the level of skills and experience that is required contribute to the strategic planning and organisation of the HR requirements of a trust. A professional with experience of managing staffing restructures and issues for financial and operational outcomes, is desired.
  • Role 3 spec: The trust seeks a senior leader with a legal or compliance background to help strengthen the governance of the board. A trustee/non-executive director, ideally with experience of working at board level, holding people to account is desirable, as is an interest in academies. Furthermore, an individual with a demonstrable background working at the highest level within a company – as CEO, or other senior management position – is sought to help in guiding the trust’s strategy development and growth.

Time commitment

The trust Board will meet 5-6 times a year with the potential for some trustees to join sub committees or steering groups if they have additional time. It is expected that these roles will require 4-6 hours per month (on average).

Roles 4 and 5 – 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 Embrace Academies 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:

Essential

  • CFO/ Finance and/or
  • CEO/General Management

Desirable

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Legal/Compliance

Person specification

This individual must be ambitious for the development of MAT and children it serves. They will excel as part a team - providing scrutiny, asking questions and contributing to discussions. This individual will value the importance of confidentiality and integrity. Financial and risk management expertise is desirable; as is a reasonable understanding of the modern English education system.

Time commitment

The members will meet up to three times a year including the Annual General Meeting. It is expected this will require short blocks of time that might total 12-14 hours over the whole year. There may be an opportunity for further involvement for those with more time to give.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

There is no trust website at this time.

Board meetings are held at Brockington College, Blaby Road, Enderby, LE19 4AQ.

Governance Structure

TBC

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.

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: 23rd February 2018.

Interviews: TBC

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