Non-Executive Director - ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust (ACE MAT)
SOUTH WEST ENGLAND | PLYMOUTH/ LAUNCESTON/ TIVERTON
Branding/Marketing | CEO/ General Management | CFO/Financial | Change Management | Corporate Governance | Education Leadership | Human Resources | Legal/Compliance | Risk
Deadline date: 12th June 2020
ACE MAT was established in 2016 and oversees the provision of alternative and special education provision in sites located between Launceston, Tiverton and Plymouth. The trust has been through a challenging year and is now in the process of re-launching with a new CEO in place. The board seeks five additional non-executive directors/trustees to help drive forward a new strategy and hold the executive to account. Board meetings are held at the trust’s Head Office in Plymouth PL6 8LR.
About the trust
ACE MAT incorporates three Academies, ACE Schools Academy; Courtlands Special School and Ace Tiverton. The Trust oversees a combined income of £10.3m; 250 staff and 500 pupils. It operates from an office in Plymouth with 23 staff.
ACE Schools operates a pupil referral unit in Plymouth. It also has a further six operations providing alternative education around Plymouth. An outreach team provides education and support services throughout the community educating pupils at homes or places away from school. IT then operates a base in Exeter (soon to expand to two bases) and has three further bases in Cornwall. ACE Schools has developed a good reputation locally and nationally for its approach and work with challenged pupils. The school’s performance, size and excellent services has projected it to being one of the leading alternative providers of education in the UK. Ace Schools has 380 pupils and 162 staff.
Courtlands Special School is a Plymouth based primary school for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, and other complex needs. The school has circa 85 pupils and 51 staff; but operates from a very challenging building, which was due for replacement prior to it becoming an academy.
ACE Tiverton opened in September 2019 catering for pupils with Education Health and Care Plans, including Autistic Spectrum Condition or Social Emotional and Mental Health. The school has 35 pupils currently (set to rise to just over 70 at full complement) and 14 staff. The premises have been custom converted by Devon County Council in a substantial £4.5m refurbishment project.
The MAT also have expressions of interest lodged for four further schools planned to open over the next three years.
Plans for the future
The long-term goals for ACE MAT is to provide the best possible education for pupils needing alternative education in the South-West and readying them for further education or a career. Recognising the fundamental importance of all staff, the MAT looks to provide the best development and infrastructure.
The trust have recently launched their new strategy: “Transforming Futures Changing Lives”. This sets a new way for the trust, a new direction, learning from the past but with a very different determination and direction of travel. This is based on the conviction that the staff are experts in trauma informed practice and can make the connection with the difficult young people who need our specialist help.
There are three main priorities in the strategy:
- A new robust governance system with greater involvement of local teams and communities
- Continued growth using outreach services and expanding our wrap provision;
- Improved streamlined back office functions that support frontline staff
The trust know that if they can get this right, then ACE MAT can make a difference for a range of people: not just for the students, but their parents and families; their communities. In addition, the trust will be a better place to work, with better communications, easier to manage systems, greater support and better relationships.
Trust ethos & values
ACE MAT focuses on students’ needs and stands for excellence in education, uncompromising professionalism and solution-focused support.
Number of positions advertised: 5
Role 1-5– Trustee/Non-Executive Director
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 leadership group to account for the educational, safeguarding 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.
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
The strategic expertise required for these roles includes:
- Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- CFO/Finance/Qualified Accountant OR
- Educational Leadership OR
- Supporting SEND/Disadvantaged Pupils OR
- HR/Organisation Development OR
- CEO/Executive Management
- Company/Charity Governance
- Change/Growth/Risk Management
- Regulatory Compliance
Trustees need to prepare for and attend at least 2 two hours meetings every term. It is important that you can also find time to visit our schools. We offer support, training, and a bespoke induction programme.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at the trust’s Head Office, Unit 3 Ensign House, Parkway Court, Longbridge Road, Plymouth PL6 8LR. We are aiming to offer more meetings virtually as well.
Trust website: http://www.acemat.uk/
For more information about the current board, please go to: http://www.acemat.uk/the-trust/governance/the-board/
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 832 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.
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 [email protected]. 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.
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.