Feb 212018
 

Non-Executive Director x 4, Member x 1 - Wandle Learning Trust

South East England and South London | WANDSWORTH

Branding/Marketing CEO/ General Management Corporate Governance Human Resources Legal/Compliance Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 9th March 2018

Wandle Learning Trust is a newly established academy trust in Wandsworth with plans to expand to bring in two new primary schools in the next eighteen months and to have ten schools in the trust within five years. The trust seeks four new non-executive directors and one member to help guide the trust through this exciting phase of development. Board meetings are held in Balham and Battersea.

About the trust

The Wandle Learning Trust was formed on 1st January 2018 and is a collaboration between two Ofsted Outstanding schools: Chestnut Grove Secondary and Chesterton Primary. These two schools and their leaders have worked together successfully for several years, jointly leading a thriving teaching school. The trust believes that the strong partnership between primary and secondary education brings significant advantages not least in understanding pupil development and learning from starting school to leaving school. The schools serve very diverse communities in Wandsworth and pride themselves in getting the best results for all children.

The Chesterton school community is challenging: it is in the top 20% for social deprivation with a third of this group in the top 10%; 59% of pupils are classed as disadvantaged and 87% of pupils have English as a second language. Historically children at Chesterton have made substantial and sustained progress and the trust is determined to build on this success. Typically, pupils join with very low educational attainment but leave the school having achieved well above national average scores. Last year Chesterton’s scores in national tests for 11 year olds were outstanding, 93% of pupils reached expected (or above) levels in all measured subjects (reading, writing and mathematics) compared to 61% nationally. The progress of all children in reading at 11 years was in the top 10% of schools nationally.

Chestnut Grove’s cohort is also mixed with 28% of pupils classed as disadvantaged and therefore the school is entitled to additional pupil premium funding to support them. However, the national progress 8 measure at 0.8 is above national averages and the progress gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is significantly less that the gap nationally. . Specialisms in art and modern foreign languages provide an essential dimension to the curriculum. The arts are a particular strength of the academy. In 2016 the school won the Accord Inclusivity award for the creative way in which it teaches controversial issues to students and promotes inclusion. Continuous Professional Development for all staff is vital to the academy’s determined drive for improvement and the school’s work has been recognised through the gold mark award from the Institute of Education for excellence in continued professional development. The school is approaching the end of a transformational building programme under the Priority Schools Building Programme. It has maintained high standards of achievement and behaviour despite the challenges, which included not having any outdoor space for almost two years.

As a forward thinking, creative organisation, the Wandle Learning Trust is continually seeking development opportunities and aims to be at the forefront of educational change. It has a strong brand through the Wandle Teaching School that works with a thriving and large community of schools across south London. It has had significant success securing funding for several key national initiatives: the south west London Maths Hub and most recently one of three London centres to lead on developing and supporting early years provision. The trust’s agenda is ambitious and they are currently speaking to heads and governors in more than ten primary schools who may be interested in joining the trust. The plan is to bring in two new primaries in the first eighteen months and to grow to at least ten schools in a five to eight year period. The trust’s long-term ambition is to become the trusted go-to multi-academy trust in Wandsworth and neighbouring boroughs and within three years to be a beacon of excellence for parents, pupils and the school community.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Clearly establishing the roles of the new executive team including a new role of CFO;
  2. Setting up sound back office, finance and governance structures for the trust;
  3. Producing a clear development strategy for the new trust that includes excellent due diligence systems to ensure the right decisions are made about bringing in new schools.

The trust is determined to ensure that it establishes a strong trust board as soon as possible with a mix of skill sets and professional expertise. Governance at local school level is excellent and its aim is to maintain local governance systems while developing trust wide accountability.

Trust ethos & values

Wandle Learning Trust’s ambition is to:

  1. Create a community of outstanding schools with the highest expectations for all students by building on the outstanding models of the founding schools;
  2. Continue to be a beacon of excellence in supporting the most disadvantaged pupils alongside their peers to achieve the highest academic results;
  3. Lead education innovation and to be at the forefront of teaching methods that have the most impact;
  4. Ensure that the model grows and develops at an ambitious but sustainable speed;
  5. Building on the teaching school experience to continue to invest in staff through providing high quality professional development and the opportunity for growth
  6. Secure accountability based on transparent leadership and governance.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 5

Role 1 – 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.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential:

  • HR
  • Restructuring
  • Succession Planning

Person specification

The trust is keen to appoint a non-executive director with a background in Human Resources, preferably with experience in commercial, education or third sector human resources knowledge and experience to support the trust boards responsibilities as employers.

Time commitment

12 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings/year.

Role 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.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential:

  • Legal/ Compliance

Person specification

The trusts would welcome applicants with legal experience to support them in ensuring they are fully compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements and reflect best practice in doing so. Legal knowledge of family/education law would be a bonus.

Time commitment

12 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings/year.

Role 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.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential:

  • Real estate/ Property

Person specification

This trustee, with estates expertise, will possess relevant qualifications in estates and facilities, with demonstrable evidence of working at a senior level with estates and/or health and safety responsibilities, preferably within a medium-large organisation.

Time commitment

12 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings/year.

Role 4 – 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.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential:

  • Branding/Marketing

Person specification

A non-executive director with a focus on branding, marketing and PR is required to develop strategic stakeholder, parent and community engagement, raise the profile of the MAT and manage reputational risks.

Time commitment

12 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings/year.

Role 5 – Member

The trust also seeks a member to join their four existing members and act as oversight for governance across the multi-academy trust. Members are responsible for appointing trustees, according to the trust's articles of association, and can also remove serving trustees where necessary and appropriate. Members should keep themselves informed about how the board is performing and have an awareness of when they may need to exercise their powers to ensure effective governance. The members act as custodians of the trust’s culture and ethos.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance

Person specification

The trust is seeking an individual with an extensive and demonstrable background in corporate governance, possessing strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director, or trustee. The successful candidate will have gravitas and sensitivity to challenge appropriately. An interest in education and an awareness of current educational priorities would also be advantageous, but is not a prerequisite.

Time commitment

3 hours /month minimum. 3 member meetings a year plus one governance development evening

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings will be held at: Chestnut Grove Secondary Academy, 45 Chestnut Grove, Balham, London SW12 8JZ and Chesterton Primary Academy, Dagnall St, Battersea, London SW11 5DT.

The trust’s website is currently under construction.

Governance Structure

Please see the governance structure Wandle Learning Trust governance structure Feb 18.pptx.

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: 9th March 2018.

Interviews: TBC

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: