Non-Executive Director x 3
The Educate Together Academy Trust in Bristol seeks three non-executive directors to join this young and ambitious multi-academy trust to help it deliver ‘education that fits the needs of children in today’s world’. Directors also have the opportunity to help shape the governance of the trust by taking on future committee chair roles and supporting succession planning for the chair of the trust role. Board meetings are held at Avonvale Road, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9RH.
About the trust
The Educate Together Academy Trust, was established in 2013 by the long established educational charity in Ireland, Educate Together. This organisation has been delivering a successful education model for over 30 years to a growing network of schools in Ireland which now number 81 primary and 9 secondary schools. The Educate Together Academy Trust (ETAT) draws upon this depth and breadth of expertise to support its UK schools.
ETAT has one open and two developing primary schools. Redfield Educate Together Primary, which opened in 2014 in the Bristol area, currently has children in Reception, years 1 and 2 and has already developed an excellent local reputation, being oversubscribed since its second year. It anticipates its first Ofsted any day. The two new primary schools are both in the pre-opening phase and due to open in September 2017. The first is a two form entry primary in Locking Parklands, Weston super Mare in North Somerset, and the second a one form entry primary in Somerdale, Keynsham, between Bath and Bristol.
Plans for the Future
Educate Together Academy Trust is planning to develop groups of schools in the Bristol, wider south-west and central/midlands areas, by opening new academies and Free Schools, and through working with existing schools.
In addition to the existing three schools, the trust has two further free school applications currently under consideration for the Swindon area with further plans for additional free school bids to grow a strong network of school clusters. ETAT anticipates being five schools by September 2018 with further selectively staged growth opportunities that ensures all schools develop successfully, while balancing organisational risk. Growth is anticipated to be predominantly primary schools with opportunities to develop secondary provision where appropriate.
Trust ethos & Values
Educate Together Academy Trust was established in 2013 to bring Educate Together’s equality based education approach and curriculum model to the UK. This model places a global understanding of, human-rights at front and centre stage. Educate Together Academy Trust schools have a strong ethos based on the following principles:
- Equality based – i.e. all children having equal rights of access and all children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected.
- Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities.
- Learner-centred in their approach to education
- Democratically-run with active decision inclusion for the children, alongside participation by parents in the daily life of the school, whilst positively affirming the professional role of the teachers.
In addition to the subject areas of the national curriculum, schools deliver Educate Together’s Learn Together ethical education curriculum through which children develop their skills and knowledge in Moral and Spiritual Development, Equality and Justice, Belief Systems, and Ethics and the Environment.
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the trust are:
- Ensuring and embedding through board leadership, a clear commitment to the unique core ethos and principles of the trust and its schools
- Oversight of rigour with regards to education outcomes
- Strategic growth of the MAT
- Developing the board and the governance model of the trust in support of the growth
Number of positions advertised:
- Trustee/Non-Executive Director
Educate Together Academy Trust is a young multi academy trust that values the experience and skills of its non-executive directors. It recognises the contribution that directors make to the success of the trust, and wants its directors to feel that the part they play in the trust and its schools is rewarding and satisfying.
Duties of a trust director
The role of the director is a non-executive one. Directors are required to be as flexible as possible in the performance of their responsibilities and duties, ensuring that their oversight of the trust and the schools does not interfere with the day-to-day management, which is the responsibility of the CEO and the relevant Head teachers. The primary responsibilities of the trust board are to:
- play an active role in the high level strategic planning process of the trust and its schools by contributing to:
- the development of the mission, vision and educational character;
- the development of strategic priorities;
- the setting of measurable targets to support the development and budget;
- the monitoring of achievement against objectives;
- the development of plans to address weaknesses;
- comply with the Articles of Association, Academies Financial Handbook, Governors’ Code of Conduct and any other related governance policies and procedures;
- contribute to the business of the trust board in an effective, efficient, open and transparent manner;
- attend trust board meetings, relevant training and induction events as required;
- get to know the trust and schools through discussions with the executive leadership group, chair of trust, academy governing councils and staff, reading relevant papers, visiting the schools and participating in events;
- help new directors understand their role;
- act in the best interests of the trust at all times.
Directors have a collective responsibility for the above but no director has the authority to speak or act on the board’s behalf unless specifically delegated to do so.
In the trust’s current development phase the governance of the new schools is managed by the CEO under the oversight of the board. This is an interim position which will change as the two new schools come on stream later this year and formal Academy Councils and a new scheme of delegation are established, enabling the trust board to be fully strategically focused.
- CFO/ Finance Risk Management
- Corporate Governance
- Growth Management
- HR / Organisation and Leadership Development
- Central government
- Ability to demonstrate a full understanding and appreciation of the principles of governance, including collective responsibility, discharge of fiduciary duties and the seven principles of public life.
- Commitment to the trust’s ethos and an understanding of international human rights
- Commitment to education: Able to demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and the role trust plays in improving the nation’s skill base.
- Interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team: Able to work positively with others and debate whilst maintaining a constructive atmosphere.
- Communication skills and the ability to influence: Able to express ideas/plans in a clear manner and to listen actively to other views. Able to communicate effectively.
- Planning and Organisational skills: Able to quickly establish an effective course of action for self and others to achieve goals that can be monitored by realistic performance targets. To be visionary for the future plans of the trust.
- Determination and Drive: Able to create the required energy/enthusiasm and commitment necessary to be effective. To have the tenacity to overcome obstacles.
- Strategic Perspective: Able to develop a broad-based view of issues and events and to perceive their long-term impact.
- Intellectual and technical ability: Able to absorb sometimes complex information and to rationalise appropriately. Able to think laterally and arrive at a pragmatic solution.
- Leadership: Able to demonstrate behaviour and skills that motivate others to achieve - to inspire confidence in others to achieve. To respect the views of others.
- Equal Opportunities/Investors in People; Commitment to equal opportunities and to the Investors in People standard.
Non-executive directors will have the opportunity, as the governance of the trust evolves, to influence the future structure of the trust and to take up roles as chairs of committees. The trust is also looking for one or more candidates that have an interest in succession planning for the chair of the board role.
Five trust board meetings will be held per year. Available to attend scheduled meetings of the trust board and its future sub-committees. Meetings are usually held on a weekday at Redfield Educate Together in Bristol.
There are currently four Members of ETAT, but this may change in the future.
The current trust board is small, and aiming to grow to around 9 trustees to ensure the right mix of skills required to support the growing trust.
For more information on Educate Together Academy Trust’s governance structure and other board members please visit their site: http://www.educatetogether.org.uk/trust-governance/
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 68% of secondary schools and 122% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.
Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts. 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.
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 don’t need to have any specialist knowledge of education.
If you are interested in applying for the role(s) please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please call 0207 952 8556.
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
Deadline for applications: 31st March 2017
Interviews will take place in stages, the first stage will include a meeting with the CEO of the trust followed by a more formal interview with a panel comprised on the CEO and board members.