Non-Executive Director x 2, Chair, Member

Derbyshire - meetings to be held in multiple locations
12 Apr 2017
19 May 2017
Oval Learning Trust
Specialist Area
HR function

Oval Learning Trust

The Oval Learning Trust is seeking to strengthen its board, with the addition of individuals with skills in finance, HR, IT and legal together with business growth skills. The trust seeks business leaders to support and challenge the team to drive forward the trust’s growth to become self-sustaining. Board meetings are held at multiple locations.

About the trust

The Oval Learning Trust, established in January 2017, is a multi-academy trust (MAT) in North Leicestershire, consisting of four small primary schools with another primary school set to join in September 2017; a prospective sixth school will join the trust in autumn 2017. The trust is a ‘mixed’ MAT incorporating both church and community schools and serves some areas of high deprivation, situated in a former mining community. The schools currently in the Trust are Oakthorpe Primary, Albert Village Primary, Viscount Beaumont’s Primary and Swannington Primary.


Trust ethos & values

The Oval Learning Trust has a vision that all children in its schools will flourish. The trust believes in the development of the whole child so that all children live life in all its fullness through exciting learning experiences. The trust has high expectations in providing a positive climate for high academic achievement as well as for children’s confidence, character and motivation to learn for life in modern Britain. 


Plans for the Future

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

-        Due to its size and location, with small schools serving village communities, the trust faces challenges in relation to financial efficiency; nonetheless, it is committed to maintaining high standards. The trust aims to grow to allow for capacity and to look at more flexibility in staffing structures to offset increasing costs.

-        The trust needs to grow whilst becoming more efficient, seeking ways to minimise pressure on teaching and support staff by load sharing. Consequently, high standards of financial management, as well as managing risk and future planning, will be important for trustees joining the board.


The trust aims to grow and facilitate schools to work in cluster groups. The trust fully has aspirations to become a sponsor in order to increase growth in future.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 2-4


Role 1 – Chair of Finance

The competencies required for this role include:



-        CFO/ Finance

-        Growth Management

-        Risk


-        Audit Committee Chair

-        Remuneration Committee Chair

-        Corporate Governance


Person specification

The trust seeks a business professional with experience in some or all of the following:


-        Management accountancy;

-        Audit preparation;

-        Budgeting;

-        Financial planning;

-        Risk management; and/or

-        Growth management.


Time commitment

5 hours per month (minimum).


Roles 2-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The competencies required for this role include:



-        HR

-        Growth Management

-        IT / Technology


-        Legal

-        Branding / Marketing

-        Restructuring

-        Succession Planning


Person specification

The trust seeks a professional with experience of:


-        Business growth and managing staffing through periods of growth

-        IT infrastructure and/or management of information systems;

-        Tendering processes.

-        Some legal experience.


Time commitment

4-6 hours per month.


Role 4 – Member

The competencies required for this role include:



-        Strategic management

-        Business growth



-        Succession Planning


Person specification

The trust seeks a professional with experience of:


-        Challenge and overarching strategic management

-        Business growth

-        General board level / Business experience


Time commitment

2-3 hours per month (on average).


Trust Website


Governance Structure

The Trust currently has 5 members with strong representation from the Diocese of Leicester. The Trust Board has 9 Directors, several with educational backgrounds.


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 23% 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. 



Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit organisation 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 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


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 19th May 2017 (or sooner if possible)