Non-Executive Director

London (Greater)
11 May 2017
24 May 2017
West London Free School Academy Trust
Specialist Area
HR function

The West London Free School Academy Trust

The West London Free School Academy Trust seeks a non-executive director with a successful track record of leading and growing an organisation. Board meetings are held in London.

About the trust

The West London Free School Academy Trust is a charity that aims to provide children with a classical liberal education, regardless of background or ability. So far, it has set up a secondary school and three primary schools in Hammersmith and Kensington. The secondary is one of the most over-subscribed schools in England, with 11 applicants for every place, and the three primaries are among the most over-subscribed primaries in West London. The curriculum in all three schools is inspired by the work of E.D. Hirsch, an American educationalist who believes all children should leave school with a core body of knowledge.


The schools within the trust are as follows:


  • The West London Free School Secondary; opened Sept 2011 (Sixth Form opened Sept 2016); currently Yrs 7-12; 4FE; 720 pupils on roll; Ofsted rated Good with Outstanding Features 2013; 77th highest non-denominational mixed comprehensive out of 2,287 in England.
  • The West London Free School Primary: 2FE; opened Sept 2013; currently Reception – Yr 3; 2FE; 240 pupils on roll; Ofsted rated Outstanding 2015.
  • The Earl’s Court Free School Primary: opened Sept 2014; currently Reception – Yr 2; 1FE; 90 pupils on roll.
  • Kensington Primary Academy: opened Sept 2016; currently Reception only; 1FE; 30 pupils on roll; Nursery opening Sept 2017.


Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to provide children with a classical liberal education, regardless of background or ability.


The trust’s schools are characterised by high expectations across a core of academic subjects – all children are entered for the EBacc, regardless of prior attainment - and a strong focus on the arts, particularly music.


Plans for the Future

The trust has been a national leader in the development of a knowledge-based approach plans to and aims to disseminate its approach through teacher training, the sharing of teaching resources and research.


The key challenges for the board in the next 12 to 24 months are:



  • The trust needs to expand to fulfil its vision and create a sustainable business model. The trust plans to open new free schools and bring some existing schools into the trust. The trust would like to add new schools from September 2017.
  • The trust needs to ensure consistency of education provision across all its schools, in line with its knowledge-based approach. This requires clear direction from the trust board and effective leadership within the schools.
  • The trust’s executive team aims to provide high quality administrative support, economies of scale and long-term strategic direction. Communicating these benefits to the whole school community (parents and pupils as well as staff) is critical.



Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 



Role – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trust is looking to appoint a Director and Vice Chair to its board with a view to this individual succeeding the current Chairman in due course.



-        CEO/General Management

-        Corporate Governance

-        Growth Management



-        Chair

-        Entrepeneur/Founder

-        Non-executive/Trustee

-        Succession Planning


Person specification

Background in business, education or broader public sector. Successful track record leading and growing an organisation. Prior non-exec experience a plus. No need to be an education expert but will need to understand and buy into the trust's knowledge-based approach.


Time commitment

1-2 days per month; three board meetings/year.


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 68% of secondary schools and 22% 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. 


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: 24th May 2017