Non-Executive Director x 4

Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester
20 Apr 2017
15 May 2017
Great Academies Education Trust
Specialist Area
HR function


Great Academies Education Trust is seeking to strengthen and expand its trust board with the addition of up to four new trustees, possessing skills from a range of business areas. With expansion of the trust anticipated by 2019, the trustee role is vital in developing and determining strategy and direction.

Board meetings are held at New Charter Housing Trust, Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7AT.

About the trust

Great Academies Education Trust (GAET) is a multi-academy trust (MAT) based in Tameside, Greater Manchester, comprising three secondary academies – Copley Academy, Middleton Technology School and New Charter Academy - and one primary academy, Silver Springs Academy. It is sponsored by New Charter Group, a housing association that provides nearly 20,000 homes, mainly in Greater Manchester.

All of the schools within the trust serve communities in which there is considerable deprivation, with the percentage of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant ranging from 27% to 50%, with significant numbers of pupils with English as an additional language, particularly at New Charter Academy.

Great Academies Board comprises representatives with significant expertise in senior roles, who have the capacity to hold the academies of the trust to account for educational achievement and for a range of other measures that enable it to uphold the ethos of Great Academies.

The Board of Directors holds overall and ultimate responsibility, not only for legislative compliance but also for attainment and progress. The central team comprises a school improvement arm, governance, finance and asset management, HR support, payroll and legal. The sponsor additionally provides support for ICT, health and safety, project management and community engagement.

Trust ethos & values

Great Academies Education Trust aims to provide ‘listening and learning’ communities - places where everyone is valued as an individual, where pupils can achieve their best and develop into confident, responsible and successful young adults. Furthermore, the trust’s academies aim to provide high quality learning opportunities and maintain strong links with their local neighbourhood.

Plans for the Future

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

  • Improving pupil outcomes at three Great Academy schools
  • Improving the quality of leadership and management at all levels in two of the schools of the MAT
  • Developing and maturing the trust in order to be able to grow further, before 2019.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 


Roles 1-4– Trustee/ Non-executive Director

The trust is seeking to appoint up to four individuals with a range of skills, competencies and experience that is directly applicable to the challenge of growing the multi-academy trust and ensuring standards are high across all schools in the trust. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate some of the following competencies:


  • Growth Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Finance
  • Succession Planning
  • HR
  • Change Management



  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • School Improvement


Person specification

The trust needs a range of people with strong business skills across the listed areas, ideally with senior leadership experience who can work alongside existing trustees to support and challenge the executive team.

Time commitment

6-10 hours per term

Trust Website

Governance Structure

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. 


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: Monday 15th May