Non-Executive Director x 2

Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway
11 May 2017
31 May 2017
Thornhill Community Academy Trust
Specialist Area
HR function


Thornhill Community Academy, located in the Kirklees area, is seeking to add skills in the areas of finance, HR and legal to its trust board with the additional of two non-executive directors. The trust is in an area of high deprivation and is seeking to recruit individuals initially on a short-term basis to gain stability while it seeks to join with another academy.

Board meetings are held at Thornhill Community Academy Trust, Valley Drive, Thornhill, WF12 0HE.


About the trust

Thornhill Community Academy Trust is a Single Academy Trust (SAT), located on the outskirts of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in an area of high deprivation. The academy has capacity for 900 students; currently, nearly two-fifths of students are eligible for Pupil Premium funding - additional funding for publicly-funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers.


Furthermore, 38% of students have English as an additional language and over 15% of students have Special Educational Needs. The academy has a Resourced Provision for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The capacity for ASD students is 20, which is made up of 15 permanent places and 5 transitional places.


Thornhill Community Academy has a firm commitment to achieving a long-term goal of becoming an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ academy at the heart of its local community. The school was an ‘early converter’ academy: one of the first to undergo academy conversion. The trust’s board is now seeking to gain better support and collaboration by joining with another trust and is currently exploring potential options. It is possible, therefore, that the trustee roles being recruited may be short-term (possibly up to one year) in the first instance.


Should there be a desire from the trustee, they may be asked to join the new board once Thornhill joins with another academy, to form part of the new multi academy trust board, or alternatively work with Academy Ambassadors to secure another role on another trust board, and build on their experience gained with Thornhill Community Academy Trust. 


Trust ethos & values

The mission of Thornhill Community Academy Trust is that all students, no matter their background or circumstance, gain the skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications they need to lead happy and successful lives and to contribute positively to society.


At the heart of the trust’s mission lies the vision of ‘A School, A Family, A Community”. The trust has ‘TOGETHER’ values of Trust, Openness, Generosity, Equality, Tolerance, Humility, Emotional Intelligence and Resilience, which underpin this philosophy and contribute to a cohesive and happy academy community.


Plans for the Future

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



  • To put in place practices that enable the trust to significantly raise achievement and attainment, while simultaneously raising aspirations of all within the trust;
  • To explore opportunities for joining a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with the aim of successfully meeting the challenges of raising aspiration and standards;
  • To recruit and retain high calibre staff to enable students to achieve and make strong progress.



In addition to these key challenges, the trust is seeking to broaden the knowledge and experience of the board of trustees by adding additional capacity and focused skills.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 



Roles 1 & 2 – Trustee/ Non-executive Director

The trust is looking to recruit two additional non-executive directors to challenge, support and hold to account all aspects of the academy operations to ensure the quality of educational provision through strategic management, vision and accountability. Particularly important is background and experience in finance, human resources and/or legal.


Competencies for these roles include (nb not all competencies are required across both roles):



-        CFO/ Finance

-        HR

-        Legal/ Compliance


-        Change Management


Person specification

The trust is, in particular, looking to recruit one individual with significant experience in finance in order to provide robust challenge and accountability moving forward. A proven track record in financial management and planning is therefore essential.

Furthermore, the trust is seeking a second individual who can bring experience in legal compliance and relevant HR procedures. Either role can additionally include skills and knowledge from legal/compliance in order to bring a further level of accountability to the trust board.


Time commitment

Approximately 6 hours per month (on average).


Trust Website


Governance Structure


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: 31st May, 2017