Non-Executive Director

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Unpaid, voluntary
20 Jul 2017
25 Aug 2017
SMART Multi Academy Trust
Specialist Area
HR function

SMART Multi Academy Trust

SMART Multi Academy Trust is seeking one new Non-Executive Director to join its board. The trust is formed of a group of schools who have recently joined together because of their shared vision for excellence in education. It believes that the children within its communities deserve the best opportunities and experiences to become successful citizens and lifelong learners, and to lead healthy fulfilling lives. The trust looks to strengthen its board and ensure that the governance provided bolsters these ideals and aspirations whilst supporting its operations. Board meetings are held at Wyndham Primary School, Montagu Avenue, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4SB.

About the trust

The trust’s pupils come from a very wide range of social and economic backgrounds and cultural heritages. This is seen as a great strength and the trust takes great pleasure in celebrating diversity, while constantly striving to ensure that it meets the academic and personal development needs of every child. Those at the trust believe that the route to future success lies in maintaining the highest of aspirations for its pupils and ensuring that, by the time they leave, they are well-equipped to move on to the next phase in their education and future lives. The trust operates with an understanding that this is underpinned by pupils’ development of secure skills across the full range of subjects in a broad and balanced curriculum, including those in English and mathematics.

With this in mind, the schools within the trust are working collaboratively to develop innovative approaches to their curriculum planning that will stimulate children and motivate them to enjoy learning and playing together within its vibrant and nurturing school communities. This is an outward looking organization, seeking to learn from others as well as to share its own good practice and expertise.

There are currently eight primary schools within the trust; it plans to expand, but there are currently no specific projects in place.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s vision is to provide the best educational opportunities and experiences for all its children. It knows that education provides the gateway for children to become valued, caring and responsible citizens within democratic British society.

Plans for the Future

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

1. Governance - ensuring that the Board acts in the best interests of the Trust - governing in accordance with its articles of association and having governance arrangements that demonstrate an effective balance of skills, aspirational leadership, high levels of communication, effective financial oversight and sustainability, and achieve the greatest possible economies.

2. School improvement – ensuring that teaching is consistently good and outstanding in all its schools so that all pupils reach their full potential from their individual starting points, including those who are disadvantaged or who have special educational needs and / or disabilities.

3.  To ensure that the systems and structures in place to support effective governance, finance and accounting functions and ongoing school improvement are working successfully and are easily transferrable to other schools who may join the trust.

The trust plans to expand to 12 schools within the next two to three years bringing its pupil numbers beyond 3000, so as to be able to access capital funding. It also looks to incorporate secondary provision, if an appropriate match may be found.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  1

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trust is looking for a non-executive director to increase the Board’s capacity to develop as a highly successful business enterprise, including developing links with the wider business community, managing change within a large organisation and securing the best possible outcomes for all its children.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Risk


  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Change Management
  • HR
  • Legal/ Compliance

Person specification

A proven track record in successful business management within a large, complex organization is essential. Skills in branding and marketing, developing links with the wider business community would be particularly welcome, as the trust is recently formed and would like to put itself on the map.

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).

Trust Website

Governance Structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 70% of secondary schools and 24% 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: 25th August

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