Non-Executive Director x 7

Eckington, Sheffield
Voluntary, unpaid.
27 Jul 2017
27 Aug 2017
Specialist Area
HR function, Recruitment

The LEARNERs’ Trust in Derbyshire, Derby and Rotherham is seeking up to seven non-executive directors with a range of skills, knowledge and experience from across the business sphere to join its board. The trust currently consists of 10 schools and is looking to expand to 18 schools in total through a phase of expansion and development. Board meetings are held at Eckington Business Centre 2, Eckington, Sheffield, S21 4FL.


About the trust

The LEARNERs’ Trust is based across Rotherham, Derbyshire and Derby with schools in Sheffield also considering joining the trust. The trust operates around junction 30 of the M1. Of the 10 schools six are good, two require improvement and two are in special measures.

Three Rotherham schools work in challenging circumstances (80% free school meals for the junior school) and the Derbyshire schools are average in terms of challenge (although one school is 50% free school meals)

The trust works in partnership with established service providers for professional development and operational support. Its purpose is to enable children to have choices about their lives on transition to adulthood. The trust believes its first job is to support and extend learning for pupils to provide them with the skills and knowledge to make those choices. The second job is to make sure no child is ignored, no family is unsupported and no life is wasted, by providing intervention at the earliest opportunity.

The trust is expected to grow to around 18 schools within the next academic year, some of which may be sponsored. This will lead to schools' budget of around £12 million and a trust budget of around £600,000 for core services and support.


Trust ethos & values

The LEARNERs’ Trust’s ethos is empowering schools through collaborative practice, with the trust providing additional capacity and resources to allow teachers and leaders to focus their work on making progress.

The trust’s goal is to ensure that all schools are at least ‘Good’ and that each school remains part of its community whilst having a network of support to ensure school improvement is sustained and creates a bright future for its pupils and families.

The trust’s ethos and values are summarised as:

  • Ensuring the core policies for saving lives, teaching and learning, behaviour management and barrier removal are at the centre of its work
  • Increasing the capacity for schools to develop and sustain highly effective safeguarding provision for the learners in its care;
  • Providing intervention in inverse proportion to need;
  • Focusing the work of leaders on removing barriers to allow schools and staff to work effectively
  • Ensuring all staffing pay, terms and conditions continues to reflect local and national benchmark;
  • The trust will not make one school weaker to make another school stronger


Plans for the Future

The trust aims to grow initially to 18 schools working under Trust Partners and executive headship. The trust is one year old and is currently working on establishing pathways of work and systems of operation. It aims to work with all types of schools, not just those in challenging circumstances.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  up to 7

Roles 1-7 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The LEARNERs’ Trust is looking for current commercial experience as it strives for growth, financial stability, income generation and development of school support mechanisms and oversight information, allowing for accurate and detailed allocation of resource. With such a number of potential new trustees, the trust has a wide scope in terms of potential skills. However, individuals with demonstrable experience in business growth, change management, finance, legal and HR are especially sought at this time.

Competencies for this role include:

Essential – not all candidates will possess all skills

  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Strategic
  • HR
  • Finance
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • CEO/ General Management


  • Risk
  • Change Management
  • Succession Planning

Person specification

While the above areas are key to the trust’s current phase of consolidation and proposed growth, not all candidates are expected to possess all criteria. The trust is, in particular, looking to recruit individuals with significant experience in governance in order to provide robust challenge and accountability moving forward. A proven track record in growth and change management is advantageous, as well as strategic vision.

Time commitment

Up to 8 hours/month minimum. All trustees are encouraged to attend six meetings per year, covering all aspects of the trust business.


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: Friday, 8th September 2017

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