Non-Executive Director x 3

Poole, Dorset
Voluntary, unpaid.
03 Aug 2017
03 Sep 2017
Harbourside Learning Partnership
Specialist Area
HR function, Recruitment
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP
Contract Type
CIPD Membership
Non CIPD member

A relatively new trust, the Harbourside Learning Partnership in Poole seeks to recruit three new board members with property/estates, legal, HR, governance or analytical data expertise or who can support the board in embedding practices and structures that will enable great outcomes and future growth. Board meetings are held at Harbourside Learning Partnership, c/o Oakdale Junior School, 3 School Lane, Poole, BH15 3JR.


About the trust

Formed in July 2016, the Harbourside Learning Partnership (HLP) in Poole is a multi-academy trust of six schools catering for nearly 2,800 children aged 3-11. All of the schools in the partnership are geographically close, are judged as good or outstanding by Ofsted and enjoy a strong reputation within their communities; three are former VC Church Schools and three are community schools: -

-      Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School (Church, 7-11, 720 pupils)

-      Courthill Infant School (Community, 4-7, 360 pupils)

-      Lilliput CE Infant School (Church, 4-7, 360 pupils)

-      Longfleet CE Primary School (Church, 4-11, 630 pupils)

-      Oakdale Junior School (Community, 7-11, 470 pupils)

-      Old Town Infant School & Nursery (Community, 3-7, 230 pupils)


In their first year the trust has:

  • appointed a permanent central team including CEO, Partnership Business Manager, Assessment Lead, HR Lead and admin support;
  • implemented clear, common and robust financial procedures across the trust;
  • developed an effective School Improvement Board (six Headteachers and CEO) focusing on teaching and learning; and
  • adapted to new governance structures and true collaborative working


Trust ethos & values


The trust’s vision is to create a collaborative partnership of schools to foster educational excellence and build a community of lifelong learning in Poole. The Vision and Values and Memorandum of Understanding can be found here:  

The trust’s partnership model celebrates each school’s unique and individual characteristics. Each school retains its individual Headteacher, local governing body, uniform, ethos and, where relevant, their Christian distinctiveness. Headteachers enjoy a high level of autonomy alongside additional support and challenge in running their schools. The trust also recognises the importance of sharing and standardising some aspects of their work so that the trust works effectively as a whole.


Plans for the Future

Starting with six schools from the outset, the trust is keen to ensure that it can embed great working practices across the founding schools before embarking on growth. Whilst the trust has no immediate plans to grow, they have a growth strategy agreed for the coming few years and are open to approaches from local schools that offer key benefits and value to the existing schools and their children.

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

1.     Monitoring and strengthening the budget planning process to help the trust and individual schools address the impact of demographic and falling rolls. The trust will also need to consider how they promote and market the schools within HLP to attract pupils.

2.     Review the services delivered by the trust at the central and local school levels to optimise operations and practices and ensure best use of trust finances and resources.

3.     Developing common assessment reporting across all schools, to capture the ‘right’ data allowing thorough analysis by school staff, central staff, local school governors and trustees. Through this ensuring that one school continues to build on the good progress this year to overcome its current coasting definition and using the data to target support effectively.

4.     Further improving their governance systems to ensure work is not being duplicated at local governor and trust board levels, that communication (both ways) is relevant and timely and that new governors and trustees receive appropriate, high quality induction and training.

5.     The trust will consolidate and embed the work that has started on school improvement and strengthening financial stability. They will be looking at new income streams and increasing school-to-school collaboration and opportunities to generate efficiencies.


Role Summary

The trust is looking for up to 3 non-executive directors / trustees who can support the board in addressing the current challenges to enable great outcomes for all children in the trust. Candidates joining the board at this time will play a key role in the future long term development of the trust.

Number of Positions Advertised:  3

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trustee will sit on the Trust Board and on the Finance & Resources Committee (meetings held every half term). They will offer a broad insight into leadership and management of a large organisation including setting strategic direction, personnel/HR matters, staffing structures, and offering some legal knowledge in these areas. It is likely that this trustee will sit on the CEO’s Appraisal Committee (held twice a year) or the Pay Committee (held twice a year)

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Strategic expertise
  • CEO/General management
  • HR / Organisation Development
  • Legal/ Compliance


  • Growth / Mergers Management
  • Change Management
  • Restructuring
  • Succession Planning

Person specification

HLP would welcome applicants with a broad and strategic general management background. They should have current HR and legal knowledge and experience of working both ‘in the detail’ as well as leading or supporting strategic organisational change and people management. They should be supportive of the trust’s desire to be an exemplary employer.

Time commitment

6 - 10 hours /month minimum.


Role 2– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trustee will sit on the Trust Board and the Finance & Resources Committee (meetings held every half term). This role will play a key part in the scrutiny and oversight of financials and assets areas of the trust in areas such as H&S, optimising use of buildings and estate and offering some legal knowledge related to estate and facilities management.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Estate Management/ Property
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Risk and regulations
  • Shared Services


  • Change Management
  • IT/ Technology
  • Risk

Person specification

HLP is keen to appoint a person with a breadth of senior management experience in estate/facilities management and development who understands the operational challenges of a multi-site organisation and shared services to support effective operations and H&S. This person should have relevant, up to date, property related legal knowledge including experience of building projects. They should have excellent attention to detail.

Time commitment

6 - 10 hours /month minimum.


Role 3– Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trustee will sit on the Trust Board and the Achievements and Standards Committee (meetings held every half term) and play a key part in supporting the trust in strengthening its data analysis, monitoring school improvement plans and general trust performance oversight.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Data / analytical / performance
  • Performance monitoring & feedback
  • Corporate Governance


  • Leadership experience in educational context
  • Experience in Pastoral care

Person specification

The trust would welcome applicants from the public or third sector with experience of reviewing and analysing key performance data. They would also be keen to meet with individuals with corporate governance experience, or those who have previously been a school governor.

Time commitment

6 - 10 hours /month minimum.


Trust Website


Governance Structure

The Trust has 4 Members and a trust board of 10 Trustees and the CEO which meets 6 times a year. They operate with 2 strategic committees - Finance & Resources and Achievements and Standards which also each meet six times a year. Additionally, there are two sub-committees which typically meet twice a year - the CEO’s Appraisal Committee and the Pay Committee. Further details can be found here


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.

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”  Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)

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  and your specific interest in the trust 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

Interviews: The trust plan to hold interviews in mid-September

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