Non-Executive Director x 3
Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust is a small trust on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall which is about to embark on a period of significant change. They seek to appoint up to three non-executive directors with legal, HR or financial skills who will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of the trust and its schools. Board meetings are held at St Keverne Primary School, School Hill, St Keverne, Helston, TR12 6NQ.
About the trust
The Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust (MAT) currently comprises five primary schools on the Lizard Peninsula in southwest Cornwall - Coverack, Grade-Ruan, Manaccan, St Keverne and St Martin-in-Meneage. All the schools are very small with approx. 200 children on roll across the whole trust. Four of the schools are community schools and one is a Church of England School. The trust was set up to protect and maintain education within the community. The area the trust covers is very rural and isolated.
The trust is considering merging with a larger trust based locally which currently consists of 15 schools (mix of primary and secondary schools). This presents an exciting opportunity for the new non-executive directors to contribute to the existing MAT in the short term, leading and guiding the new MAT and merger and engaging with the future trust.
Trust ethos & values
Valuing each school’s ethos and identity, Keskowethyan schools respect, nurture and inspire; equipping every individual for lifelong learning. The values that support the vision can be found on its website: http://www.keskowethyans.cornwall.sch.uk/web
Plans for the Future
Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust is keen to sustain the schools and education within the communities. The schools are all judged by Ofsted to be good. However, attracting good quality staff to the area in order to sustain these standards within the schools is a challenge. This is also reflected in the governance of the trust as engaging and retaining professional, highly skilled non-executive directors/trustees and governors for the trust can be challenging.
The trust has developed an innovative model of governance with ‘partners in Learning’ to support the schools and communities that has been commended by Ofsted; and the current Chair is keen to move forward with succession planning for the trust’s governance future alongside its sustainable operation. Recognising these challenges, the trust is investigating the possibility of merging with a larger local multi academy trust that will bring opportunities for the children and staff as well as a sustainable future for education in the communities. It is still in the early days of discussion and the non-executive directors/trustees support with this will be crucial.
Number of Positions Advertised: minimum 1, up to 3
Role: Trustee/Non-Executive Director
Operating with too few trustees/non-executive directors, the trust is seeking to engage up to 3 additional non-executives that will bring a new external perspective to the trust. The appointed individuals will act as non-executive directors/trustees assisting with strategic planning at this crucial time of change. Sitting on the trust board and being part of a committee, they will have demonstrable leadership skills to enable them to oversee the existing operations of the trust and engage with the schools, to actively support the trust as it moves forward to further evaluate the opportunities of merger, and for succession planning purposes as the trust engages in its future direction. There are opportunities to take on committee chair roles through succession planning. The board has skills gaps, which they are keen for the non-executives to bring to the trust and, are particularly keen to hear from individuals with a legal, HR or financial background.
The competencies required for this role include:
- Mergers / Acquisitions
- Change Management
- HR / organisational development and change
- Succession Planning
The trust is keen to appoint non-executive directors with change management, mergers and acquisitions and strategic skills. They would also welcome applicants with a background in either legal, HR or financial services. Any individual looking to take on a role on the board will need to work in accordance with the 7 principles of public life - selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honestly and leadership. They are particularly keen on candidates that have an interest in the area who would be keen to contribute to and put back into the local community, but that will bring an external perspective to the trust. Sustaining good education in an area such as the Lizard is essential for the area’s future as a local farming but also holiday environment.
Approx. 9 hours /month minimum. 9-12 meetings per year, with the opportunity to engage more deeply with the merger evaluations and forward direction.
Board meetings are held six times a year. At present four committees also meet on a termly basis (three times a year) – Premises, Financial, Personnel and Curriculum, however this may change as the trusts future develops. Please see http://www.keskowethyans.cornwall.sch.uk/web/keskowethyans_governance/215828 for further information on the current model of governance.
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 70% of secondary schools and 25% 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 focused 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 www.academyambassadors.org.
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: Tuesday 19th September 2017
Candidate CVs, once reviewed by Academy Ambassadors, will be forwarded to the trust for consideration. The trust is keen to begin speaking with interested individuals during the summer where possible.
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