Non-Executive Director x 3, Member x 1

Location
Wimborne, Dorset
Salary
Voluntary, unpaid.
Posted
03 Aug 2017
Closes
03 Sep 2017
Ref
Wimborne Academy Trust
Specialist Area
HR function, Recruitment
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP
Sector
Education
Contract Type
Permanent

Wimborne Academy Trust based in Dorset, and formed in 2015 with 7 schools exists to secure outstanding achievement and improved life chances for all its pupils. With immediate growth in train for the next academic year the trust is now seeking a member and up to three non-executive directors that can support the trust to be successful in shaping and delivering their next phase of development. Board meetings are held at The Hub, c/o Allenbourn Middle School, East Borough, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1PL.

 

About the trust

Wimborne Academy Trust has at its heart the drive for excellence in learning which is under-pinned by high expectations. Formed in March 2015, the trust comprises two middle schools and five first schools. All schools in the trust are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and are within a 5-mile radius of the trust’s head office in East Dorset. The trust works hard to ensure it improves the life chances of its children, ensuring they are given a broad and balanced education which prepares them well for success in their future lives. 

Included in the trust is a National College for Teaching and Leadership designated Teaching School. The trust has recently been approved as an academy sponsor and following work to support another middle school they have now been approved to formally sponsor the school in the early part of the next academic year. At present, the trust is responsible for just under 2000 pupils, with a budget of £8 million, and c.350 staff. However, these figures will increase with the growth of the trust.

 

Trust ethos & values

Forward-looking, the trust provides creative and innovative learning opportunities and is committed to excellence in learning enabling pupils to realise their potential. They value collaboration, respect, compassion for others and a sense of community. As a mixed trust of both Church of England and community schools retaining the ethos and characteristics of the individual schools alongside their communities is an important facet of the trust’s approach, as is their drive to support diversity, inclusion and equality. Member schools share three core values informing all aspects of educational provision and school life: Excellence, Collaboration, Respect.

 

Plans for the Future

Immediate growth of an 8th school is now in train for the next academic year with further growth anticipated. The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

1.     Developing an appropriate growth strategy and managing sustainable growth as the trust sponsors and takes on further schools.

2.     Managing the best use of resources in a climate of significant financial challenges that will deliver innovative solutions to maximise school improvement and pupil outcomes.

3.     Ensuring the trust continues the pace of improvement and further develops its strong support system for schools; especially around the key-stage transitions in a three tier system, to ensure progress through all stages.

4.     Taking forward the outcomes of the external governance review to adjust and implement a new governance structure that is able to support the trust through a period or organisational development and change, towards a sustainable forward model.

 

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  between 1 and 4

Roles 1 – 3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Non-executive directors are sought to support the trust in shaping, developing and driving forward the growth strategy following sponsor approval status, and in all aspects of trust leadership.

Non-executives are responsible for sharing board decisions in determining the strategic direction and policies of Wimborne Academy Trust, attending and participating at board and committee meetings and board development events, and acting in the interests of the trust as a whole. Non-executive directors act as ambassadors and take opportunities to promote, support and represent the work of the trust in a positive manner. They will demonstrate exceptional professionalism, probity, and personal integrity, upholding the trusts values and code of conduct.

New non-exec directors will both sit on the board and one or more committees. Succession planning is an important part of the trust’s development and there will be opportunities for successful candidates to take on a committee chair role in the short to medium term.

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential

  • Strategic business
  • Growth management
  • Change management
  • HR/ Organisational development
  • Restructuring

Desirable

  • Corporate governance
  • Turnaround
  • Succession planning
  • Estates / multi-site management
  • Strategic communications

Person specification

The trust is seeking candidates with strategic business skills from organisations of a similar or larger scale. Business backgrounds in strategic change, HR and organisational development, or property & estates are sought, to assist with strategic decision making as the trust enters a period of growth. Successful individuals will have relevant experience of change management and/or restructuring within business or public sectors, as well as a drive for school improvement and commitment to children, equality and diversity. Knowledge of external factors that can impact on board decision making is essential; prior involvement in corporate governance would be advantageous.

Time commitment

The trust board meets 6 times a year, and each committee typically meets 3 times per year.

The non-executive role will require between 6-10 hours commitment per month.

 

Role 4 – Member/Non-Executive Director

Officers and The Board of Trustees manage the business of the Trust and are accountable to the Members.

The Members of the Trust meet three times a year to review the minutes of Trustee meetings and to receive the Annual Accounts and Annual Return submitted to Companies House. The Chair of Trustees (who is an ex officio Member), CEO and Business Director attend the Members meetings to update Members and respond to questions.

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential

  • Strategic business
  • Growth management
  • Change management
  • HR / Organisational development
  • Restructuring

Desirable

  • Corporate governance
  • Turnaround
  • Succession planning
  • Estates / multi-site management
  • Strategic communications

Person specification

The trust is seeking candidates who are motivated to contribute to delivering excellence in the education and development of young people. They will have experience of high level oversight with excellent communication skills and the ability to exercise good independent judgement. The successful applicant will be expected to uphold the values and vision of the trust, prepare for and attend the Member’s meetings and exercise the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Members within company and charitable law.

Time commitment

One or two meetings per year (on average).

 

 

Trust Website

www.wimborneacademytrust.org

 

Governance Structure

http://www.wimborneacademytrust.org/page/?title=Governance%26%23160%3B&pid=8

The trust currently operates with a board of 8 non-executive directors and the CEO, of which a percentage of the non-executive directors will meet the diocesan foundation criteria in recognition of the Church schools. There are currently 2 main committees – Finance, Assets & Audit and Performance, Standards & Staffing. Through the implementation of changes following the governance audit it is anticipated that the committee structure may change to better support the trust going forward.

 

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 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. 

 

Applications

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 any supporting information of your interest in the role and trust to academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.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

 

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: 15th September

Interviews: Shortlisting will take place in September and interviews will be held with a panel of Members and Trustees in early October.

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