Non-Executive Director x 2

Orpington (City/Town), London (Greater)
Unpaid, voluntary
11 Aug 2017
08 Sep 2017
South Orpington Learning Alliance (SOLA)
Specialist Area
HR function

South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi Academy Trust (SOLA)

Based in the London Borough of Bromley, The South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi Academy Trust seeks to recruit two non-executive directors who possess a knowledge of HR and change management. Board meetings are likely to take place at Tubbenden Primary School, Sandy Bury, Orpington, Bromley, BR6 9SD.

About the trust

The South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi Academy Trust formed on 1st April 2016 and comprises six primary phase schools totalling approximately 1,850 children and 350 staff.  Trust schools range in size from 85 to 651 children on roll. The percentage of children with Free School Meals is generally low and ranges from a maximum of 17.4% to a minimum of 6.5%.. The schools across the Trust have an average of 8.5% of their children being Special Needs. English as an Additional Language rates are low.  

All of the academies within the trust are primary phase, of which one is junior only. Two of the schools provide small Additional Resource Units, one for severe and complex difficulties and one to support pupils with speech and learning difficulties.

The trust aims for each of its academies to have unique strengths but collectively demonstrate a culture and commitment to improve together using a variety of means but including shared training scheduled; Teach Meet events and specialist Trust-wide curriculum leaders.  SOLA expects each of its academies to be judged as Good or better by Ofsted. Currently all the Trust schools are ‘Good’, with one school remaining ‘Requires Improvement’.

Trust ethos & values

The trust was established with the intention of partnering and supporting other schools in the best interests of improving outcomes for children. Regular Teaching and Learning Reviews are led by the trust’s School Improvement Partner and are succeeding in driving best practice. Through a wealth of further inspiring and innovative opportunities to discover and grow, the children within the trust will develop a thirst for knowledge and a confidence to learn. SOLA aims for its young people to:

  • work hard and relish challenge;
  • develop the skills, knowledge and independence they will need for the future;
  • develop character and talents, believing they can be successful;
  • be happy and safe.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To embed the ethos of ‘trust-first’ – a culture recognising that individual school considerations are unlikely to drive full impact and effectiveness in improving trust-wide outcomes. Trust-first aims to ensure that all staff and resources are used with the best interests of the trust in mind.
  2. To support its growth strategy by deepening the strategic skill set of the board of trustees and executive leadership.
  3. To build upon the framework established to-date to expand the use of shared staffing pools, to introduce specialist trust-wide teaching leads and to revise the existing funding model to centralise funding and pool trust-wide reserves. 

The trust plans to continue its engagement with other local schools. The trust aims to expand the number of schools the Trust supports within the next 24 months. The Trust seeks to maintain a local presence and expansion plans are focused on like-minded, partnering schools who wish to collaborate. The Trust is also seeking to establish working relationships with other local Trusts with the aim of driving value for money for all children and securing best outcomes.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  2

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director


  • HR


  • Restructuring
  • Succession Planning

Person specification

The trust is interested in recruiting an individual with extensive HR experience within a strategic and leadership role. It may be helpful for the individual to be CIPD qualified.

Time commitment

Six hours per month minimum

Role 2– Trustee/Non-Executive Director


  • Change Management


  • Growth management

Person specification

SOLA seeks to recruit a candidate with experience of managing large and strategic change within a corporate environment.

Time commitment

Six 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 69% of secondary schools and 23% 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: 8th September

Interviews:    TBC

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