Non-Executive Director

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
17 May 2018
17 Jun 2018
Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust
Specialist Area
HR function

Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust seeks a new non-executive director and a Chair of Audit to join its board. Board meetings are held in the Middlesbrough area. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.

About the Trust

The Diocese of Middlesbrough is to merge four existing trusts, containing 24 academies, across Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland. These trusts will then be converted and an additional current Catholic Voluntary Aided (VA) school will be added to form a new 25-school Catholic Academy Trust for Tees Valley.

The trust is currently recruiting a CEO and Director of Corporate Services and has identified and appointed eight of the 12 new trustees to the academy board. The trust will be the single largest provider of education in the Tees Valley and is expected to become an outstanding system-leading trust – ensuring the quality of all Catholic education, and outcomes provided for children and young people, is of the highest possible standard. In addition, the trust will support and help to improve education right across the Tees Valley area.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To create leadership structures and appointing key personnel to drive forward the vision and strategic direction of the trust - these include the CEO, standards team, Corporate Services Department and the trustees - to provide the operational and strategic leadership essential for the trust’s success.
  2. To merge the complexities of 24 academies currently operating in four separate trusts as well as one current VA school, into a single cohesive high performing entity that has impact and direction from the beginning of its operations.
  3. To create challenge and support mechanisms, plans and success criteria to tackle immediately some underperformance in a small number of schools, particularly at secondary school level. To enhance and share the practice of our current 'highest performing schools in Tees Valley' to benefit the trust as a whole.

Initially the trust needs to create and consolidate the proposed merger which will be its key performance area for the next three to five years.

Trust Ethos & Values

Provided by the Catholic Church, the trust aims to support the Church’s mission of making God known to all though the provision of outstanding Catholic education. In line with the principles of the Church, part of the trust’s aim is to provide an opportunity for the most deprived young people in society to improve their life chances, and to access and benefit from a high quality Catholic education.

Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised: 2

Role 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Restructuring


  • Entrepreneur/Founder
  • Risk
  • Turnaround

Person specification

This individual must have experience of leadership and management across a multi-faceted organisation with a range of departments or subsidiary companies. They will have the ability to review structures and operations to secure best value whilst protecting front line performance.

Experience of business mergers and acquisitions would be ideal. The trust seeks a non-executive director who can work with the board to realise value for money savings and put together restructuring plans needed to realise the trust’s ambitions.

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).


Role 2 – Chair of Audit

The Chair of Audit will handle the audit committee’s agenda and oversee its communications with management and the board. They have a responsibility to ensure that the right members are on the board, to manage relationships within the audit committee and to ensure that the appropriate information is presented to the committee.

The trust has finance professionals and business lawyers on its board, however the addition of an individual with experience of audit and of the operation of company and charity accounts would be of great value.  

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Risk
  • Qualified Accountant


  • Change Management
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Restructuring

Person specification

This role requires a qualified accountant of finance professional with analytical skills and experience. The Chair of Audit will lead the development and analysis of the trust’s executive plans and financial models, and will work with the board to ensure corporate compliance against Department for Education and Charity Commission. Due to the nature of the role, an understanding of academies frameworks and guidance would be beneficial.

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).

Trust Website

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ schools.  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 do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 


Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme 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 29th June 2018