Community Academies Trust (CAT) based in Staffordshire is looking to recruit up to four new nonexecutive directors who share its passion for outstanding community education and its drive to make a difference for young people. The trust currently consists of 15 academies. Board meetings rotate across all academies which are located in Warwick, Stratford upon Avon, Telford, Lichfield and Tamworth.
About the trust
Community Academies Trust (CAT) was established in 2012 by The Polesworth Secondary School (rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2008 and 2015) and Birchwood Primary School (rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014). The trust currently consists of five secondary schools and ten primary schools.
The trust’s growth strategy has been to build hubs. There are three hubs which are located in the West Midlands and are locally governed so that the vision and values of the trust are lived in the local communities. The hubs are in Tamworth and Lichfield (six academies), Warwick and Stratford (four academies), and Telford (five academies).
The CEO of the Trust was awarded an OBE in 2018 New Year Honours for services to education.
Plans for the future
The key challenges facing the Community Academies Trust are:
- Continuing to meet the challenge of supporting and transforming schools in very challenging circumstances. To continue improving its schools and responding positively to the regular approaches from the Department for Education and other schools/academies to add to its family of schools.
- The trust is constantly improving and growing including two schools currently in the pipeline to join in the next three months, a recently opened free school, currently working in partnership with two Local Authorities regarding two prospective Free Schools, two national teaching schools and mentoring three other schools to become national teaching schools.
- The trust is also a supporting organisation in the national MAT development programme and will be supporting a new large trust in the South West this year.
Trust ethos and values
Community Academies Trust has an established vision and set of values that drive everything it does which has resulted in significant achievements for schools (a mix of converter and sponsored academies) that are currently a part of its organisation. Those values have established a set of principles that are a pre requisite for all schools:
All of CAT’s schools are:
- Focussed on achieving outstanding academic, personal and social outcomes for the children in the trust’s care.
- Committed to the moral imperative of community school improvement and shared system leadership.
- Mutually supportive, not in competition and fiercely loyal to each other.
- Equal partners with all other schools irrespective of its phase, size or success.
- Multi-academy trust minded –schools celebrate the success of others as well as themselves and feel a shared accountability and understand where ultimate responsibilities rest.
- Financially disciplined and committed to agreed financial principles.
- Committed to fulfilling delegated responsibilities.
Number of positions advertised: 4
Roles 1-4 – 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. The competencies required for this role include:
- Corporate Governance AND
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- Entrepreneur/ Founder
- Change Management
- Property/ real estate
- Branding/ Marketing
- Human Resources
- Legal/ Compliance
The trust welcomes applicants who support the ethos and values of the trust, with a good understanding of effective corporate governance and the role of a non-executive director. Experience and skills in any of the desirable categories listed are highly sought in order to support the responsibilities of the board through its expected and potential growth:
- Managing a budget of over £40 million.
- Working across several local authorities; accounting for a variety of previous practices.
- Dealing with the legal challenges of sponsoring and working with new schools.
- Managing the trust’s large portfolio of land and buildings.
- Creating new approaches to reengineer schools so that they can remain effective and improve in a challenging financial environment.
4-8 Hours/month minimum
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
Board meetings are held on rotation in each school, the details of which can be found here:
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 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: Friday, June 29th