Wellington College Academy Trust in Wiltshire seeks a non-executive director with experience in HR and organisational change, and a further non-executive director with experience in finance and business turnaround/development. Board meetings are typically held at The Wellington Academy in Ludgershall, Wiltshire.
About the Trust
Wellington College Academy Trust, sponsored by Wellington College, opened in 2009 with a single secondary academy (formerly Castledown School) expanding in 2014 to start up a brand new primary academy. Currently overseeing the two mainstream academies below, the trust is due to expand again in 2019:
- The Wellington Academy – opened 2019 (secondary) based in Ludgershall takes students from Year 7 (age 11) to Year 11 (age 16) and Year 13 (sixth form). The school also has a state boarding facility for a small number of students and good leisure facilities which are open to the community.
- Wellington Primary Academy – opened 2014, takes pupils from age 4 (Reception) to Year 6. Based in Tidworth the primary school is co-located with and operates a model of shared leadership with The Nest Nursery which is run by Wellington College Academy Enterprises Ltd, a trading arm of the trust.
- The trust has also sponsored a new two-form entry primary free school which is in development and due to open on 1 September 2019 – Ludgershall Primary Free School.
Being sponsored by Wellington College enables the trust to benefit from additional support and opportunities for students at the academies to work with students and staff at Wellington College.
Closely located to Wiltshire’s main military bases, approximately 50% of pupils come from military families. This creates in year mobility for all age groups which, combined with a lack of capacity at other local primary schools, means the trust supports ongoing admissions in most year groups at the primary academy.
Plans for the Future
As the trust grows, both through demographic changes and to take on a 2nd primary school, it is looking to strengthen and improve all areas of its operations, structures and scrutiny, and in particular better use of data and information to inform planning. The key challenges for Wellington College Academy Trust in the next 24 months will be:
- Financial performance – the schools are currently operating under capacity but expecting to increase pupil numbers (potentially significantly but as yet unclear) in 2019 due to a large influx of military families from the MoD re-basing programme alongside local housing development. The trust needs to ensure that it can effectively manage its financial capacity and the changes necessary in support of the growth.
- Improve Educational performance – Ofsted judged The Wellington Academy ‘Good’ in 2016, Boarding ‘Outstanding’ in 2018 and Wellington Primary Academy ‘requires improvement’ in 2017. With the start-up of the new primary school the trust must continue its drive to improve the educational performance, especially at the existing primary school.
- Increasing leadership capacity – to consider and establish the most effective operational and executive leadership and accountability structure as the trust grows in size.
- Successful development and integration – with the new primary school opening in September 2019, it will be key to ensure that the new school is fully integrated into the trust and that the trust and its students can benefit from having a more cohesive all-through approach to education and outcomes. The trust is also keen to further develop the level of engagement and support with Wellington College.
- Strengthening rigor, challenge and scrutiny – in both operational practice and governance oversight as the trust grows and its model and financial position change in support of its growth.
Trust Ethos & Values
The trust's vision is detailed on the website but is currently being refreshed along with the 5 year
strategic plan: https://www.wcat.org.uk/Pages/Index.asp
The trust's core aims for the Tidworth and Ludgershall communities is:
- To provide an outstanding all-round primary and secondary education, including boarding provision
- To raise aspiration in all children and, by extension, adults in the area
- To strengthen the local community
- Develop a financial model for its schools which is sustainable in the long term
Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised: 2 Role 1/2 – 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 trust seeks non-executive directors who are experienced operating at board level to influence and oversee the vision and strategy, policy and processes of change, turnaround and growth, ideally in charitable companies.
The competencies required for this role include:
- HR / Organisational Development
- Change Management
- Business Development
- CEO/General Management
- Succession Planning
- Legal / Compliance
The trust is keen to appoint a strategic HR specialist with experience in remuneration decision-making, leading and/or supporting significant strategic change and operational re-organisation. They should have HR, recruitment skills, succession planning and experience in staff engagement and development. Additionally, HR legal expertise and compliance would be of value.
The trust would also be interested in speaking to candidates with a senior finance background including business turnaround and development as part of their succession planning.
7 hours /month minimum.
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
The trust’s website is https://www.wcat.org.uk and board meetings are primarily held at The Wellington Academy but can also be held at other locations.
Currently three Members possibly increasing to five. Currently nine trustees.
Please see https://www.wcat.org.uk/pages/Page.asp?PageID=205 for more information.
The trust is in the process of updating its articles and implementing new practice which will take effect from September 2018; and is exploring changes to its committee structure in support of the imminent growth needs.
Background on Academy Trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 28% 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 726 multi academy trusts of 3+ 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 email@example.com. 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 29th June 2018
Shortlisted candidates will have an opportunity to visit the trust during the process.
Interviews will take place in July and/or August.
The induction process for successful candidate(s) would start early on in the autumn term, if not before.