Non-Executive Director

Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester
30 May 2018
30 Jun 2018
Great Academies Education Trust (GAET)
Specialist Area
HR function

Great Academies Education Trust seeks a skilled HR professional to join its board, to provide additional accountability and support. Board meetings are held at Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne (OL6 7AT).

About the Trust

Great Academies Education Trust (GAET) is a multi-academy trust (MAT) based in Tameside, Greater Manchester, comprising three secondary academies – Copley Academy, Middleton Technology School and Great Academy Ashton - and one primary academy, Silver Springs Primary Academy.

The trust is sponsored by New Charter Group, a housing association that provides nearly 20,000 homes, mainly in Greater Manchester. All of the schools within the trust serve communities in which there is considerable deprivation, with the percentage of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant ranging from 27% to 50%, with significant numbers of pupils with English as an additional language, particularly at Great Academy Ashton.

The GAET Board comprises representatives with significant expertise in senior roles, who have the capacity to hold the executive leaders and the academies of the trust to account for educational achievement and for a range of other measures that enable it to uphold the ethos of GAET.

The Board of Directors holds overall and ultimate responsibility, not only for legislative compliance but also for attainment and progress. The central team comprises a school improvement arm, governance, finance and asset management, HR support, payroll and legal. The sponsor additionally provides support for ICT, health and safety, project management and community engagement.

  Plans for the Future

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

  1. Improving pupil outcomes maintaining high standardsat all academies in the trust.
  2. Maintaining or mproving the quality of leadership and management at all levels.
  3. Developing and maturing the trust in order to be able to grow further, before 2019.

The trust has an overarching aim to consolidate the improvements and ensure that all academies are 'Good' by 2020 – this represents a period of seven academic terms.

Trust Ethos & Values

That Great Academies Education Trust supports its academies, from their starting points, to become outstanding schools. All individuals at the trust strive to embody its values: Genuine, Respect, Excellent, Achievement and Together. More information on the ethos and values is available at:

Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised: 1

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:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • Change Management
  • HR
  • Succession Planning


  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Restructuring
  • Risk

Person Specification

The trust is seeking an individual with extensive and demonstrable skills and experience in the area of change management and HR, including leading the implementation of policies and practices across a medium or large organisation. Strategic oversight and the ability to work closely with the senior leadership team is essential.

Time Commitment

Around 6 hours a month (on average)

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Cavendish 249, Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7AT.

Governance Structure

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, 6th July 2018

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