Non-executive director x3
Aldridge Education is a multi-academy trust of entrepreneurial academy schools located in three clusters – London, Brighton and the North West. The trust seeks three non-executive directors with experience in finance, HR, Branding/Marketing or IT/Technology to join the board. Board meetings are held at 30 Millbank, London and rotate across the schools. The trust welcomes candidates who are able to attend the meetings in London, with at least one of the roles to be filled by someone who lives or has strong connections to the North-West.
About the trust
Sir Rod Aldridge launched the Aldridge Foundation in 2006 after retiring from Capita Plc, the business he set up, and which became one of this country’s most successful companies. The Aldridge Education Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) was established by the Aldridge Foundation in 2016 to fulfil the Aldridge ambition of providing the best education to young people from disadvantaged background regardless of whether they are academically or vocationally inclined. There are currently eight schools within the MAT, and an adult education community interest company serving one of those school communities. Aldridge Education is also the Lead Sponsor of a free-standing academy school and one of the co-sponsors of a University Technical College. Sir Rod Aldridge was the Founding Chair of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, a new FE college in Haringey, which the Trust support’s as the college’s Founding Education Partner.
The Trust has 725 staff and over 5,000 students. The family of Trust member and sponsored schools located in three clusters with five schools in the North-West; three in Brighton in addition to the adult education CIC; and two in London - including Kensington Aldridge Academy, located at the foot of Grenfell Tower, which won TES School of the Year 2018. The Trust’s goal is to expand by adding to these clusters so that each has between five and eight schools, maximising the opportunities available to students and communities.
Having established the Trust, the Aldridge Foundation continues its work as a separate charity promoting the thinking around enterprise and entrepreneurship along with developing partnerships and securing funding to support added-value projects for Aldridge students and young people in the communities that Aldridge schools serve.
Plans for the future
The newly appointed non-executive directors will join the Trust at a point of change as it recruits a new CEO. The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To ensure all schools continue to improve educational standards and deliver good results.
- To maximise the numbers of students at each school, including the schools that recruit pupils from age 14.
- To continue to build systems and common standards where this delivers efficiencies and improvements across the Trust.
- To deliver ongoing financial probity and good governance as the Trust moves from an historic deficit into surplus in 2019-20.
- To oversee manageable growth within the existing regional clusters and attract like-minded schools to join with the potential of doubling the size of the Trust.
Trust ethos & values
Aldridge Education is a values-driven organisation with a commitment to non-selective, inclusive schools providing children and young people with an exceptional educational experience.
The trust encourages students and staff to develop a passion for learning as well as an entrepreneurial mind-set and enterprising skills, enabling people to help take responsibility for their own futures and their communities. The Trust’s values are the entrepreneurial attributes that help students to develop – creativity, passion, determination, problem-solving, risk-taking and teamwork.
The trust’s thinking around the entrepreneurial ethos has developed in recent years and now the Aldridge Foundation has funded for the next 5 years the development of the Aldridge Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Bristol Business School in partnership with the University of West of England. Founded in 2018 and with its own Professor, the Institute’s aim is to develop innovative, evidence-based approaches to embedding enterprising skills in teaching and learning. It will shape the future of education policy, by changing thinking on how people teach and learn across schools, colleges and universities. To find out more about the Trust’s ethos, values and entrepreneurial attributes, please see their website: http://aldridgeeducation.org/about-aldridge-education
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 3
The trust is based in Millbank, London where board meetings are also held. Candidates must also be willing to undertake some travelling when the board meets at a school. The trust is keen to find some new trustees who live or are located in the North West of England, and are looking for one or two of these three positions to meet that aim. Other trustees may be located in London or elsewhere.
Roles 1 – 3: 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 ensures compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.
The Trust seeks three trustees/non-executive directors with experience in finance; HR and change management; and data or marketing and reputation management. All candidates should be committed to the development of enterprising skills and entrepreneurship in education and demonstrate experience of good governance. The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO/ Finance
- Change Management
- Growth Management
- Corporate Governance
- Strategy Development
Finance: Probably a qualified accountant, candidates should have experience of financial management from a commercial organisation of the size of a FTSE 250 company and at a multi-site organisation. Ultimately the role could develop to become Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee and aid the Trust in developing and implementing a new budget.
HR: Experience in a leading, strategic HR role through a period of change, of working in a unionised environment and of talent management are the key requirements that will enable you to make a contribution to what is quintessentially a people business.
Branding/Marketing or IT/Technology: the Trust is also seeking a third NED, who may bring data and systems expertise or marketing and reputation management experience.
While the Trust seeks specific competencies and experience the role is broad and holistic and NEDs will need to bring energy, commitment and focus, driven by a desire to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people in sometimes extremely challenging circumstances.
8 hours/month minimum with 6 board meetings/year (4-5 committee meetings/year)
The trust also connects trustees to each of the schools to provide the Chair of the Local Governing Committee with a chain of communication to the MAT Board. You may be asked to be one of those Link Trustees.
Location of board meetings and trust website
The Aldridge Education Head Office is based at 3rd Floor, 30 Millbank, London SW1P 4DU but meetings are also held at their schools.
Please see www.aldridgeeducation.org
Please see http://aldridgeeducation.org/about-aldridge-education/members-trustees/ for more information.
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 30% of primaries across the country – and their number is growing all the time.
Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts. There are currently 775 multi-academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, 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 regions in which Aldridge Education operates.
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