Non-executive director x3
Together Learning Trust
Together Learning Trust (TLT) seeks two members and three trustees to join its board. This is a new trust which will be incorporated imminently and already has approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner. The trust brings together two communities (Sowerby Bridge and Honley/Meltham), across two authorities, separated by geography but bound by common values. Each school within the trust is independently good but strives to be better - using individual strengths to benefit the whole. Board meetings will be held across the two communities a minimum of 6 times per year.
About the trust
Together Learning Trust (TLT) is established on the core values of Integrity, Creativity and Excellence. The trust aims to provide an environment where all members of its community can thrive. Its representatives believe that all children should make exceptional progress and all its staff are committed to providing engaging and enriching experiences to build a love of learning.
The aim of the trust is to ensure that all schools within the MAT secure excellent outcomes whilst retaining a wide range of academic, creative and vocational opportunities so that the children in its community are best equipped for their future. The trust recognises the need for financial efficiency but will not support any change that would detract from its core purpose.
At Together Learning Trust, the welfare of its children is placed above all other considerations. Whilst deprivation levels are not particularly high (approx. 20% free school meals eligibility) many young people within the trust have specific needs that require support. The trust, therefore, once established, expects to consolidate before it grows – building (as it expects its children to do) upon solid foundations.
The trust consists of the following schools: Ryburn Valley High School (11-18 years with 1460 pupils) and Bolton Brow Primary (4-11 years with 230 pupils) are both existing academies in the Calderdale area and will convert from single academy trusts at the point where they join the Multi Academy Trust (MAT); Honley High School (11-16 years with 1270 pupils (including 20 place Specialist Provision for Autism)) is a Foundation School; Meltham Moor Primary (with 210 pupils) and Netherton Junior and Infants (with 170 pupils) both cater for ages 4-11 years and they have already been approved to join the trust. All three schools are in the Kirklees area and are aiming to join the Trust on the 1st April 2019.
The trust is currently forming its new structures and will take some experienced trustees and governors from some of the academies/schools to make-up the new Board. In the earlier stages of its development, this is an exciting opportunity for business leaders to bring their skills to this new trust as it establishes new protocols and practice to build lasting high-quality developments for the future which will initially serve around 3,500 students and staff with potential to grow further in time.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Sustainable growth and development: Securing and maintaining the highest standard of education within each community given tight financial constraints. Attract strong educational partners to enhance the quality of provision. Build a centralised team to increase capacity for improvement for schools both within and outside the trust. Structural and organisational alignment:
- Develop common and efficient working practices to maximise economies of scale. The secure best educational value in terms of shared learning resources, planning, quality assurance, assessment and standardisation. To secure the best financial value in terms of procurement, legal services, HR and payroll.
- Effective risk management: Identification and mitigation of risk factors both internally and externally. Medium-to-long term financial forecasts used to set targets for income generation and growth. Structures implemented to secure succession planning for key roles within the organisation. Significant political awareness is required to predict and respond to future volatility.
The trust aims to develop a core school improvement team and business support function during years 1-3 to work across the trust. Its growth strategy is linked directly to the capacity to improve – the interests of each child will continue to be the trust’s main priority.
Trust ethos & values
Together Learning Trust supports values of Integrity, Excellence and Creativity. The trust is guided by a shared commitment to providing exceptional opportunities and a belief that every student can achieve great things. It operates on the basis that “when schools collaborate, incredible things happen“.
The mission of this trust is to Grow, Excel and Learn together.
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 5
Roles 1 to 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 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 and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth and holding the CEO/CFO to account.
Role 1 – CFO/Finance
The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO/ Finance
- Growth Management
- Remuneration Committee Chair
- Change Management
The trust seeks a skilled business professional with detailed working knowledge of corporate finance, accountancy and/or banking experience to provide independent scrutiny of financial planning and budgets. Experience of planning for sustainable growth, overseeing significant budgets (£20M+), audit and effective procurement practice and/or experience of bidding for and securing grants is desired.
Role 2 – Real estate
- Real estate/Property
- Change Management
- Change Management
- Corporate Governance
This individual will be asked to provide guidance to the trust in matters relating to property and capital and have relevant experience of the application of Health & Safety legislation, the building industry or architecture and capital development, managing large-scale asset portfolios/ change programmes and development of ICT infrastructure. The trust seeks an individual with a working knowledge of estate management and health and safety legislation and its application within a large organisation.
Role 3 – Compliance/Safeguarding
- Corporate Governance
The trust seeks an individual with suitable knowledge and experience support the welfare of pupils across the trust. This individual will be asked to verify that all schools within the trust are compliant with statutory guidance, verify that there is a consistency in safeguarding practice across the trust and ensure that there are effective systems in place to keep vulnerable children safe.
It is expected that all trustee roles require around 4-6 hours per month (on average). During the early start-up phase it is possible there will be more meetings but these are unlikely to be regularly more than one per half term (every 6-8 weeks). Once established, current thinking is the Board will meet up to 6 times a year with sub-committees meeting 3-4 times a year to handle detail on matters like finance/risk and education standards. Some trustees are likely to be invited to join a sub-committee. It is common for trustees to occasionally visit some of the academies to see the impact of their work first-hand and there will be opportunities for training.
Roles 4 & 5 – Members
As a group, the members are able to alter the Trust's Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Together Learning Trust the members are expected to be signatories to the articles of association for the academy trust, to attend 2 meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
The competencies required for these roles include:
- HR and/or
- Corporate governance
Role 1 (Member): The trust seeks an experienced HR professional with a detailed working knowledge of employment law and its application within a large organisation.
This individual will maintain oversight of:
- remuneration decision-making in relation to leadership salaries
- managing grievance cases or personnel issues where redundancies are planned
- recruitment strategies to support growth;
- succession planning where Members or Trustees are likely to retire or move on; and
- staff engagement and development.
Role 2 (Member): The trust also seeks a professional with experience in the legal/compliance sector, particularly with a working knowledge of legal compliance within a large organisation. It would be desirable (but not essential) for this member to have recent experience of working with academy trusts.
2 hours per month, minimum.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Ryburn Valley High School, St Peter's Avenue, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 1DG OR
Honley High School, Station Road, Honley, HD9 6QJ
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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 775 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 14th December 2018