Non-Executive Director X 2
Matrix Academy Trust
Matrix Academy Trust was founded in 2014, by a school in Walsall rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted; it now consists of four schools. The trust serves a broad variety of communities with a focus on those with the greatest challenges. The trust seeks to recruit one non-executive director, with a strong business background and ability to help with growth, business development and change management, to join its board. Board meetings are held at Barr Beacon School, Walsall.
About the trust
Matrix Academy Trust recognises that strength comes from partnerships with other schools and initially started working with others as a teaching school, eventually becoming a sponsor.
Although all of the schools within the trust are different, they all share the belief that every child can achieve with high-quality teaching. The trust staff are often ‘homegrown’ - as the trust incorporates a School-Based Initial Teacher Training Centre (SCITT) - and are generous in sharing the effective practice with others within and outside the trust.
The trust has grown slowly to ensure that it is able to support all of its schools in their school improvement journey; it is ambitious and ready for future planned growth.
There are currently four schools within the trust, comprising over 4,000 pupils. Barr Beacon, Bloxwich Academy, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury and Etone College.
One is a large, ‘Outstanding’ secondary academy in Walsall with teaching school status and home of the School Centred Initial Teacher Training base. Two schools within the trust are rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted – one in Nuneaton and one in Birmingham. The final school is an ‘all through’ school (catering to ages 3 -18yrs) in Walsall which is currently rated as ‘Requires Improvement’. All schools within the trust have improved since they joined and all have increased in size. Behaviour in all schools within the trust is judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
The trust offers a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities within it schools including the Combined Cadet Force and the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To remain focused on school improvement and raising pupils’ life chances in a financially challenging environment.
- To maintain a leadership pipeline of quality staff through effective recruitment, retention and wellbeing strategies, including ensuring that trust remains an employer of choice. This pipeline will support its succession planning strategy during a time of national teacher shortage.
- To ensure that the trust growth strategy is measured and realistic and does not distract from the current schools and to ensure effective succession planning for strong governance.
- To develop the trust regional hub model so that there are three solid regional hubs in South Birmingham, Nuneaton and the Black Country.
Trust ethos & values
The trust belief in a ‘no excuses’ culture permeates its academies – every action must have a positive outcome for the children. Its mantra is ‘If it is good enough for my child then it is good enough for children in Matrix Schools.’
Role Summary Number of positions advertised: 2 Roles 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.
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)
- Business development
- Change Management
- CEO/ General Management
- Growth Management
- Entrepreneur/ Founder
Both of the roles require individuals possessing strong business skills with specific emphasis on an understanding of the challenges facing a growing organisation. The trust specifically seeks an individual with experience of building networks, developing a medium-sized business and identifying opportunities to grow.
The trust requires individuals to challenge and ask challenging questions where applicable and necessary, whilst understanding the need to prioritise children's’ outcomes as the trust seeks to grow in future.
An understanding of, and willingness to adhere to, the Nolan Principles of Public Life are essential to any individual considering applying for a role with the trust.
6 hours per month, minimum.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Barr Beacon School, Old Hall Lane, Walsall, WS9 0RF
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 – 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 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 18th January 2019