Non-executive director x 3
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Meller Educational Trust (MET)
The Meller Educational Trust (MET) seeks two-three trustees/non-executive directors with backgrounds in strategic HR, corporate governance, succession planning and property to support and challenge its work on improving outcomes for 2,200 children. Board meetings are held in Watford.
About the trust
The Meller Educational Trust (MET) is a multi-academy trust specialising in improving secondary education. The trust has two schools in Watford with over 2,200 pupils between The Bushey Academy and Francis Combe Academy. MET started and continues to support challenging schools in the more deprived areas of Hertfordshire. The trust has a budget of approximately £12 million annually, with reserves of approximately £1.4million, and is in a strong financial position. Francis Combe Academy is rated Good by Ofsted and The Bushey Academy is rated as Inadequate, and the trust has implemented a plan to improve the standards of the school.
Both schools have seen significant improvements in educational outcomes since academisation. The trust’s next challenge is to move to the next step, and ensure sustainable improvement is embedded within the schools. Bushey and Francis Combe each have around 1,100 students through key stages 3, 4 and 5, and have similar student characteristics, reflecting the North Watford location. The number of disadvantaged students is above national average with around 32 per cent of students in this category. Many have special educational needs, with the proportion of students in Education and Health Care Plans at around 1 per cent. The level of students with English as an additional language is consistent with the national average of 16 per cent. Within this context, however, prior attainment at key stage 2 (primary) is low.
The trust currently has four non-executive trustees and is looking to expand the board to ensure it has the capacity and all-around skills to take the trust to the next level. Trustees have conducted a skills review which identified a number of strengths relating to the roles and responsibilities of the Board. There are areas of experience shortage, which are reflected in this brief, and trustees would also welcome new trustees with leadership qualities to support the implementation and monitoring of strategy.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Continue to improve outcomes: Ofsted ratings need to be secured in order for pupil outcomes, progress and attainment to improve.. We are particularly seeking to deliver a step change in student progress outcomes at Key Stage 4;
- Preparing for sustainable and impactful growth: ensuring financial and school improvement sustainability, attracting the right schools. We are developing and building Trust-wide systems to support the schools and Trust operate effectively and efficiently.
Trust ethos & values
The trust aims for all students to leave MET schools with high self-esteem, well-equipped for employment and with the life skills that they need and deserve. The trust was built on targeting challenging schools in areas of higher deprivation to improves outcomes for children from all backgrounds. The trust’s long-term goal is that all students who attend MET schools will experience an outstanding and enjoyable education and be able to sustain the lifestyle of their choice. They will be independent, thriving economically and making a real, positive contribution to their communities.
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 2-3 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 set the strategic direction for the trust and to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees oversees 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 competencies required for this role include:
- Strategic HR OR
- Corporate Governance
- Succession Planning
- Real estate/Property
- Strategic HR: The trust requires someone with a strong background in strategic HR oversight with the ability to strategically manage complex structures. but the qualities and the broader experience of the candidate are more important than the professional skillset.
- Corporate governance/succession planning: The trust seeks an individual with strong working knowledge of corporate governance and succession planning for a future Vice-Chair role. An ability to work as part of a team with the independence of thought and sound judgement and experience of monitoring and evaluating performance in commercial sectors is desirable.
- Real estate/Property: With the trust looking to grow, the successful applicant will have significant experience in estate management and the ability to identify centralisation opportunities.
6 hours per month minimum.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are usually held at one of our schools. The registered office is Watford UTC, 18 Colonial Way, Watford, WD24 4PT
For more information on the Trust, please see their website: www.mellereducationaltrust.org
For more information in regard to the trust’s governance structure, please see: www.mellereducationaltrust.org/key-information/scheme-of-governance
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 14th December 2018
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