Non-executive director x 2

Board meetings are held at King's Leadership Academy Warrington, Hillock Lane, Warrington, WA1 4PF.
23 Nov 2018
23 Dec 2018
Great Schools Trust
Specialist Area
General HR Function
CIPD Membership
CIPD Member

Great Schools Trust seeks to recruit a chair of human resources and an additional non-executive director to its board. The trust is made up of four secondary academies that serve areas of social and economic deprivation. The trust aims to serve as a catalyst and model for system-wide reform that will allow more children to access high-quality education and gain greater success in life. Board meetings are held in the Warrington area.

About the trust

King's Leadership Academy Warrington was opened as a free school in 2012. The specialism of the school was the development of character through leadership. It is now recognised as Warrington's best performing secondary school.

In November 2015 King's Leadership Academy came together with King's Liverpool and The Hawthorne's Sefton (also located in an area of high deprivation) to form Great Schools Trust. The trust now has four open academies and will open a further academy in Bolton in 2019/20.

Plans for the future

Great Schools Trust seeks to develop, through the application of its ‘character through leadership’ philosophy, a family of excellent ‘world class’ academies that allow all pupils, irrespective of their starting point or background, to access university or a career of their choice and succeed in life.

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

  1. Bringing financial stability to the trust by increasing pupil numbers in both Liverpool and Sefton
  2. Strengthening governance at board level
  3. Gaining financial stability through further expansion

The trust seeks to consolidate present academies and grow by at least one academy per year.

Trust ethos & values

Great Schools Trust is committed to enhancing the future social mobility of its students through the development of character and leadership.

The trust firmly believes that its mission can be accomplished through working with each academy, helping them develop the character traits of their pupils through the constant and consistent application of their ‘seven pillars of character’ which are bound within the ASPIRE Code. The pillars are: Aspiration and Achievement, Self-Awareness, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, Endeavour.

Role summary Number of positions advertised: 2 Role 1 – Trustee/Chair of Human Resources

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.

The board requires an experienced HR non-executive director to chair its HR sub-committee who can strategically oversee the expansion of the trust and the executive team in the management of HR risks.

The role will involve providing support to the board and chair in setting the strategic direction of the trust, bringing experience and influence to the trust and chairing HR subcommittee meetings effectively. All trustees have a responsibility to support and challenge the executive team (including the CEO) and to provide oversight of the trust’s finances.  Experience of corporate governance and leadership is therefore beneficial as well as an awareness and understanding of the  Nolan Principles for public life.

The competencies required for this role include:


  • HR
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance


  • Non-executive director/trustee

Person specification

The trust seeks a candidate who occupies a senior HR position in commerce or industry. This individual must have sufficient skills and experience to guide the board and its constituent academies on overall human resources services, policies and programs.

Time commitment

6 meetings per year (up to 2 hours each) & time to read papers / prepare. Trustees may be required for training/development activities.  Normal requirements would be up to 6 hours per month (on average).

Role 2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Growth Management


  • Some Chair experience
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Strategic
  • CFO/Finance

Person specification

For this role, the trust seeks a candidate who occupies a legal advisory or growth management position in commerce or industry.

Time commitment

6 meetings per year (up to 2 hours each) & time to read papers / prepare. Trustees may be required for training/development activities.  Normal requirements would be up to 6 hours per month (on average).

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at King's Leadership Academy Warrington, Hillock Lane, Warrington, WA1 4PF.

Governance structure

Preferably insert link to the information on governance from trust website. If not available, insert diagram of governance structure (if provided)

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 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 11th January 2019

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