Non-executive director x4

Board meetings are held at Dryclough Road, Huddersfield, HD4 5JA
03 Dec 2018
03 Jan 2019
South Pennine Academies (SPA)
Specialist Area
General HR Function
CIPD Membership
CIPD Member

South Pennine Academies (SPA)

South Pennine Academies (SPA) is a rapidly growing trust which seeks to appoint two new non-executive directors and two new Members to its expanding board. All academies within the trust serve areas of significant disadvantage, where schools have experienced fluctuating periods of poor performance and where communities may have been subject to poor quality education. Board meetings are held at Dryclough Road, Huddersfield.

About the trust

At present, the trust comprises nine academies and is due to undertake a period of expansion. The trust operates with the shared belief that it has the opportunity to change the education system for vulnerable learners and communities and is seeking the support and expertise of business professionals to realise this goal.

The trust operates in two hubs, in Kirklees/Calderdale and Oldham as well as operating two pre-schools. Further to this, SPA has a resourced provision for visual learners from one of its academies and operates Huddersfield Horizon School Centred Integral Teacher Training (SCITT) where it is training up to 50 teachers a year with a range of partners beyond the trust. The trust has additionally opened two presumption free schools in Kirklees.

South Pennine Academies believes in school improvement through a partnership model. This brings drive, expertise and capacity to the school improvement agenda. The trust recognises and encourages each academy’s unique characteristics and ethos, reinforcing individual identities within their respective communities.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To increase the number of academies in the trust, adding capacity where possible;
  2. To improve standards across all academies within the trust, in order to meet the minimum Ofsted standard of ‘Good’;
  3. To develop centralised systems that take advantage of economies of scale whilst allowing academies to maintain their own individuality and identity.

Trust ethos & values

The trust is committed to providing students with the education they need to become confident, articulate, independent learners and thinkers who are ready to take their place in the demanding world of the 21st century. Through the provision of high quality learning opportunities both in the classroom and outside, the trust demonstrates its determination to create active, healthy and informed citizens of tomorrow.  

Role summary Number of positions advertised: 4 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 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.

Person specification

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Restructuring
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning


  • CFO/Finance
  • HR
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Branding/Marketing

The ideal candidates will have demonstrable experience of organisation development, driving business efficiency, business growth, HR and succession planning. The trust seeks talented individuals who have the ability and the confidence to work strategically, with experience of leadership at senior management or director level. Due to the variety of competencies sought, the trust recognises that not all candidates will possess all skills, and seeks to engage with applicants who are able to bring a strong breadth of expertise.

Willingness to adhere to the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.

Time commitment

Four meetings per year.

Roles 3&4 – Member

A Member is 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 South Pennine Academies the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend two meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:


  • Corporate Governance


  • Non-executive/ Trustee

To become a Member, it is desirable for an individual to have had previous experience in a NED (non-executive director) or trustee role. Potential candidates should be able to demonstrate experience at a senior manager or director level in the private, charity or public sector. It is important that members of this trust can be relied upon to act honestly, diligently and in good faith. Experience of corporate governance is essential to enable Members to fully execute their duties.

Time commitment

The Members board meets twice per year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Dryclough Road, Huddersfield, HD4 5JA

Trust website:

Governance structure

The trust’s scheme of delegation, Governance structure and details of existing Members and trustees can be found at, under the Governance heading.

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 832 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, 22nd February, 2019

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