Non-executive director x 2
Leading Learners Academy Trust
Leading Learners Academy Trust was established in 2015, it consists of four primary schools across areas of Bradford and Wigan. The trust seeks two new board members to strengthen its board; individuals with professionally recognised qualifications in areas of finance, HR and/or law are highly sought. Board meetings are held at Tyldesley Primary School which is close to the Wigan/Salford border.
About the trust
Leading Learners Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) was founded by the leaders of Tydesley Primary School, (a National Support School) to provide a supportive platform for schools in the local area and beyond. The trust now comprises four primary schools, of which three are in Bradford and one is in Tydesley.
The trust is committed to working with community schools and has a clear focus on social mobility and improving the life chances for children living in areas of high deprivation. Curriculum innovation and family welfare are key drivers for the organisation.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Raising achievement - closing the gap to be closer to national for all measures.
- Growth - ensuring buy-in from strong schools in the region close to Wigan to grow the trust’s North West hub, whilst also building capacity in Bradford by exploring the potential of working with strong schools.
- Financial sustainability – the trust is in a stable financial position and needs to ensure its central team grows in a manner that supports the schools effectively throughout rapid improvements.
The trust is in close discussion with a strong primary school in the North West with a view to it possibly joining the trust in the next year. The Regional Schools Commissioner has agreed, in principle, to the trusts gradual further expansion.
Trust ethos & values
Leading Learners is built around a set of shared core values and principles that underpin all aspects of its work. The trust puts children at the heart of every decision and strives to provide them with the very best educational opportunities. Further insight into the culture of the trust, its vision, ethos and key aims can be viewed on the trust website: www.leadinglearnersmat.co.uk.
Role summary Number of positions advertised:2
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 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director Person specification
The competencies required for this role include:
- HR OR
- Legal/ Compliance
- Branding/ Marketing
- CEO/ General Management
- Corporate Governance
- Growth Management
An individual with a background in HR or the legal profession is desired due to the importance of understanding, supporting and developing compliance policies within the trust. Professionally recognised qualifications, such as CIPD OR legal qualifications, are therefore desired. The appointee will provide clear guidance and appropriate support to the board and have demonstrable experience providing such guidance in a similar setting. A demonstrable commercial background and acumen is highly-beneficial for this post.
Role 2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director Person specification
The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO/ Finance
- Corporate Governance
- Real estate/Property
The trust seeks a board member with a high level financial skill set and the potential to take on the role of Chair of Finance. A recognised financial qualification is therefore desirable. Significant business acumen is required, alongside demonstrable experience of supporting and ensuring financial sustainability. This individual will work with the Financial Director of the trust. Experience of corporate governance and leadership is beneficial as well as an awareness and understanding of the Nolan Principles for public life.
The Trust Board meets each half term with an additional meeting in the autumn, making 7 meetings a year. The Board does not currently operate a subcommittee structure, but each board meeting has particular foci to allow trustees to explore key areas of the trust. The trust does, however, have an Audit Committee which oversees the scrutiny of various aspects of the trust to ensure compliance and probity. A small number of trustees are invited to join the audit committee in addition to other independent people.
Meetings begin in the late afternoon (4.30/5.30pm start) and last for up to two hours. Board meetings are held in Tydesley but trustees are also encouraged to visit the schools in Bradford on occasions to get an understanding of the scope of the trust’s work. Trustees may also be required to commit to routine training as necessary following a period of induction. Overall trustees are expected to commit 4-6 hours per month on average throughout the year.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Meetings are held at Tydesley Primary School M29 7PY
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 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 22nd February 2019