Non-executive director X 2
North Carr Collaborative Academy Trust seeks two new trustees as it looks to strengthen its governance arrangements and deliver sustainable improvement across the trust. Candidates with demonstrable experience in the fields of legal/compliance, HR, financial or risk management are sought. Board meetings are held at Kingswood Parks Primary School, Hull.
About the trust
North Carr Collaborative Academy Trust (NCCAT) is formed of three schools within a two-mile radius. The trust grew out of Highlands Primary School (judged by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’) and also designated as a Teaching School and sponsor. Bude Park Primary School converted and joined the trust at the outset and is judged as solidly ‘Good’ by Ofsted.
The trust was initially established to sponsor a brand-new school, Kingswood Parks Primary School, which was built to provide high quality education for the expanding population in Hull. Since opening, it has consistently been oversubscribed and has expanded to a three-form entry school and when at capacity all year groups will provide for approximately 630 children and a nursery. Kingswood Parks Primary currently has a ‘Requires Improvement’ Ofsted judgement but anticipates a ‘Good’ judgement at its next inspection which is due next year.
The trust originated from the Education Action Zone initiative (Highlands and Bude Park) which focused on schools which were struggling and with children from highly deprived backgrounds. Almost two-thirds of the children qualify for the pupil premium funding. The early work between Highlands and Bude Park transformed the area’s education offering - the team are keen to maintain this high-quality approach. The trust is outward facing and works closely with several other trusts in the area.
The Teaching School at Highlands works within the Hull Collaborative Teaching School Alliance. The CEO is designated as a National Leader of Education (NLE) and around 15 of the staff in the trust are accredited as Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) and use their skills to support and train others in the area.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Build trust capacity – overall the trust relies heavily on the staff at Highlands and through capacity development it seeks to lessen the demands on the Highlands team;
- Sustainable improvement – aiming to maintain standards at Bude Park (Ofsted ‘Good’) and improve standards at Kingswood Parks (‘Requires Improvement’);
- Recruitment, retention and succession planning – the trust aims to ‘grow its own’ quality workforce which brings challenges in terms of development of skills and timescales inherent in this.
Over the longer term, the trust seeks to secure sustainable improvement at Bude Park and Kingswood Parks whilst retaining its commitment to system leadership. It has a strong moral purpose and willingness to collaborate with other trusts.
Trust ethos & values
NCCAT is an inclusive trust that values and celebrates individuality and differences. Challenges are never used as an excuse for underachievement and the staff are committed to the children and families often ‘going the extra mile’ with the view that education can make the difference to people’s lives, opening doors to exciting opportunities.
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 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.
NCCAT seeks to strengthen its board with the addition of two non-executive directors. Individuals with particular skills in HR and legal/ compliance or risk management, together with succession planning are sought to offer support to the trust as it strives to consolidate and build on its successes.
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)
- Legal/ Compliance
- Succession Planning
- Corporate Governance
- Change Management
- Growth Management
- Remuneration Committee Chair
- Branding/ Marketing
- CFO/ Finance
Role 1 – The trust seeks a candidate possessing skills in the area of HR and /or legal, with relevant qualifications (e.g. ACCA) highly sought. Experience of a non-executive role in a charity or not-for-profit organisation is additionally advantageous. Furthermore, experience in corporate, charity or regulatory compliance, with a specific link to HR, growth management, mergers, risk, compliance and change management, remuneration, decision making, succession planning, staff development is desired.
Role 2 – An individual with extensive experience of corporate governance and experience of working at board level within a large charity or not-for-profit organisation is required. The ability to identify and manage strategic risk and experience of managing large budgets as well as auditing and developing strategic plans is sought.
Experience of and willingness to adhere to the Nolan principles of public life is essential.
The full trust board meets three times per year (once each term) with possible additional meetings to address specific issues. Trustees with the appropriate skills may be invited to join the Finance and Audit Committee which also meets three times a year (ahead of the full board meeting). Meetings tend to last up to three hours.
Meetings are diarised with advance notice and have previously taken place in the day or early evening. However, there is potential for flexibility within this.
Trustees are asked to commit to the training programme, some of which provides statutory information (including safeguarding) and others to broaden the skills and understanding of education. Some of this may be online, but the trust also engages the National Governance Association’s training packages.
Trustees may be invited to visit some of the trust’s schools on occassion to understand the impact of their work with children. Overall trustees would normally be expected to give (on average) 4-6 hours per month.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Trust website: www.highlandsprimaryschool.org.uk
Trust board meetings are held at Kingswood Parks Primary School, School Lane, Hull, HU7 3JQ
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 email@example.com. 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, 15th March 2019.