Non-executive director X 4

Location
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Salary
unpaid/ voluntary
Posted
08 Apr 2019
Closes
08 May 2019
Ref
Believe Engage Succeed Trust
Specialist Area
General HR Function
Sector
Education

Believe Engage Succeed Trust (BEST)

'Engaging learners to enhance their life opportunities and outcomes’.

Believe Engage Succeed Trust (BEST) seeks four non-executive directors to join the Trust Board overseeing three specialist schools in Suffolk. Candidates should have senior experience of HR, Change, Risk and Growth Management, Property/Real Estate or Health & Safety. Board meetings are held in Bury St. Edmunds.

The Trust was incorporated in February 2016 and became operational in February 2019, so this is an unusual opportunity to join a newly operational Trust.

About the trust

Believe Engage Succeed Trust (BEST) aim is to be the 'Go To' trust for progress and innovation in learning within specialist Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) provision in the East of England. With a passion for ensuring that education succeeds for all, the Trust’s philosophy promotes a growth mindset where everyone (children and staff) can learn and aspire to be the BEST that they can be. The Trust’s core purpose is to ensure that every child achieves personal development alongside vocational and academic success.  All schools work in partnership with families to enable them to share their child’s success and grow with their child; thus creating sustainable change. The Trust is responsible for 354 pupils, 273 staff and operates a budget of £7.85 million pa.

There are currently three schools in BEST:

  • The Albany Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), based in Bury St. Edmunds is a Secondary Provision with 54 students in Year 7 through to Year 11. Its students have a range of often complex SEMH needs. Some students, when ready are re-integrated into mainstream education. There are 30 staff and a budget of £1.37 million pa. Admission is via Suffolk County Education Authority.
  • Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds caters for 185 pupils aged 3 -19 from Nursery through to Sixth Form, who have severe, profound and complex learning needs. There are 139 staff and a budget of £4.12 million pa. All of the school’s learners have either a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan and admission is via Suffolk County Education Authority. The school has just moved into extensively refurbished and re-modelled building that provides a very modern and spacious special school.
  • Warren School, based in Lowestoft, is a special school for 115 children and young people aged 3-19 with severe and complex learning difficulties (SLD) with some learners having profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). There are 104 staff and a budget of £2.36 million pa. All of the school’s learners have either a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan and admission is via Suffolk County Education Authority.

BEST’s fundamental objective is to allow all the children and young people they support who cannot access or engage with mainstream education to BELIEVE in themselves, ENGAGE with their learning so that they can SUCCEED in their educational and vocational qualifications. The Trust  provides structured opportunities for them to develop the life skills that help them ultimately to become successful adults who can engage confidently with their communities, leading them to have a fulfilling lifetime of opportunities as independent adults, so that everyone of them can make a positive contribution to society. To this end, BEST creates highly effective provisions that adapt to the needs of our children and their families, driven by the conviction that having fun and showing respect and dignity ensures every individual matters.

  Plans for the future

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

  1. Complete the transition to being a Multi Academy Trust (MAT): As a very new MAT, the Trust looks to complete its transition by the end of this financial year with people, structures and processes all in place and running effectively.
  2. Improve the trust schools’ effectiveness: in supporting the personal development and academic achievements of all children so that they can be the BEST that they can be and be confident citizens.
  3. Measured growth: to expand the trust’s offer in terms of both the range of services offered and the number of SEND and SEMH children being support across Suffolk.

In response to a short fall of over 800 places, over the next 2 years, the local authority intends to commission three new special schools in Suffolk, and additional SEMH places. BEST will look to be the successful bidder for one of these new special schools and the expansion of SEMH places.

Trust ethos & values

BEST actually places the child the centre of everything it does. The Trust has built a strong reputation for always ‘going the extra mile’ for all of our children. All learners are helped to recognise their successes and achievements and there is a “can do” ethos in all BEST’s schools

Role summary Number of positions advertised:

4

Roles 1-4 – 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.

Person specification

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)

 

  • HR
  • Real estate/ Property
  • Risk
  • Change Management

Desirable

 

  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Succession Planning
  • Corporate Governance
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • Branding/ Marketing

 

 

  Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).

Role 1: Non-executive/ Trustee - HR Specialist.

The Board wishes to increase its HR skills and expertise. The key responsibilities will be to provide insights into best practice for:

  • a successful HR strategy in educational settings;
  • HR policies and procedures including employment legislation, executive and senior recruitment, performance management and pay;
  • HR planning for growth.

Person specification:

Candidates will have a strong HR background with experience of a strategic HR role, working across multiple sites. Where they have business HR experience, a willingness to understand SEND and SEMH settings and transfer their experience effectively is expected. An appropriate level of creativity/flexibility in HR solutions will be appreciated.

Role 2: Non-executive/ Trustee - Business Risk and/or Estate Management

The key responsibilities will be to provide insights into best practice for:

  • a strategic approach to Risk;
  • Risk management procedures;
  • Policies / procedures for both the s/t and m/t management of the Trust’s Estate.

Person specification:

Skills and expertise in assessing and managing Business Risk and management of estates. The key responsibilities will be to provide insights into best practice for:

  • establishing a strategic approach to Risk management;
  • Risk management procedures;
  • policies and procedures for the effective management of the Estate at either senior or middle management level

Role 3: Non-executive/ Trustee - Parent Voice or Charitable Organization or Educational Research

The key responsibilities will be to provide insights into best practice for:

  • listening to the Parent Voice;
  • establishing strategic approach to being a charitable organization;
  • ensuring innovative and creative in the Trust's use of the latest educational research.

Person specification:

Candidates with a strong background in: One or more of the following

  • establishing an effective Parent Voice; or
  • charitable organisations at leadership or Trustee level; or
  • educational research which resonates with the Trust’s ethos/values;

 

 

  • an interest in being an ambassador for involving the community;
  • CSR and communications.

Successful candidates may have a background spanning two of these three.

Role 4: Non-executive/ Trustee – Business Growth and Development

The key responsibilities will be to provide insights into best practice for:

  • the strategic analysis of the educational landscape;
  • establishing a strategy for measured growth;
  • deconstructing the strategy to a school level;
  • reflecting the strategy in one and three year plans.

Person specification:

Candidates with a strong background in:

  • strategic analysis where national policies are influential;
  • strategic choices to achieve effective differentiation;
  • strategy implementation through the planning and allocation of resources;
  • an interest in being an ambassador for involving the community;
  • CSR and communications.

The trust welcomes commercial sector candidates with a willingness to understand SEND and SEMH settings and transfer their experience effectively is expected.

 

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held twice termly in the evenings 6.30 to approx. 8.30 at Riverwalk Campus, Mayfield Road, Bury St. Edmunds, IP33 2PD. Currently, sub committees are incorporated in the main board meetings.

www.BEST-education.co.uk (currently in development)

Governance structure

The Trust website is under development for information on the schools visit individual websites:  Albany – www.albanypru.co.uk Riverwalk – www.Riverwalk.suffolk.sch.uk  Warren – www.warrenschool.co.uk .

Governance structure is shown below.

Further Governance details can be provided on request.

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. 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.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.

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:

Meet the Trustees: Shortlisted candidates only Thursday 16th May at 6:30pm

Interviews:             Week beginning 20th May