Non-executive director X 3
Compass Learning Partnership
Compass Learning Partnership is a two school academy trust in Brent. The trust seeks two non-executive directors with experience in either HR or Finance, as well as a Member to strengthen its Board. The trust motto is ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Board meetings rotate between the two schools in northwest London.
About the Trust
The Compass Learning Partnership developed following partnership working and joint education philosophy between two large special schools in Kingsbury within the London Borough of Brent: The Village School and Woodfield School. The two schools cater for children and young people who have a wide range of complex needs and disabilities across all ages. The Compass Learning Partnership is a multi-academy trust (MAT) implemented on 1st March 2019.
Woodfield School caters for 175 pupils between the ages of 11 and 19 years, who have complex learning and communication needs and social and mental health needs, including those on the autistic spectrum. The Village School caters for 298 pupils between the ages of 3 and 19 years who have all aspects of complex needs and disabilities: profound, severe and moderate learning difficulties, autism, sensory impairment, medical, life limiting conditions and physical disabilities. Both schools were judged to be Outstanding at their last Ofsted inspections.
The trust has a commitment to providing the very best CPD for staff in order that pupils' needs are met and that all pupils make excellent progress and achieve the best possible outcomes. The trust is also working hard to influence local and wider communities to be more inclusive when considering young people for opportunities post-19.
Both schools are interested in further expansion to meet the demand for places for children and young people who have complex needs and disabilities. Woodfield is likely to admit a further 16 pupils in September 2019 as part of a temporary solution.
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the board will be:
- Growth: The trust is hoping to grow sustainably to five schools in the next 5 years, with one school likely to join in the next academic year.
- Financial sustainability: With growing funding pressures, maintaining the quality of provision is paramount.
- Greater outcomes for pupils: Continue to secure and increase aspirational destinations/outcomes for young people with severely complex needs and disabilities, with a particular focus on improving post-19 provision.
- Succession planning: To succession plan for the replacement of the CEO.
Another key focus of the Trust Board over the next 12-24 months will be establishing and developing the multi academy trust (MAT) successfully, including managing (and harmonising where appropriate) policies, systems and processes. This particularly includes establishing consistent approaches to business services.
Trust Ethos & Values
High quality provision of opportunities and outcomes for all young people, and holistic support for their families. Collaboration with staff to improve the opportunities and outcomes for young people.
Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised:
Role 1 – 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 Compass Learning Partnership the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend one meeting per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
There is an expectation from the DfE that Members should have skills in corporate governance, finance, legal, HR and education to enable holding the trustees to account.
The competencies required for this role include:
0.5 hours per month minimum.
Roles 2-3 – 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.
The successful applicant will be committed and enthusiastic, challenging and supportive and will have a genuine interest in supporting children and young people with special needs and their families. A sound knowledge and understanding of the voluntary and charity sector is desirable.
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)
- CFO/ Finance
- Change Management
- Growth Management
- Public ~Relations/Communications
- Understanding of special educational needs and disability
- Voluntary and charity sector knowledge
- Audit Committee
CFO/Finance: The trust seeks candidates with financial expertise to help support and challenge the CFO. The successful ‘finance’ candidate will have a strong financial background, preferably a formally qualified accountant with experience of financial modelling, audit processes and an understanding of corporate governance. They will be entrepreneurial by nature supporting the trust executive team to seek additional funding through bids etc. This role will require between 6-12 hours a month commitment.
HR: Ideal candidates will have board level experience in strategic HR, a rigorous understanding of employment law and the processes of succession planning. They will have a successful track record of managing growth and change, a willingness to devote time and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. They will also assist the executive in developing a staff development and retention strategy that nurtures talent and supports the objectives of Compass Learning Partnership, putting staff health and wellbeing at the centre of the trust’s approach. As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, successful applicants will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting.
6 hours per month minimum.
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
Meetings are held between Woodfield School, Glenwood Avenue, London, NW9 7LY and The Village School, Grove Park, London, NW9 0JY.
Board meetings are held on Wednesdays at 7pm. Two meetings a year are held during the day.
Please see individual school websites until a MAT website is created.
Background on Academy Trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 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: 22nd May 2019