Non-executive director X 1

Norwich, Norfolk
unpaid/ voluntary
24 Apr 2019
24 May 2019
Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (
Specialist Area
General HR Function
Contract Type

Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT)

The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), comprising 34 academies (33 primary and 1 secondary) across Norfolk, seeks to recruit a non-executive director to join its trust board to strengthen its capacity in HR and employment law. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Board meetings take place in Easton, Norwich.

About the trust

DNEAT’s aim is to establish an environment in which schools can flourish as successful Academies and in a supportive network where professional support and challenge is at the heart.

The trust was established in 2013, currently serving 5140 pupils with £1,980,937 allocated pupil premium. The trust has always tried to work effectively with other organisations: with Local and National Government, and with each other, to create the very best for the children and young people in its care. The trust aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality from schools who are committed to working together, within the context of Christian belief and practice.

DNEAT is driven by the moral purpose of making a significant difference to the outcomes of young people in order to best prepare them for their next stage of education and adult life. The trust is focused on transforming young people's lives and by providing the perfect balance between excellent education and uncompromising pastoral care.

The family of academies includes 33 Primary Schools (including one Community primary) and 1 Secondary School (Open Academy – a non-Church school): 1 Outstanding school, 24 Good schools, 8 schools Requiring Improvement and 1 Inadequate school (Ofsted ratings). Common with many rural areas the trust faces the challenge of a number of small isolated schools. The most recent addition to the trust is Brisley, a sponsored academy.

The trust employs 1,100 staff and manages a budget in excess of £28 million. Ofsted’s focused review in 2018 found that the trust’s CEO “sustained a relentless focus on improving the quality of education” and that “governance arrangements [were] effective, well-managed and quality-assured through the central team’s governance manager”. One of the executive principals takes up the role of CEO from September.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Strategic Improvement (Organisational Development): established plan for growth with a balanced budget within the small school context; excess places in academies are reduced; there is an effective Public Relations Strategy to promote the trust as an excellent provider of education that features Christian distinctiveness.
  2. Workforce Improvement: establish a talent pool of potential leaders; devise a system for school to school support; the best teachers and leaders are recruited to the Trust.
  3. School Improvement: to develop systematic school improvement measures across the Trust; to

focus on improving standards in mathematics; that the quality of RE provision/outcomes in all schools is outstanding by July 2019.

Academies are focused on 'Learning Centred Leadership' so that all feature an excellent

curriculum and strong teaching, learning and assessment which results in good progress for all children and overall standards that exceed National Averages by 2020.

Trust ethos & values

To serve the community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. To encourage an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promote Christian values through the experience it offers to all its pupils.


Role summary Number of positions advertised:


Role 1 - Trustee/Non-Executive Director

To contribute to the work of the trustee board in ensuring high standards of achievement for all

children and young people across the trust, and in making DNEAT an employer of choice for

those involved in education.


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:



  • HR
  • Legal / Compliance
  • Succession Planning
  • Training & Development



  • Branding / Marketing
  • Remuneration Committee Chair



Experience of working in the HR profession and knowledge of employment law, pay structures, Training and Development and staff grievances is essential as the candidate will sit on the Personnel Committee. Some knowledge of the education environment would be helpful but is not essential. Candidates should be supportive of the ethos of the Trust and its Christian values.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. Board meetings are up to three hours duration and held at 9.30am September, December, March, July and committee meetings in October, December, March and June.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Diocesan House, 109 Dereham Road, Easton, Norwich, NR9 5ES. The location is directly off the A47.

The trust website is

Governance structure

Please visit for further information.

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 (2019)

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: 28th May 2019