Non-executive director X 1

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
unpaid/ voluntary
14 May 2019
14 Jun 2019
Inspire Multi Academy Trust
Specialist Area
General HR Function

Inspire Multi Academy Trust

Sunderland-based Inspire Multi Academy Trust, situated in an area of high deprivation, seeks an experienced business leader with expertise in the area of corporate governance to join its Members board, offering strategic oversight and scrutiny to the work of the trust board. Board meetings are held at multiple locations in the Sunderland area.​

About the trust

Inspire Multi Academy Trust (MAT) was formed in December 2012 and currently operates five primary schools within the Sunderland area.

The schools within the MAT typically serve communities with high levels of deprivation and with numerable social and economic barriers, posing real challenges to the life chances of its young people. The trust is committed to raising aspirations and ensuring pupils make great progress; it works closely with families to improve life chances of pupils.

Currently, the trust comprises Farringdon Academy, New Penshaw Academy, Plains Farm Academy, Burnside Academy and Fatfield Academy.

Plans for the Future

The trust has ambitions to grow strategically over time and to incorporate additional schools to the trust.

The main objectives for the trust over the next 12-24 months include:

  1. To ensure the attainment and progress of all pupils.
  2. To grow strategically and ensure financial stability.
  3. To ensure governance meets DfE guidelines and that Members and trustees have clearly defined roles.

Trust Ethos & Values

The trust’s major aim is to create and foster a culture of high aspiration within all stakeholders and to enable and empower student to achieve to the highest levels regardless of their social or economic background. The trust will strive for excellence in everything it seeks to achieve across all five of the schools, particularly in attainment and progress, the quality of teaching and leadership and management.

For more information on the trust’s ethos and vision:

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 Inspire Multi-Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend 3 meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:



  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • Chair



  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Strategic
  • CFO/ Finance

Person Specification

An individual with extensive experience in the sphere of corporate governance is highly sought, bringing knowledge and expertise in strategic oversight to ensure there is a high degree of accountability on the trust’s board. Adherence to the Nolan Principles of Public Life are a prerequisite for the role, as well as an ability to operate in an ‘eyes on, hands off’ capacity. Previous experience in a non-executive director role is essential in order to provide suitable knowledge and insight to the role.


Time Commitment

3 meetings annually, although the trust welcomes additional input from Members.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at multiple trust school locations around the Sunderland area.

Trust website -

Governance Structure

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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: Friday, 14th June 2019