Non-Executive Director X 2

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
unpaid/ voluntary
06 Jun 2019
06 Jul 2019
Gloucestershire Learning Alliance (GLA)
Specialist Area
General HR Function
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP

Gloucestershire Learning Alliance (GLA)

Gloucestershire Learning Alliance is a multi-academy trust of six primary schools located in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Evesham. GLA is an ambitious, dynamic and outward looking organisation seeking two skilled trustees to join the Board to help oversee its growth to 10-12 schools by 2021. Board meetings are held at Rowanfield Junior School, Gloucestershire.

About the trust

Gloucestershire Learning Alliance (GLA) was formed in 2013 with founder schools Bishops Cleeve Primary Academy, Rowanfield Junior School and Springbank Primary Academy. They were later joined by Rowanfield Infant School and Longford Park Primary Academy (a brand new academy opened in September 2017). In December 2017 GLA was given permission to sponsor Badsey First School in Worcestershire, bringing the trust to a total of six primary schools across the region.

GLA has two actively deployed National Leaders in Education (NLEs), a number of Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs), as well school improvement experts working in the trust’s Central team. The trust is the primary strategic partner for the Odyssey Teaching School Alliance, helping to deliver NPQ courses and leading on primary initial teacher training (ITT).

GLA has recently used a MAT Development Improvement Fund bid to provide new, fit for purpose accommodation for the trust’s Central Team.  In addition, the Board has re-structured its executive and senior leadership teams to ensure GLA will have the capacity to take on more schools in future whilst maintaining the drive for improvement in its existing academies.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Funding: To establish a financially sustainable trust-wide funding formula. Changes to the National Funding Formula means that Gloucestershire schools are amongst the lowest funded schools in England yet employee related costs such as pensions and NI are rising. In addition, changes introduced by the Local Authority affecting funding to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) requires the trust to establish a trust-wide funding formula to ensure equity of offer for pupils.  
  2. Team development: To sustain and develop successful teams, working in and across schools in the trust through a distributed leadership model. GLA will continue its offer of ITT, CPD and school-to-school support, enhanced by the strategic partnership with Odyssey Teaching School.
  3. Growth: The GLA seeks to grow and expand its reputation as a strong primary multi-academy trust (MAT) and an approved sponsor. The trust is looking to grow to 10-12 schools by 2021. There is an existing plan and staffing structure set out for this growth.

Alongside the above challenges and as set out in the trust’s vision, the GLA continue to pursue outstanding outcomes for all pupils and to deliver, monitor and improve on quality-first teaching, curriculum design and assessment in line with individual academies school development plans (SDPs) and the GLA strategic teams’ action plans.

Trust ethos & values

Working together in a local partnership to achieve outstanding outcomes for all. Big enough to make a difference to children, yet small enough to care.

The Board will be looking to revisit its vision as part of its annual development day on 12 June 2019.

Role summary Number of positions advertised:


Role 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 ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the trust; and overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and its pupils. The trustees ensure compliance with the Trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

Person specification

The trust seeks two individuals with either a strong background in strategic HR or project management, preferably with prior non-executive director experience, who can effectively fulfil the core functions of governance. With the trust looking to grow, previous experience of project managing growth / change and restructure is essential.

The successful applicant will be committed and enthusiastic, challenging and supportive and will have a genuine interest in supporting children and young people. 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. They will have a willingness to devote time and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information.

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)


  • HR
  • Project Management
  • Restructuring
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management





  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee



Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Rowanfield Junior School, Alstone Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 8HY.

For more information, please see:

Governance structure

For more information, please see the following links:

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 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: 12th July 2019

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