Non-executive director X 2
Schoolsworks Academy Trust
Schoolsworks Academy Trust in West Sussex seeks two non-executive directors with finance, legal (education or charity) or HR skills. Schoolsworks is a DfE-recognised sponsor and is well placed to support schools in difficulties. It offers schools that are considering converting to academy status a local school-based solution in contrast to a large, national sponsor. The trust also offers schools who are considering joining Schoolsworks a one-term Associate Membership offer, which gives schools the opportunity to see if the trust feels like a ’right fit’ for the school and vice versa. Board meetings are held in Littlehampton.
About the trust
Schoolsworks Academy Trust currently has seven schools, 2910 pupils and 421 staff. It spans from Worthing in the east to Selsey in the west along the West Sussex coast.
It was established in 2012 by Edward Bryant School in Bognor Regis and Peaceworks, a mediation and education charity. In 2013 Rustington Community Primary School in Littlehampton and River Beach Primary School, also in Littlehampton, joined the Trust as well-performing schools. The other schools within the trust are Medmerry Primary in Selsey, Rose Green Junior in Bognor Regis, East Preston Junior in Angmering and Downsbrook Primary in Worthing.
Five of the academy schools have been inspected since joining the trust and all have been judged to be ‘Good’. Two of these have also been noted to have ‘outstanding features’; one was previously categorised as ‘Requires Improvement’. The Department for Education also approved a new school in Littlehampton (with a working name of Schoolsworks Community Primary Littlehampton or SCPL) in July 2016. SCPL will be based in the north of Littlehampton and will cater for 420 pupils plus a 60-space nursery and is planned to open in 2022.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Achieve academic outcomes of Combined RWM (Reading, Writing, Mathematics) at Key Stage 2 at equal to or above national averages in the next academic year and sustaining this into the future.
- Succession planning for trustees and key staff
- Strengthen the board and trust governance by appointing two new non-executive directors
Longer term, the trust would like improve academic results at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to exceed national averages. They would also like to grow to around 12-15 schools with two or three geographical hubs by 2021 and expand from a primary school only trust to include secondary or special schools in the trust.
Trust ethos & values
Schoolsworks Academy Trust is a collaborative, values- and people-based organisation where schools work closely together to share best practice, achieve economies of scale and above all to improve outcomes for children.
Role summary Number of positions advertised:
Roles 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 support and to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of directors manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The directors ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.
All applicants must have excellent communication skills with energy and enthusiasm to support education of children and willingness to contribute to a team. Preferably, candidates will reside within 20 miles of Littlehampton. The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO / Finance / Accountancy
- Legal (education or charity experience)
- Corporate Governance
- Change Management
- Succession Planning
Finance: applicants will be qualified accountants with experience in the management of people and of growing an organisation.
Legal: applicants will be qualified solicitors, barristers, para-legals or legal executives with experience in education or charity law.
Human Resources: candidates should bring specific skills in HR, training and management of people and experience of a growing organisation.
Approx. 30 hours per annum at board and committee meetings plus travelling hours
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at the Trust’s offices (23 Connaught Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 6ER) and take place during the working day.
Please see https://www.schoolsworks.org/
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 775 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: 16th July 2019