Non-executive director - North Essex MAT

unpaid/ voluntary
08 Jul 2019
08 Aug 2019
Specialist Area
General HR Function
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP

North Essex Multi Academy Trust (NEMAT)

The North Essex Multi Academy Trust (NEMAT) is a partnership of schools that respects, sustains and supports, with a model that aims to create mutual interdependence. Consisting of four schools rated Good by Ofsted, NEMAT seeks a non-executive director with corporate governance and organisational change experience.  Board meetings are held in Braintree, Essex.

About the trust

Based in Braintree, NEMAT consists of four academies, including one primary school (Richard De Clare Community Academy), two secondary schools (Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form, for 11-19 yrs) and The Ramsey Academy, Halstead, for 11-16yrs.

The trust was established following Notley High School’s early conversion to academy status to maximize financial benefits available at the time. As a result of their success, the local authority requested that NEMAT support a local secondary school, which evolved into full sponsorship and creation of a small multi-academy trust (MAT).

On average NEMAT schools experience ~10% of deprivation amongst their pupils, with the highest percentages recorded in the primary school – Richard De Clare Community Academy. Nevertheless, the trust has experienced growing standards of teaching and learning with all schools rated Good by Ofsted. Following this high achievement of education outcomes, a partner infant school (also rated Good) is in the pipeline to join the MAT on 1 July.

Plans for the Future

The trust has recently been subject to a positive external governance review.  The challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Education standards: the trust aims to ensure that all schools maintain their ratings of Good by Ofsted and improve their value added measures towards the top quartile.
  2. Finance: NEMAT is eager to develop sustainable 3 year financial plans in the face years of decline in real world funding and little prospect of any improvement. There are current discussions regarding an external trading arm.
  3. Growth: the trust aims to expand the MAT to reach a size that delivers internal capacity for school improvement and economies of scale for financial security. In addition, building the traded services offered by the trust will create opportunities for greater financial contributions to the MAT. 

Additionally, over the next five years the trust hopes to source and appoint new board members balancing business, education and accountability as part of a long term succession planning. 

Trust Ethos & Values

NEMAT’s guiding principles include teamwork and trust, in order to best support the teaching and learning of all its pupils.

The trust does not look for corporate solutions but a partnership that respects, sustains and supports. NEMAT’s model is about creating mutual interdependence; schools that have far more opportunities to collaborate than stand-alone academies, more autonomous than local authority schools and schools in corporate chains.

Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised:


Role 1 – 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.

Person Specification

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:



  • General Corporate Governance
  • Growth management
  • Organisational change



  • CEO/General Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Pay committee experience
  • General understanding of educational institutions

The trust seeks a non-executive director with senior experience in corporate governance and a fresh approach to support the trust through a period of growth.  Candidates must be committed to the ethos and values of the MAT as well as the education and welfare of its pupils. Additionally, candidates must have independence of thought and sound judgement, the ability to work as part of a team and to play a strategic role in effecting change to meet the objectives of the trust.

  Time Commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held twice termly from 4.30pm – 6.30pm at Braintree Sixth Form, Notley Road, Braintree, Essex, CM71WY.

For more information on the trust, please visit their website:

Governance Structure

For more information in regard to the trust’s governance structure, please see:

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.

“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: 30th August 2019

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