Non-Executive Director x 4

Expiring today

Bedford, Bedfordshire
14 Oct 2019
14 Nov 2019
Advantage Schools
Specialist Area
General HR Function
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP

Advantage Schools

Advantage Schools is a recently formed trust in Bedford looking for four new non-executive directors including a Chair to support the success and eventual growth of the new trust. The trust's key objective is to run a family of phenomenal schools within which students achieve extraordinary outcomes. The current trustees are a highly skilled team who bring a wealth of drive and expertise to the board. Board meetings are held in Bedford in the evening.

About the trust

The trust was formed in 2017 to give a choice of educational provision to communities in Bedford and the surrounding area. The trust currently consists of one primary and one secondary school both rated Good by Ofsted. The trust had approval to open a free school but this is currently on pause from the Department for Education.   Bedford is an area of significant educational underperformance and the trust believes in raising attainment regardless of background.   Plans for the Future

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

  1. To ensure that the performance of its current schools remains rated as Good and improves further, as measured by outcomes and Ofsted grades.
  2. To establish the correct central services of quality to create the capacity for the trust to grow (rather than looking to grow and then trying to find capacity)
  3. To successfully acquire or merge with 3-5 schools and take a role in a perceived MAT consolidation phase across the sector.

The trust is ambitious to grow to about ten schools in five years. This is not a fixed number, and it will only take on schools that match its vision and ethos, and commit to a knowledge-based curriculum.

Trust ethos & values

Advantage Schools believes in developing honesty, respect and aspiration, underpinned by a knowledge-based curriculum. The trust believes that this should be available to all regardless of attainment of background.

“We believe that, given the right circumstances, everybody is capable of extraordinary things.”

With this in mind, the trust’s vision is:

“to create a family of schools, within which students are empowered and supported to achieve extraordinary outcomes – preparing them for a fulfilling life.”


The trust is distinctive not just in what they do but how they do it, abiding by their values of:

  • Aspiration – the belief that everyone can achieve something great – and does their best
  • Honesty – being truthful, genuine, open and trustworthy
  • Respect – caring for the feelings, wishes or rights of others & yourself

Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised:


Roles 1-4 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.

The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, company and charity law.

The competencies required for this role include:

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


  • Non-executive/ Trustee AND
  • Chair of the board OR
  • HR OR
  • Legal OR
  • Risk Management  OR
  • Growth Management OR
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder OR
  • CEO/ General Management OR
  • Restructuring



  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Turnaround
  • IT/ Technology

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:

  • HR: The trust seeks a candidate who is a strategic thinker with a clear vision for excellence, good communication and interpersonal skills with a commitment to confidentiality, tactful and diplomatic with the ability to constructively challenge.
  • Growth management: The trust seeks a non-executive director with exceptional business skills, to join its board and support the trust in delivering improvement, growth and transformation across the schools.  Candidates with experience of strong risk management are also welcomed.
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder: The ideal candidate will have a background in managing businesses and creating systems for new organisations.
  • CEO/ General Management: The trust would welcome applicants with experience in trusteeship or management of a complex organisation with multiple sites/subsidiaries and/or general management experience.
  • Restructuring: A professional with experience of managing staffing restructures and issues for financial and operational outcomes, is desired.

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum. The role of chair is likely to be between 12-18 hours per month and will need to be available daytime on occasions.

There are 7 board meetings a year.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Bedford Free School, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AD.

Governance Structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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: Friday 22nd November 2019

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