Non-Executive Director

1 day left

Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
15 Oct 2019
15 Nov 2019
Great Learners Trust
Specialist Area
General HR Function
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP

Great Learners Trust (GLT)

Great Learners Trust is a seven-school multi-academy trust, established in 2014. This dynamic group of primary schools is now looking for a Non-Executive Director to join its board, helping the trust on its rapid journey of improvement by propelling the schools forward. The trust is building a cathedral not a bungalow! Meetings are held at multiple locations in Buckinghamshire.

About the trust

Great Learners Trust consists of seven primary schools in Buckinghamshire. Since 2014, they share a determination to promote outstanding education for children, and a dynamic, enjoyable working environment for their staff. Not just Ofsted outstanding, but what they know to be outstanding – a rich, varied, unforgettable, lively and rewarding educational experience for every child in all the trust’s schools.

Around this core purpose, each school within the GLT has its own distinct character and identity. The trust celebrates its diversity and they learn from each other.

The number of pupils receiving free school meals or speaking English as a second language varies throughout the region, for example, it is higher in Aylesbury but lower in Great Missenden. Across the seven schools, the trust has 2500 pupils, employs 400 staff and has an annual budget of approximately £8.5m.

Plans for the future

Three key challenges for your trust over the next 12-24 months are:


  1. The trust has grown rapidly to seven schools. They need to consolidate their work with these schools, ensuring it is of the highest quality. They need their trustee board and local governing boards to work together to support this aim.
  2. They are drawing up their strategic plan for the next five years. The RSC is keen to take on an additional sponsored school in the next 12 months, and to apply for Trust Capacity Funding to support the trust’s growth.
  3. The trust currently does not have expertise in HR at board level. Its governing boards need to focus on strategic school improvement, and not creating surplus bureaucracy.

Future plans: the trust is building a cathedral not a bungalow. They are laying the foundations for an outstanding trust, with particular expertise in leadership coaching, high quality staff development and training. They have already established a reputation for excellence in school improvement. They are looking to consolidate and build on this.

Trust ethos & values

Great thinking, great teaching, great learning.

Outstanding education for every child - regardless of their postcode!

URL to full mission statement:

Role summary Number of positions advertised:


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.

In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

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:



  • HR
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Chairing



  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate governance

Role spec: a trustee to join the trust with experience of contributing to an effective board, and ideally with expertise in HR / personnel. The candidate should be committed to making a difference in education and should understand the power of leadership to accelerate learning.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Great Missenden CE Combined School, Church Street, Great Missenden, HP16 0AZ.

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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