Non-executive director X 4
Summer Park MAT
Summer Park MAT, a multi-academy trust comprising three education settings in the Dudley area of the West Midlands, seeks two individuals, possessing skills in law, growth management and branding/ marketing to join its trust board. The trust is entering a period of growth and as such requires experience, skills and knowledge to strengthen its governance arrangements. Board meetings are held at multiple locations in the Dudley area.
About the trust
Summer Park MAT (multi-academy trust) was established through the working relationship, which began in January 2015, between a four-form entry local authority school, a one form entry standalone academy and a child care facility. All three settings converted into a MAT on 1st December 2017, thus formalising their working relationship.
Jubilee Park converted to academy status in September 2013. It is a 3-11 age range primary school in a highly disadvantaged area in the West Midlands. The substantive Head, appointed in 2015, had a track record of school improvement and had previously been part of a senior leadership team (SLT) that had successfully moved a school from Ofsted ‘Special Measures’ to ‘Good’.
In terms of the current position of its schools, the trust comprises:
- Jubilee Park Academy is a one-form entry, 3-11 age range school and has c.220 pupils on roll. It was last inspected by Ofsted in June 2015. 65% of pupils receive disadvantaged funding.
- Summerhill Primary was formed in April 2005 from the amalgamation of two schools in ‘Special Measures’. In 2012 the school grew in size and is now a four-form entry school, with over 800 pupils on roll. The schools serves a highly disadvantaged area in Tipton. 42% of pupils are entitled to disadvantaged funding.
- Summerhill's Little Treasures opened in September 2008. This child care setting caters for babies from six weeks old to children aged five years; it serves the local area and supports both working parents and those parents in need of child care support.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To continue to raise standards at Jubilee Park by raising maths and reading attainment;
- To continue to review and improve the trust governance by appointing trustees to fill the gaps identified in the Skills Audit. Furthermore, the trust aims to ensure trustees make regular visits to school and report their findings. The trust additionally seeks to increase the expertise on the local governing boards (LGB).
- To develop and implement a marketing plan for the trust, to further enhance its standing in the local community, to highlight its successes and promote the work and successes of the trust. This will link directly to the trust’s ambitions to grow.
Over the medium- to long-term the trust has aspirations to become a sponsor MAT. This will help it ensure it has financial sustainability in the future and also ensures it retains the expertise of middle and senior leaders across the MAT. This will also provide current staff with opportunities for continual professional development.
Trust ethos & values
‘Believe, reach and achieve your dreams.’
- Integrity: a charity which prides itself on honesty, transparency and fairness.
- Ambition: striving to work collaboratively and have high expectations.
- Innovation: continually reflecting on practices, making brave decisions and developing the whole child.
- Success: promoting independence and individuality.
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 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.
Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.
The competencies required for this role include:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- Growth Management
- Legal/ Compliance
- Branding/ Marketing
- CFO/ Finance
- Corporate Governance
- Succession Planning
- Corporate Governance
- Growth Management
- Change management
- Entrepreneur/ Founder
- Role 1: The ideal candidate will possess skills, knowledge and experience in the field of charity law, with particular focus on developing the trust board’s understanding and obligations as a charity. The successful candidate will support the trust in bidding for funding and carrying out due diligence when considering the acquisition of other academies/schools. The candidate will therefore have a track record in leading on growth management, developing strategies for expansion and offering foresight around the development of a charitable body. Experience in corporate governance is essential.
- Role 2: The ideal candidate will bring knowledge, skills and experience in developing a charity as a business, with growth management expertise and the ability to lead strategy. An individual with a track record particularly in branding/marketing elements of organisational growth is highly sought, in order to offer a professional insight into the key focuses of the trust in this process.
-Role 3: The trust seeks a candidate, with proven financial skills and knowledge from the corporate sphere. The candidate must have experience of producing and overseeing the finance function of SMEs, social enterprise and/ or charities, in addition to being skilled in interpreting the organisation’s figures and able to generate succinct reports to the board. Experience of developing robust financial systems and safeguards including delegation of authority policies is sought.
- Role 4: As a senior business leader with a proven track record of leading performance and defining strategy, the ideal candidate will possess prior experience, skills and acumen from a senior position within the field of HR, with knowledge, skills and experience in legal aspects relating to change/growth management and turnaround. Relevant qualifications in HR and/or law are sought.
All roles require individuals who possess an awareness of, and willingness to adhere to, the Nolan Principles of Public Life. A passion for, and desire to improve, the life chances of young people is also essential.
Six hours per month (minimum), including reading and sub committees.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Trust board meetings are held in various locations around the geography of the trust’s schools.
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 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 early – if the trust receives sufficient applications, it reserves the right to adjust the closing date, or close applications early. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –
Deadline for applications: Friday, 3rd May 2019