Non-Executive Director X 2
Portswood Primary Academy Trust
Portswood Primary Academy Trust (the Trust) in Southampton seeks two enthusiastic and committed non-executive directors with either finance or legal expertise to join the board. Board meetings are held at Portswood Primary School, Southampton.
About the trust
Established in September 2012, Portswood Primary Academy Trust (PPAT) currently comprises three primary schools, one of which is a Teaching School. It also has very close links with a partner primary school. The Trust has a proven track record of supporting schools in Southampton and Portsmouth with Specialist Leaders of Education, Lead Practitioners, Subject Lead Experts and a nationally recognised coaching programme.
The overarching aim of the Trust is to ensure that all pupils have good or better learning in every single lesson and in order to achieve this it has a culture of working together to ensure that accountability belongs to all, for all. Trust leaders aim to grow the Trust successfully and in a sustainable way ensuring that they strive for quality, not quantity, with opportunities for all to develop their skills within a culture of coaching and with a passion for learning. Leaders have a strong moral purpose of ensuring that school improvement is realised for the benefit of all children on roll.
Approximately 50% of the pupils in the Trust’s schools in Southampton, including the partner school, have English as an Additional Language (EAL), which is significantly higher than the Southampton and England averages (30.6% and 21.2% respectively). Whilst the Trust welcomes this diversity it does also present additional challenges. The number of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) at approximately 15% is consistent with the average for Southampton (16%) and above that for England (11.7%). One of the Trust’s Southampton schools and the partner school receive significant pupil premium funding due to 28% of their pupils being eligible. This is significantly greater than the average for Southampton (18.6%) and England (14.2%).
The Trust recently decided, in concert with the Regional Schools Commissioner, that its junior school in Portsmouth should be transferred to another trust. This was deemed to be in the best interests of those children in order that a trust with more proximate schools can drive improvement in outcomes.
PPAT is in discussion to bring another primary school into the Trust and, whilst growth is the main priority, there is also a strong interest in exploring how the Trust might utilise its considerable experience in supporting other schools.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Growth: PPAT is keen to grow as it will generate benefits for the Trust as well as any schools wishing to join it. The Trust intends to be seven to eight schools within three years.
- Leadership: the board will focus on determining the appropriate future leadership for the Trust, acknowledging that growth is a key factor in what will be necessary and possible.
- Standards: it will be important to maintain the high standards in terms of quality of teaching and outcomes.
Trust ethos & values
PPAT’s vision is "Good or better learning for every child for every lesson". Trust leaders are constantly reflective and believe that children deserve the best teachers that they can provide through staff coaching and development. http://www.portswoodtrust.org.uk/about-us/mission-value-vision/
Role summary Number of positions advertised:
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.
Role 1 & 2 – Person specification
The competencies required for this role include:
- Growth Management
The Trust welcome applicants with a passion for education who can employ a strategic mindset when engaging with the issues and challenges that the board will face. The personal characteristics and ‘fit’ are more important than the professional background of the individuals but candidates with senior experience in the financial or legal sector would be particularly welcomed. A willingness to engage and challenge is key.
6 hours /month minimum. 6 board meetings a year.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at Portswood Primary School, Somerset Road, Southampton, SO17 3AA.
Please see http://www.portswoodtrust.org.uk/
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 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 24th May 2019