Non-Executive Director X 2

Location
Shrewsbury, Shropshire (GB)
Salary
Unpaid/voluntary
Posted
24 Jul 2019
Closes
24 Aug 2019
Ref
Severn Bridges MAT (SBMAT)
Job role
NED/Trustee
Contract type
Contract
Hours
Part time

Severn Bridges MAT (SBMAT)

Severn Bridges MAT, based in Shrewsbury, is a trust with ambitions to grow. As it develops its governance structures and pursues a growth strategy, it requires further experience and skills on its board. The trust seeks to appoint a trustee and a Chair of the Board of Directors. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Board meetings are held at Mount Pleasant Primary School, Shrewsbury.

About the trust

Severn Bridges is a thriving and successful three-school multi-academy trust (MAT) established in April 2017. Its constituent schools, all primaries, are Radbook Primary School, Greenfields Primary School and Mount Pleasant Primary School.

With a highly-experienced central school improvement team of CEO and Executive Headteacher, SBMAT has developed the capacity to lead school improvement both within and beyond the trust. Within the trust a network of subject school improvement teams are established to drive forward developments.

SBMAT is passionate about sharing its vision for teaching and learning - every child in the trust is part of the ‘Prepared 4 Life’ (P4L) curriculum. The curriculum is supported by the Darwin P4L Award, which encourages children to build the values in life that support all the experiences they encounter in school and as they approach the transition to secondary school.

The trust’s aim is to ensure every child reaches the highest academic standards of which they are capable, alongside providing the opportunity to develop and evolve into citizens of the future. It has developed a unique set of characters that epitomise, in a child-friendly way, the values children need to employ in and outside school.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To develop and embed governance structures and ways of working for the trust as it evolves. As the trust has developed and roles have become clearly defined, additional skills and experience is now required at trustee level to support and develop the trust’s strategic direction.
  2. To further build and establish the successful school improvement and executive leadership team within the new leadership structure implemented from September 2018. This includes developing the central team offer and resource to offer greater support, efficiencies, guidance and experience to ensure each school achieves to its maximum.
  3. To continue to evolve and develop the trust’s 'Prepared 4 Life' ethos and curriculum to ensure that every child receives a breadth of curriculum that allows them to access their passions and talents. This includes harnessing and maximising each child’s potential so that they hold and value a passion for lifelong learning.

Over the short- to medium-term, the trust aims to become a sponsor MAT to provide options for growth. This would allow consideration of a future growth model either through sponsorship or engaging in a local Free School Presumption process in the next year and bidding to open a new build Local Authority primary school to join the trust. The trust is also conducting work to improve the governance structures at local level, including improved lines of communication with the trustee board.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s commitment to its children is demonstrated through the aims, which embrace the central ‘Prepared for Life’ ethos. This model provides opportunities for children to grow and develop essential life skills through a culture of learning together. It has emerged through the trust’s vision to foster high aspiration, enjoyment for learning, academic success and lifelong skills.

http://www.severnbridgesmat.co.uk/trust-aims-and-vision/

  Role summary Number of positions advertised:

2

Role 1 – Chair The trust seeks to appoint a Chair in order to set the strategic course and lead the trustees in holding the executive team to account, providing effective board leadership and ensuring each director fulfils their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public Life.

This role requires a candidate with significant senior leadership experience at the highest level and the individual will act as a trustee – or non-executive director - holding 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:

Essential

 

  • Chair AND
  • CFO/ Finance OR
  • CEO/General Management AND
  • Non-executive/ Trustee AND
  • Corporate Governance

Desirable

 

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Real Estate/ Property
  • Strategic

Chair: The successful candidate will exhibit strong interpersonal and relationship-building abilities, as well as the presence and personality to successfully manage myriad stakeholders and demonstrate leadership throughout.

This individual will possess the ability to undertake an ambassadorial role, including skills in tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively. The Chair of the Board line manages the CEO and provides managerial support throughout the trust. The successful candidate will provide direction to the board and recognise the skills and experience of other board members when making decisions at board level. Demonstrable Chair experience is essential.

  Time commitment

10 hours per month (minimum)

Role 2 – 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.

  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:

Essential (candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

 

  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Real Estate/ Property

 

 

Desirable

 

  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • Growth management
  • Change management

 

 

The trust seeks to recruit up to two trustees / non-executive directors possessing a proven track record of working at the highest level, ideally with experience in a charity or non-profit setting. Particular focus is given to the areas of Branding/ Marketing and Legal, as well as Property / Estates. As the trust pursues a growth strategy, it is vital that the board comprises suitable skills, knowledge and experience to manage this growth and determine the most appropriate means of managing stakeholders, along with the responsibilities and legal implications of a growing portfolio of buildings and infrastructure. As two roles are being recruited, the board recognises that suitable candidates may possess some, but not necessarily all, of the above skills areas.

Knowledge and experience of the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum

Location of board meetings and trust website

Mount Pleasant Primary School, Whitemere Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 3BY.

http://www.severnbridgesmat.co.uk

Governance structure

http://www.severnbridgesmat.co.uk/trustees/

  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. 

Applications

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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.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.

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, 13th September