Anthem Schools Trust
Anthem Schools Trust, formerly CfBT Schools Trust, is a long-established multi-academy trust. The trust seeks to recruit a new non-executive director to its board. In addition to sitting on the board of trustees, this individual will also be a member of its finance or audit committees and may, in time, wish to offer themselves as a committee chair. Candidates with experience in finance and/or accounting as well as a broad understanding of strategic planning are encouraged to apply. Board meetings are held in multiple locations.
About the trust
Anthem Schools Trust is a multi-academy trust of 11 primary and five secondary schools which cover a broad demographic and geography across the East Midlands, London and the Thames Valley. From Lincolnshire down through Oxfordshire, Berkshire and London, the trust aims to create ambitious and successful schools where every child thrives.
The trust is supported by Education Development Trust, an international education charity with a mission to transform lives by improving education around the world.
Schools within the trust work collaboratively, sharing ‘what works’ in teaching and learning practice and together making the schools the best they can be.
All schools are Ofsted rated Good or Outstanding, except for two which are classed as Requires Improvement.
Formerly known as CfBT Schools Trust, the organisation has recently begun a rebranding process which will take effect publicly from September with the launch of a new website.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Continuous school improvement so that all schools have an Ofsted rating of Good to Outstanding on a consistent basis.
- Developing people in the trust through an outstanding professional development programme to ensure excellent teaching in all the trust’s schools.
- Managing school budgets in the current fiscal environment.
For the long term, development of the school's estate and reinvestment in infrastructure is a key aim, along with careful addition of schools if they fit within the trust's geography and ethos.
Trust ethos & values
The trust’s schools are bound together by a commitment to inclusive education, collaborative working, evidence-based school improvement and high-quality professional development.
Anthem’s approach is built on three values: Integrity, Collaboration and Excellence.
These values inform the trust’s work to secure the highest possible standards in all aspects of school life.
Role summary Number of positions advertised: 1 Role – 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.
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.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
As mentioned above, in addition to sitting on the board of trustees, this individual will also be a member of either the finance or audit committee and in time they may wish to offer themselves as a committee chair.
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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
- CFO/ Finance
- CEO/ Senior General Management experience
- Qualified Accountant
- Corporate Governance
The trust seeks a candidate with business qualifications in finance and/or auditing and demonstrable experience at a senior management level in a national business where they have contributed to strategic planning and development. Though not essential, experience in education, corporate and/or charity governance would be of benefit.
The board meets six times per year and meetings tend to be on Tuesdays and normally start in the morning and finish around lunchtime. As the meetings are taken around the trust’s schools on a rota basis,
then timings adjust to make travel manageable. (Please note the trust will cover travel expenses – see locations below). Committees meet similarly and training or ‘update sessions’ are often conducted before meetings where necessary. On average trustees will need to dedicate up to nine hours per month.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held on a rota basis across the trust’s 16 schools. Whilst the trust’s base is in Reading where there are three schools and a further two over in Oxfordshire, there are four in the London area (Brent, Camden, Southwark and Merton) as well as a clutch of schools in Lincolnshire (Gainsborough, Lincoln (x2), Boston and Peterborough). There are others in Dunstable and Derby. Please note – the trust will cover travel expenses to meetings.
*Please note a new Anthem website is under construction.
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.
“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 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 –