Non-Executive Director x 3
The Creative Learning Partnership Trust
The Creative Learning Partnership Trust has ambitions to develop and grow and seeks additional trustee capacity and skills to help manage this process over the coming period. In particular, the trust seeks expertise in growth management, finance, law, risk and estates to help deliver a robust strategy. Board meetings are held at Hempstalls Primary School, Newcastle under Lyme.
About the trust
The Creative Learning Partnership Trust, established in August 2016, is a multi-academy trust (MAT)
comprising five schools, as of 1st June, 2019, and a Teaching School. All of the trust’s schools are based in and around Staffordshire.
The trust has four convertor academies and one sponsored academy and operates through a governance structure comprising Members, trustees and Local Governing Bodies, which are attached to each of the trust’s schools.
The Teaching School is led by a Director with governance arrangements being secured through its own
Strategic Board, Local Governing Body (host school) and the Board of Trustees.
Three of the schools have a substantive Headteacher and two of the schools have a Head of School with
Executive Headteacher arrangements in place.
In terms of the characteristics and demography, each of the trust’s schools differ in that three are well below average in relation to deprivation and numbers of disadvantaged children, while two have a high percentage of disadvantaged children, with one school situated within an area of high deprivation.
The trust’s demography does not, however, impact on outcomes, all of which are well above national average. The trust prides itself on being fully inclusive, aiming to fulfil its motto of, ‘come as you are and leave as a champion’.
The trust’s constituent schools are:
- Hempstalls Primary School, Ofsted Rating ‘Outstanding’ (November 2012)
- Parkside Primary, Ofsted Rating ‘Good’ (November 2013)
- Thursfield Primary School, Ofsted Rating ‘Inadequate’ (September 2015)
- James Bateman Middle School, Ofsted Rating ‘Good’ (May 2018)
- Manor Hill First School, Ofsted Rating ‘Good’ (September 2017)
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Growth management - the trust has worked hard to establish and embed clear routines and expectations. It is now the trust’s focus to grow and expand and this will form a key focus, managing growth effectively as new schools join.
- Central service delivery – owing to its small size, the trust’s central services team is limited in its capability, with significant demands placed on a small team. The trust is focused on developing this service to increase the capacity of the central team.
- Financial sustainability – as the trust undertakes the process of centralising roles and responsibilities across its five schools, an important area of work will ensure financial sustainability.
Over the longer term, the trust has a clear growth plan in place, which will ensure it develops in size and scope significantly over the next three years; this is linked a trust succession plan. Furthermore, the trust has recently submitted a bid to open a Free School in Stafford and is awaiting the outcome of this.
Trust ethos & values
Within each of its schools, The Creative Learning Partnership Trust focuses on the children as ‘the most important part of our community, they come first and they are our champions. We want each child who walks across our threshold to believe that they can: “Come as you are and leave as a champion”’.
Number of positions advertised:
Roles 1-3 – 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.
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 (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- Real estate/Property
- Non-executive/ Trustee AND
- Corporate Governance AND
- Legal/ Compliance AND
- Risk OR
- Growth Management OR
- CEO/ General Management OR
- CFO/ Finance OR
The trust seeks up to three individuals, each possessing some of the skills areas listed above. In particular, the trust seeks applicants possessing extensive prior knowledge and expertise as a non-executive director and/or in corporate governance. Past experience in growth of a non-profit and the legal aspects / challenges of a growing organisation, including a relevant qualification, in addition to knowledge of risk are welcomed.
Additionally, the trust requires senior leaders from a general management and/or financial leadership background, competent and confident in developing strategy and leading senior colleagues in the robust delivery of this.
The trust recognises that not all candidates will possess all of the above skills, so applicants with any, or all, are invited to register an interest.
Five hours /month minimum plus reading.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at Hempstalls Primary School, Collard Avenue, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 9LH.
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 focussed 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 –
Deadline for applications: Friday, 13th December 2019