Non-Executive Director x 3

Educate Together Academy Trust (ETAT)

 

Educate Together Academy Trust is an ambitious and innovative multi-academy trust with a strong ethos around ethical education, providing learning on moral and spiritual development, justice, equality, ethics and the environment alongside the National Curriculum. The trust seeks three new non-executive directors who connect with its ethos and could support plans to grow across the South West. Board meetings are held at Redfield Educate Together Primary Academy, Bristol.

 

About the trust

Educate Together Academy Trust (ETAT), was established in 2013 by the long established Irish-based educational charity called Educate Together. This organisation has been delivering a successful education model for over 30 years to a growing network of schools in Ireland including 92 primary and 17 secondary schools.

 

ETAT UK has four open primary schools and one more in development. Redfield Educate Together Primary, which opened in 2014 in Bristol is currently rated as Good with Outstanding features by Ofsted. The second primary school, Somerdale Educate Together Primary, is in Keynsham and opened in September 2017. Two further primary schools in Weston-Super-Mare and Mulberry Park in Bath, opened in September 2018. Abbey Farm, Swindon is scheduled to open in 2021/22.

 

The board currently consists of six trustees and wishes to recruit additional, highly skilled trustees to provide strategic direction to ETAT. Whilst at an early stage of its development, the trust requires ambitious and enthusiastic individuals to navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with further growth.

 

Plans for the future

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

  1. Growth: The trust plans to open free schools and academies to eventually become a cluster of 10 new schools in the South West. To develop the growth strategy to attract converter schools and higher pupil numbers.  
  2. Governance: Establishing and embedding fit-for-purpose governance and systems which ensure robust accountability for performance, and can be scaled up.
  3. Financial sustainability: Securing financial sustainability, particularly whilst new academies are operating under-capacity, and managing the risks associated with growth whilst developing leadership capacity to drive continuous school improvement.

 

Trust ethos & values

Educate Together Academy Trust schools have a strong ethos based on the following principles:

 

  • Equality based – i.e. all children having equal rights of access and all children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected.
  • Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities.
  • Learner-centred in their approach to education
  • Democratically-run with active decision inclusion for the children, alongside participation by parents in the daily life of the school, whilst positively affirming the professional role of the teachers.

In addition to the subject areas of the national curriculum, schools deliver Educate Together’s ‘Learn Together’ ethical education curriculum through which children develop their skills and knowledge in four strands: moral and spiritual development, equality and justice, belief systems, and ethics and the environment.

 

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 3

 

Role 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.

 

Person specification

The trust is looking for trustees who have experience of strategic leadership and oversight in a large commercial organisation who would be able to apply their business acumen, financial credibility and lateral thinking skills to inform the development of strategic plans, board debate and decision making. 

 

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 sets out the six competency areas, the (Nolan) principles and personal attributes the trust expects all trustees to demonstrate. The latter being: committed, confident, curious, challenging, collaborative, critical and creative. See below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

 

The competencies required for role 1-3 include:

 

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/Finance/Qualified Accountant
  • Estates Management/Property
  • CEO/ General Management

Desirable

  • Corporate/Charity Governance
  • Change / Growth / Risk Management

 

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Redfield Educate Together Primary Academy, Avonvale Road, Bristol, BS5 9RH. http://www.educatetogether.org.uk/

 

Board meetings are held termly i.e. six times per annum and currently start at 4pm. Trustees may also be asked to sit on one of two Board sub committees (Audit/Finance/Risk and HR) which also typically meet six times per annum.

 

Governance structure

http://www.educatetogether.org.uk/trust-governance/

 

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 (March 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. 

 

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: 30th November 2019

 


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