Non-Executive Director x 2

White Woods Primary Academy Trust


White Woods Primary Academy Trust seeks to recruit two new non-executive directors with strong business skills to its board. The trust was founded in September 2013 by three self-converting primary schools, led by Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School (designated Teaching School and English Hub with an Outstanding Ofsted rating). Since its formation, the trust has experienced a period of rapid growth, increasing its portfolio of schools from three to 13 academies. Successful candidates will help the trust to consolidate, after its period of rapid growth, and implement new systems and structures suitable for the next phase of development. Board meetings are held at Canklow Woods Primary School, (S60 2XJ) on the edge of Rotherham and close to the M1 motorway near Meadowhall Shopping Centre.


About the trust


The trusts is made up of a mixture of one and two-form entry primary schools some of which operate extended provision (including early year’s provision for two year olds). The trust has now grown to include 13 primaries all within the Rotherham area and the schools work together to provide support and challenge.  The trust has a turnover of around £15m and serves schools with varying degrees of deprivation.  The trust’s founding CEO retired recently and the team are looking forward to the newly appointed CEO joining in the summer


At the core of White Woods Primary Academy Trust is a strong belief that all organisations should be outward looking and work in collaboration with key partners. The trust is a founding partner of Learners First Schools Partnership and plays an active role in promoting key educational initiatives across the region. This allows the staff within the trust to access high quality training as well as contribute to supporting others outside the trust.


Plans for the future

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


  1. Consolidation of the trust after a period of rapid growth and implement new systems and structures suitable for the next phase of development. This will include the centralisation of core business functions to promote greater financial efficiencies.
  2. To tackle under-performance and ensure all schools are at least Good.
  3. To strengthen governance at trust/local level and reinforce statutory responsibilities and the roles of the academies within the governance of the trust.


White Woods Primary Academy Trust seeks to ensure all schools can flourish as a result of being a member of the trust


Trust ethos & values


The trust aims to improve the life chances and choices of all children regardless of background or ability through the delivery of outstanding teaching and learning.


This will be achieved by:

• Developing a culture of high expectation and aspiration for all pupils.

• Providing a rich broad balanced curriculum, which sustains engagement of all learners.

• Ensuring all learners have equality of opportunity regardless of race, creed or disability.


The trust is committed to creating a level playing field for all children in education; ensuring disadvantaged pupils are not prevented from achieving their full potential.


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2


Roles 1-2 – 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


Successful individuals must be willing and able to support the vision of the trust and guide the board in reviewing and setting clear objectives and outcomes, which are monitored effectively. To this end, they will need to work closely with the Chair and newly appointed CEO to move the trust forward.


The trust seeks individuals with extensive and significant management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board.


Particular competencies required for the available roles include:


Role 1: This candidate should have a high degree of business acumen with a focus on IT and data security. The purpose is to ensure the trust is able to use the latest technology to support learning and management and bring an experienced critical-friend’s view to strategic planning particularly but not exclusively in the realm of IT.  Knowledge of the education sector would be advantageous but is not essential.



  • IT/ Technology



  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Compliance
  • Restructuring
  • Risk


Role 2: This candidate should have a proven record of accomplishment and, where possible, a relevant professional qualification, in the field of estates management/property.



  • CEO/ General Management
  • Real estate/ Property
  • Risk



  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Compliance
  • Restructuring


Time commitment

The trust board meets six times per year (once each term) and meetings are normally held on Friday afternoons at 1pm and last for 2 hours.  The trust also has an audit committee which some trustees are invited to join depending on their skills, interest and availability. In general trustees would be expected to devote around 5-6 hours per month (on average) to trust matters including training and preparation for meetings as well as the meetings themselves.


Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Canklow Woods Primary School, Wood Lane, Rotherham, S60 2XJ.


Governance structure

Some background information about the trust can be found at


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 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


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 22nd November 2019 

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