Non-Executive Director X 3
About the trust
The Olive Primary School is a single academy trust, it opened as a brand-new free school in 2013 and was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at its first inspection in July 2015. The school has 420 pupils, 55 staff members and a budget of around £2 million. Almost three-quarters of its pupils have English as an additional language.
The trust has experienced some challenges and has been criticized over some of it procedures. Financially the trust is sound with a healthy reserve but procedural practices have resulted in the Education & Skills Funding Agency (EFSA) issuing the trust with a Financial Notice to Improve (FNtI). The FNtI has not yet been published but is available from the trust. The DfE/ESFA have shared with Academy Ambassadors that the trust has responded positively and they welcome the opportunity to appoint some new, independent trustees to the board to help improve overall governance.
Roles 1 & 2 – 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: 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:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- CFO/ Finance
- Audit Committee Chair
- Remuneration Committee Chair
- Corporate Governance
- Qualified Accountant
Role 1: This individual will have demonstrable experience as the CFO/Finance Director of a company, with responsibility for managing a large budget. A qualified accountant is preferred.
Experience of an Audit committee and/or board level finance experience would be a particular advantage together with knowledge of risk management and statutory compliance obligations. Familiarity with the current Charity Commission is not essential but would be an asset.
Role 2: The trust seeks a person with substantial senior experience HR in a medium or large commercial company. Ideally the suitable candidate will have Director level strategic experience of HR.
The trust board meets 5 times a year and board meetings tend to be held on Mondays at 7pm. Some trustees are invited to join one of the tree sub-committees depending on skills and interests. The subcommittees are Finance, HR & Standards, and Safeguarding. Sub committee meetings may move around the week to match trustees availability but tend to commence around 5pm on a week-day. In general trustees should be able to commit to around 6 hours per month (on average).
Role 3 – Member
Members are able alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. Members are deemed to be ‘eyes on but hands-off’ and would only intervene in extreme circumstances.
The competencies required for this role include:
- CEO/General Management
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- Corporate Governance
The demands on a Member are relatively light and is likely to be around 12 hours over the year. The trust seeks individuals with an extensive and demonstrable background in a senior leadership role, with strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director.
A good communicator and a ‘team player’, committed to attending Members’ meetings is essential. An individual with good business acumen is advantageous, as well as experience of working within a public sector environment, preferably at board level. An interest in education and an awareness of current educational priorities would be advantageous but is not essential.
Members are required to attend two meetings a year to oversee the strategy. The two new members will add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of three members.
Location of board meetings and trust website
The Olive Tree Primary School, Adelaide St, Bolton, BL3 5RW