Non-Executive Director

About the Trust

Founded on a commitment to a clear moral purpose, STEP Academy Trust is committed to working with schools in challenging circumstances. Over a period of seven years, STEP has developed a strong track record for rapid school improvement. The name reflects the aspirational nature of the organisation – Striving Together for Excellence in Partnership.

Schools which join STEP tend to have a complex history and are designated by Ofsted as either requiring improvement or in special measures. As such there is a need for the schools to completely change the way they work to ensure pupils’ needs are at the heart of plans and decisions. Instead of acting as separate, autonomous entities, partners embrace the “one team” ethos; known within the organisation as STEP First. STEP Academy Trust has been able to establish a high degree of consistency in its approaches, providing excellent educational and operational support for new academies and effectively managing growth and development. Two central teams drive performance: one concentrates on finance, resources and operations, allowing staff to focus on teaching and learning; with a second team of high-calibre teaching professionals deployed to raise standards.

STEP has secured a high-calibre, stable team throughout, with the Executive Team well regarded in the education sector. Additionally, STEP has high staff retention rates and is rapidly becoming an employer of choice. The governance structure enables trustees and governors to effectively support and challenge leaders.

STEP currently has over 4,000 primary aged pupils and an income in excess of £25m. Last year the Trust saw a 20% rise in results for pupils achieving the expected standard or above in reading, writing and mathematics at schools that have been part of the Trust for two or more years. Last year also saw three out of four Ofsted inspections returning an Outstanding judgement, with the fourth limited by inherited educational performance. All of this against a context where the majority of pupils are from areas of high deprivation, well above the national average. In fact, although over 90% are from disadvantaged backgrounds, only 50% receive Pupil Premium funding. The government funding does not cover all of our families because many are what is commonly termed as the ‘working poor’ and, therefore, do not meet the set thresholds. This is why, across STEP Academy Trust, it is essential that our moral compass is securely fixed on continually providing a high quality of education for all pupils, so that they are successful and well prepared for each stage of their education.

The Mission of STEP – “To improve the life chances of all children, where we have the capacity to make a difference we are morally bound to do so” – implies the need to grow and develop. Indeed, the strategic plan for the Trust, which is called the STEP Compass, emphasises this as one of the compass points focused on investing in the future.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:



Role 1 – 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 Teams. 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.


The Trust seek to recruit an additional non-executive trustee with a branding, marketing and communications background to help the Trust enhance and refine its relationships with stakeholders, particularly parents and the broader local communities our academies serve.



  • Branding/Marketing/Communications
  • CEO/ General Management



  • Corporate Governance


Person Specification

The Trust are keen to recruit a non-executive trustee from a commercial background who understands the branding requirements of a growing organisation and has a strong grip on key issues such as PR, marketing and branding.


Time Commitment

Average five hours per month. There are currently four Board meetings and three Committee meetings per year. 


Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings usually take place at Heathfield Academy, Aberdeen Road, South Croydon CR0 1EQ, and occasionally in East Sussex.

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