Non-Executive Director X 2

About the trust

The Community Schools Trust has three secondary schools in east London serving a total of 3,400 pupils with 400 staff. They are Forest Gate Community School, which has an Outstanding Ofsted rating,The Cumberland School (Ofsted Requires Improvement)  joined the trust in May 2018 and the schools are working in partnership to improve educational standards.

Their most recent school, Hackney New School (Ofsted rating inadequate), joined in November 2019, and offers personalised education with a focus on well-being and music.

With a budget of £30 million, the trust is looking for strong leadership from its trustees to reach its aim of improving student academic success, behaviour and teaching standards. The trust believes that schools are at the centre of their communities and aims for all students to reach their highest potential.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2

Role 1 – Non-Executive Director/ Trustee

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.

In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments are subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

Person specification


The trustee would join the board of the Community Schools Trust. 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)


  • Leadership
  • Strategic HR/ Change Management
  • PR/ marketing


Real estate/ Property

  • Turnaround

Role spec:

Ideally, a person who has experience of bringing about rapid change and improving standards in an organisation.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. There are 6 of board meetings a year.

Role 2 - Member

A member is able to 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 should have an impeccable understanding of the role of governance in public life. This may have been gained in a wide range of senior leadership roles. They are likely to have previous experience in a non-executive director or trustee role.

Person specification

There is an expectation from the DfE that Members should have skills in corporate governance, finance, legal, HR and education to enable holding the Trustees to account. The trust seeks an individual with an extensive and demonstrable background in a senior management position, with strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director.

The competencies required for this role include:


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


  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • Communications/PR


CEO/General Management

  • Growth Management


Time Commitment

Members only meet once a year so the commitment is likely to be 6 hours a year.

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