About the trust
St Aidan's Academy is a single academy trust, consisting of approximately 500 students and growing, in a highly deprived area of Darlington. The academy is a Church of England secondary school and is sponsored jointly by the Crosslands Group and the Diocese of Durham. In recent years the trust has seen continued school improvement and has moved from the Ofsted Category of ‘Serious Weakness’ to ‘Requires Improvement’. A recent Section 48 inspection rated the Academy moving towards ‘Good’ in all aspects.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To continue to improve standards through the development of the leadership team in order to provide the best possible educational outcomes;
- To maintain standards and attendance by delivering consistently Good and Outstanding learning experiences;
- To continue to remain financially stable and resilient.
Number of positions advertised:
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:
- CFO/ Finance
- Qualified Accountant
- Corporate Governance
- Non-executive/ Trustee
The ideal candidate will be an experienced and senior leader with a demonstrable background in finance with prior experience of operating in a medium or large not-for-profit / charitable organisation. While an accountancy qualification is highly desirable, along with a demonstrate record of operating in the area of Audit, these are not prerequisites. A candidate with a prior background as a Chief Financial Officer/ Finance Director is highly sought.
The successful candidate may possess a prior experience of a non-executive and/or trustee role along with a strong grasp of corporate governance, through experience working at board/C-suite level. Suitable candidates may have held positions in a non-profit making, commercial, retail or industry setting, demonstrating evidence of growing a business, chain of businesses or franchises, as well as experience of head office or organisational development, including driving business efficiency in central services.
6 hours per month (minimum).
Location of board meetings and trust website
St Aidan's Academy, Darlington, DL1 1LL.
Trust website: www.staidansacademy.co.uk
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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, 24th January, 2020
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