Chair of the Board of Trustees
About the trust
Anthem Schools Trust is a multi-academy trust of 11 primary and five secondary schools which cover a broad demographic and geography across the East Midlands, London and the Thames Valley. The trust serves around 8,300 pupils, has c1,200 members of staff and a budget of £52 million. From Lincolnshire down through Oxfordshire, Berkshire and London, the trust aims to create ambitious and successful schools where every child thrives.
The trust is supported by Education Development Trust, an international education charity with a mission to transform lives by improving education around the world.
Collaboration is a cornerstone of Anthem’s culture - sharing ‘what works’ in teaching and learning practice across and beyond the Trust, and together making their schools great places to work and learn.
All schools are Ofsted rated Good or Outstanding, except for two which are classed as Requires Improvement.
Formerly known as CfBT Schools Trust, the organisation has rebranded as Anthem Schools Trust, effective September, 2019.
Plans for the future
Anthem has ambitious plans for the future. The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Continuous school improvement so that all schools have an Ofsted rating of Good to Outstanding on a consistent basis.
- Developing people in the trust through an outstanding professional development programme to ensure that the trust is well led and they in turn can drive excellent teaching in all the trust’s schools.
- Managing school budgets in the current fiscal environment.
- Identifying potential opportunities for planned and strategic growth of the trust
For the long term, development of the school's estate and reinvestment in infrastructure is a key aim.
Number of positions advertised: 1
Role – Chair of the board of trustees
The trust seeks an exceptional individual to step into the non-executive role of Chair of the board and take our organisation on the next stage of its journey. This is a challenging and high profile role requiring an experienced leader who is highly regarded, influential and people orientated, ideally with experience and a strong interest in education.
The purpose of the role is to play a pivotal role in the governance of the trust and in steering the strategic direction for the organisation, in conjunction with the board. The Chair will act as an ambassador for Anthem, representing it to stakeholders as appropriate.
The Chair will be a trustee and, as such, will serve as both a charity trustee and company director of the academy trust. In addition to chairing the board of trustees, this individual will also be a member of a board committee.
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, alongside all trustee appointments, the appointment of the chair will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
- Provide clear leadership to the board of trustees
- Lead, with the CEO, the annual discussion on the trust’s strategy
- Provide leadership and support to the CEO, where appropriate
- Hold the CEO to account for the effective management and delivery of the trust’s aims and plans
- Appraise the performance of the CEO annually and report to the Remuneration Committee
- Play any role in future recruitment of a CEO with a panel of trustees
- Chair the board of trustee meetings
- Chair the annual meeting of the trust’s members
- Support the CEO on the trust’s relationship with key stakeholders including the Department for Education and the sponsor, Education Development Trust.
- Model and support the values of the trust.
- Lead the recruitment of new independent trustees.
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
In the interests of safeguarding, alongside all trustee appointments, appointment of the chair will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
Key to the chair’s role will be ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction and leading the board in holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse. The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
- Extensive governance/senior leadership experience in an educational environment, ideally as chair (this could be, but not limited to, senior leadership experience in a local authority education and/or multi-academy trust)
- Track record of senior leadership success in a corporate, public sector or third sector environment
- Outstanding interpersonal and ambassadorial skills
- Strategic planning in a large educational organization of equivalent scale
- Audit/finance committee experience
- Corporate governance
- Non-executive chair/trustee experience
- Ability to harness diversity
The trust seeks an exceptional individual to step into the non-executive role of Chair of the Board and take the organisation on the next stage of its journey. This is a challenging and high profile role requiring an experienced leader who is highly regarded, influential and people orientated, ideally with experience and a strong interest in education.
The successful applicant will have a track record of successful Chair/CEO experience. They will have strong inter-personal skills, with an adaptive approach and strategic mind-set. Additionally, they will be committed to the trust’s ethos and values. This means having the willingness to devote time and effort to create positive change for pupils.
As Chair, this individual will compliantly budget and monitor expenditure, in line with legal obligations. They will strategise for asset management and risk management, and will develop productive and supportive professional relationships with the board and CEO.
The board meets six times per year. Committees also meet up to six times per year. It has been recent practice to hold a strategy day every eighteen months. The meetings normally start in late morning and finish after lunch. As the meetings are taken around the Trust’s schools on a rota basis, then timings adjust to make travel manageable. This can involve an overnight stay. Committees meet similarly and training or ‘update sessions’ are often conducted before meetings where necessary. On average, the time demand is one to two days per week during term time, but the time does vary significantly depending on issues facing the trust.
The role is unremunerated but the trust will cover travel expenses and subsistence where appropriate.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held on a rota basis across the trust’s 16 schools. Whilst the trust’s base is in Reading where there are three schools and a further two over in Oxfordshire, there are four in the London area (Brent, Camden, Southwark and Merton) as well as a clutch of schools in Lincolnshire (Gainsborough, Lincoln (x2), Boston and Peterborough). There are others in Dunstable and Derby. Please note – the trust will cover travel expenses to meetings.
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