Non-Executive Director

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About the trust

The trust currently has two primary and two secondary schools, with Leicester Metropolitan Academy (LMA), a new free school, which will open in new accommodation in 2021 when it admits Year 7 pupils for the first time.  LMA will then grow each year admitting new Year 7 pupils as the previous cohort move through over time to Year 11.  The trust also supports South Wigston High School which legally sits separate to LwLAT.  Discussions are underway with a view for South Wigston High School to possibly join LwLAT at some stage in the future.

The trust believes that a collaborative approach to school improvement gives its schools the tools necessary to improve, and sustain this improvement over time. Those within the trust are committed to meet the trust’s ambition for its 3000 students and the diverse communities that it serves.

The majority of the students served by the trust are from disadvantaged backgrounds, they are also from families with a range of ethnicities. Some of the academies within the trust have a strong track record of helping disadvantaged students to perform well; these strategies are shared across the trust in order to narrow performance gaps.

The schools within Learning without Limits Academy Trust work closely with one another and benefit greatly from these relationships. Their close geographical location means that the trust can easily share opportunities and experiences that greatly improve the life chances of students.

Lancaster Academy joined the trust after a very difficult period and the team are working hard to drive improvements.  This academy has undergone some major changes including moving from an all-boys school to become co-educational.  More work is needed to embed new approaches in the academy and return it to being a school of choice for students and parents in the local area. 

At this point the trust serves 3,000 pupils; it has 550 staff and a budget of £17m.

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, and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

 

Person specification

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)

  • Legal/Compliance or
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Corporate Governance

 

Desirable

  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Risk

 

Role 1: The trust seeks someone who brings a background to support the trust in relation to compliance but who can also bring wider leadership and governance experience.

Whilst previous experience as a trustee may be useful it is not essential.

 

Role 2 spec: For this role, the trust seeks someone with senior experience in a marketing background, to help strategically guide the trust in further raising its profile and the marketing its new free school which is due to open in 2021. Whilst previous experience as a trustee may be useful it is not essential.

 

Time commitment

The trust Board meets four times a year (twice in the autumn term and once in the spring and summer terms).  Meetings tend to start at 5 or 5:30pm but are not fixed on one particular day.  The schedule is planned well in advance. Trustees may be invited to join one of the subcommittees depending on skills, interest and availability. The subcommittees include Audit& Risk which meets three times a year (once per term) and a Pay & Performance Committee which meets once a year.  A new subcommittee will be introduced from January 2020 to scrutinise Education Standards more closely.  An induction programme will be devised by the CEO and Chair to allow new trustees to gain an understanding of the trust’s current position. In addition, the trusts works collaboratively with another trust in the area to provide additional training as necessary and which new trustees may access.

 

Role 3 – 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. At Learning without Limits Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend up to three meetings per year, and to broaden the skillset within the existing team of members.

 

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

 

Essential

  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance

 

Desirable

  • CFO/Finance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic

 

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 commercial environment, preferably at board level.

 

Time commitment

The demands on a Member are relatively light and time commitment is likely to be around 12 hours over the year.

 

Location of board meetings and trust website

Babington Academy, Strasbourg Drive, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, LE4 0SZ.


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