Non-executive Director

About the trust

The Propeller Academy Trust is a special needs trust with two community schools, providing support for moderate learning difficulties to profound and multiple. Approximately 25% of the children are entitled to free school meals, 5% speak English as a second language, all children have special educational needs and hold an Education, Health and Care Plan to be in a special school. Some children have one to two support.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 5

Roles 1-3 – 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, all trustee appointments would 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:

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)

  • Finance and audit
  • Branding/ Marketing
  • SEND
  • Corporate Governance


  • CEO/General Management
  • Growth Management
  • Qualified Accountant

Role 1: a candidate with business qualifications in finance and/or auditing and demonstrable experience at a senior management level in a large business where they have contributed to strategic planning and development. Though not essential, experience in education, corporate and/or charity governance would be of benefit.

Role 2: a senior educationalist with experience as a leader who has worked in schools. Ideally they will have experience in SEND schools.

Role 3: a trustee that ideally has experience of working in schools with limited funds for marketing – can help with launching multimedia, internal trust identity and external networking.

The most important quality you will bring is a commitment to the success of children with special educational needs and a willingness to make a commitment to the Propeller Trust!

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).

Roles 4-5 – 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
  • Legal


  • CEO/General Management
  • HR

Time commitment

Members only meet once a year. It is anticipated that a time commitment of 6 hours a year will suffice.

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