Mentoring

Academy Ambassadors offers appointed NEDs the opportunity to meet a like-minded peer from a different board to share learning, develop professional skills and improve governance standards across England. Peer-to-peer conversations can help high-calibre board appointees to overcome these barriers and have a more rapid impact. Understanding the terminology, financial structure and broader culture of education all require some navigation in the first year.

27

matches made

58

mentors

37

mentees

Mentors 

Our mentors include Academy Ambassadors’ alumni, Chairs and NEDs from strong academy trusts across England, together with leading CEOs and education leaders. All have significant experience of leading change in education. Our mentors come from a range of sectors and include founders and former Chairs of FTSE 100 companies, banking professionals, turnaround experts and MAT governance leaders. Alongside our alumni we also have education leaders from MATs with some of the most-improved schools in England.

Mentors are recommended to Academy Ambassadors via a range of sources. If you wish to apply as a mentor, please contact [email protected].

Some of the ‘typical’ areas of focus for newly appointed non-executive directors are:

  • Educational terminology
  • Improving appropriate board challenge
  • Exerting appropriate board control: align operational decisions with strategic priorities
  • Improving financial control and performance/Tackle financial underperformance or deficit
  • Introducing curriculum-led financial planning
  • Improving MAT board effectiveness (challenging behaviours, reforming processes and focusing on performance)
  • Restructuring governance to improve performance (board, LGBs, Committees and Schemes of Delegation)
  • Preparing for a CEO appraisal remuneration policy

How the mentoring programme works:

  • Once a match has been agreed, an introductory email is sent to both parties, along with a brief guide to mentoring.
  • The mentor and mentee will arrange to meet between themselves at a mutually convenient time and place.
  • We’ll be in touch after the initial meeting for feedback and to provide support/reference or further contacts as required.
  • You may then choose to continue to meet when convenient and/or to arrange a board observation. Either in person or over the phone.
  • We will check in and ask for feedback after three months and if the relationship continues, after six months to gain feedback and to understand the impact mentoring has had.

For Mentees

Peer-to-peer conversations can help new board appointees overcome barriers and have a more rapid impact. For NEDs who wish to meet a peer from another trust, we will identify a potential board mentor from our pool and wider networks. We select matches based on the mentees preferred location, their own industry background and the type of trust and board issues faced.

Mentees and mentors are asked to highlight their areas of need and areas of expertise to ensure a good match is made. Like-minded peers are often well placed to provide newly appointed NEDs with orientation to a sector that was once new to them. However a NED with a financial background may wish to meet another NED from the same region with a human resources background if the trust is facing HR-related issues which may be new to the NED.

How the mentoring programme works:

  • Once a match has been agreed, an introductory email is sent to both parties, along with a brief guide to mentoring.
  • The mentor and mentee will arrange to meet between themselves at a mutually convenient time and place.
  • We’ll be in touch after the initial meeting for feedback and to provide support/reference or further contacts as required.
  • You may then choose to continue to meet when convenient and/or to arrange a board observation. Either in person or over the phone.
  • We will check in and ask for feedback after three months and if the relationship continues, after six months to gain feedback and to understand the impact mentoring has had.

If you would like more information on mentoring please contact [email protected]