Advance Trust

West Midlands | Evesham
  • Branding/Marketing
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance
Deadline date: 15th November 2019

Advance Trust, a four-school Special Educational Need and Alternative Provision multi-academy trust (MAT) based in Evesham, Worcestershire, seeks up to four trustees to help develop a sustainable operating model and achieve an ambitious growth target within three years. Senior leaders with skills and experience in HR, change management, growth management and branding/marketing are sought. Meetings are held at multiple locations in the Evesham area.

About the trust

A four-school multi-academy trust (MAT) located in Evesham in East Worcestershire, Advance Trust has a student roll of approximately 450, meeting a wide variety of needs.

As a Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Alternative Provision provider, the trust offers learning opportunities for those who are not able to attend mainstream education.

Due to the requirements of the learners, there is a significant level of staffing at the trust – currently around 250 are employed by the trust, with a budget of £9m per annum.

Plans for the future

Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months include:

  1. School Improvement: Ensuring high standards of attainment and progress for all pupils within the trust. Working towards ensuring all of the trust schools are rated at least ‘Good’ by Ofsted;
  2. Growth: The trust is committed to achieving economies of scale and is targeting taking on eight more schools over the next three years to ensure it remains viable and financially sustainable;
  3. Sustainability: With small schools and tight national budgets, the trust is committed to exploring all opportunities to improve its operating model to deliver efficiency and sharing services where possible.

Over the longer term, with a focus on growth – up to triple its current size within 36 months - the trust has an aim to ensure this does not impact negatively on its culture, ethos and child-centred focus.

Trust ethos & values

Advance Trust has a desire to maintain the identity and autonomy of each school that joins it, while supporting each school's journey to ‘Outstanding’. It supports its provisions to ensure that learners’ life chances are enhanced.

More information on the trust’s values and core purpose is available here: http://www.advancetrust.org/about.php

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 4

Roles 1-4 – 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.

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
  • Entrepreneur
  • Growth Management/Change Management
  • Branding/ Marketing/Communications
Desirable
  • Restructuring
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • Turnaround
  • CFO/ Finance

The trust seeks to recruit up to four individuals, possessing a combination of the skills listed in order to help it meet its ambitious growth target over the coming three years. Within this, the trust is specifically hoping to appoint an individual with experience in law and/or of managing budgets in excess of £1m, working with multiple departments and balancing diverse strategic goals. Additionally, a candidate with experience of restructuring and leading change in large and/or complex organisations with diverse stakeholders is required.

A candidate withexpertise in developing the branding and marketing in organisations, turning a vision into reality and an individual with extensive skills and experience in HR / people management, looking at staffing structures and understanding of employment law, are sought.

No education experience is required, and it is not a necessity to have a strong understanding of public sector governance as training / support will be made available on joining the Advance Trust board.

Time commitment

Five hours /month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Vale of Evesham School, Four Pools Lane, Evesham, WR11 1BN

www.advancetrust.org

Governance structure

http://www.advancetrust.org/govern.php

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.

“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 (2019)

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.

Applications

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 [email protected] 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.

Key dates

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: 15th November 2019