- Corporate Governance
Aquinas Church of England Education Trust in London Borough of Bromley seeks a non-executive director with financial expertise to join the board. The trust currently consists of nine schools and plans to expand over the next two years. Board meetings are held in Bromley. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.
About the Trust
Aquinas Church of England Education Trust is a multi-academy trust (MAT) consisting of nine Church of England designated academies, all situated in the London Borough of Bromley.
The trust currently has one secondary academy, which recently expanded to eight forms of entry and has an Ofsted judgement of ‘Good’. It has seen improved results year on year. Following the introduction of linear examinations and a different grading system at GCSE, 69% of students achieved grades 9-4 in English and Mathematics and 76% of students achieved five grades 9-4. BTEC results have also remained excellent with 100% of students achieving Distinction* to Pass grades. The remaining eight academies are primary schools, ranging from a small rural academy to an inner London academy with pupils coming from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. As a result of the support provided by the trust, one sponsored primary academy has achieved an Ofsted judgement of ‘Good’ from ‘Requires Improvement’ while another has achieved a judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’ from ‘Special Measures’. The remaining academies have an Ofsted judgement of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
As a Church of England MAT, the Trust has links with the Diocese of Rochester and four of its five Members are Church of England appointees. Although, the Members are responsible for the appointment of the majority of trustees, these appointments are purely skills based. The trust also has the ability to include community schools.
The trust is also working with a number of other academies locally and in a different geographical area with a view to expansion. The strategic plan envisages the trust growing to 15 academies by 2020. In order to achieve this strategic aim and support the Regional Schools Commissioner in delivering educational improvement in coastal areas, the trust is supporting the Rye Academy Trust with the provision of educational consultancy. The trust is also exploring the possibility of opening a hub in this region.
A number of the trust processes have been centralised to achieve continuing educational improvement and a business function which provides value for money and scalability. However, the trust seeks to preserve the unique characteristic of each academy so that it is well equipped to serve its community and learners.
Plans for the Future
Central to the current three-year strategic plan is the improvement of educational outcomes for all learners and expansion to create a sustainable and effective community of well-resourced academies. The key challenges for the next 12-24 months include:
- Delivery of improved educational outcomes at all existing academies and, in particular, the sponsored academies
- Expansion into a new geographical area which will involves:
- Develop a new model for working practices across two geographical areas.
- Aligning systems and practice of the new academies with the Trust.
- Establishing effective governance arrangements.
- Establishing precise and rigorous systems for school improvement so that any incoming schools makes rapid improvement and achieves and Ofsted judgement of ‘good’.
- Establish the ‘Aquinas’ brand in the new locality so that it is synonymous with excellent education so that new staff and pupils are attracted to the academies
- Financial pressures: rising staffing and resource costs, compliance needs and reduction in income and capital funding will mean the delivery of a balanced and sustainable budget is more challenging.
- Large expansion projects at a number of academies and the maintenance of all academy sites in circumstances where capital funding is limited.
In the long term, the Trust will focus on continuing to deliver improving outcomes at all academies and the consolidation of the new geographical hub.
Trust Ethos & Values
See the attached link - www.aquinastrust.org/about/values-vision-and-ethos
Number of Positions advertised:
Roles 1 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the MAT ; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees sets the strategic direction and manages the business of the MAT and may exercise all the powers as detailed in the articles of association. The trustees ensure compliance with the Trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.
The competencies required for this role include:
- CFO/ Finance
- Growth Management
- Corporate Governance
The new trustee will have a strong financial background. They will sit on the finance and audit committee and support the chair of this committee. Candidates must have the ability to scrutinise the financial information and develop a strategy to deliver the school improvement requirements of the trust.
Both roles require individuals who are interested in education and public service. They should be able to contribute to the future strategy of the trust. Candidates are not required to be practicing Christians but should have sympathy with the Christian ethos of the Trust.
6 hours /month minimum
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
The trust’s website is www.aquinastrust.org
Board meetings are held at Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HZ
Please see www.aquinastrust.org/about/our-structure
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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.
“Academy 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 (2017)
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.
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.
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 date: Friday 15 February 2019