Attain Academy Partnership

East of England and North East London | Chelmsford | Essex
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Human Resources
Deadline date: 31st January 2020

The Attain Academy Partnership is a trust which educates approximately 1,200 pupils across four primary academies, all with the shared desire to be innovative, inclusive and inspirational. The trust is currently exploring the possibility of two new schools joining in 2020. It now seeks three non-executive directors/trustees with HR, CEO/leadership and Corporate Governance expertise to join its board. Board meetings are held in Chelmsford.

About the trust

Attain Academy Partnership Trust was established in 2017, founded on the strong local alliances formed by Newlands Spring Primary School, including the River Chelmer Partnership.  Newlands has been the lead school for the Chelmsford Teaching Schools Alliance and the Essex Primary School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) for a number of years. Other schools in the trust also partake in local networks, including the Notley Family of Schools.

The trust currently comprises of 4 primary schools:

  • Newlands Spring Primary School - 420 students - aged 4 to 11 (rated Outstanding by Ofsted)
  • Rayne Primary and Nursery School - 259 students - aged 3 to 11 (rated Good by Ofsted)
  • Elm Hall Primary School - 181 students - aged 5 to 11 (rated Outstanding by Ofsted)
  • Gosfield Community Primary School 140 students -aged 5 to 11 (awaiting Ofsted inspection)

The trust currently employs 125 staff (full-time equivalent) and its annual income is circa £6million. With plans to grow, the trust is in early discussions with a small number of other primary schools with a view to their joining the trust at a future date.

Plans for the future

This is an exciting time to join Attain Academy Partnership which aims to grow the trust, retain the ethos and the 'local feel', yet provide an ever-improving educational and pastoral experience for its students and to make the trust a 'great place to work'.

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Expansion of the trust to a reasonable size where economies of scale come into play but also ensures that the pedagogy and ethos of the current trust, and its academies, is not diminished.
  2. Recruitment and retention of trustees from a non-educational background.
  3. Ensuring that future plans for expansion/growth do not overstretch the key central team/resources or additional funding is provided on a long term to recruit more key personnel to the central team.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s ethos is to ensure that every child is a happy and successful learner, a confident individual and a responsible citizen and to grow a collaboration of schools with a shared desire to be innovative, inclusive and inspirational.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 3

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.

Role 1-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Following a recent review of the board’s blend of skills and experience, the trust now seeks an experienced 3 additional trustees in order to add capacity to the Board and provide strategic advice as the trust grows.

Person specification

The strategic expertise required for these roles includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • CEO/Senior Leadership
  • HR - employment law
  • Corporate Governance
Desirable(due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Change Management
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • TUPE
  • Organisational restructuring

Corporate Governance/ Strategic Leadership: The successful candidates will demonstrate innovative thinking and will be focused on improving outcomes for all children and will show an understanding of the vision and mindset of the trust.

HR: The ideal candidate will have experience at a senior level in personnel management and will be comfortable dealing with different ways of working.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

For more information, please visit

There are six board meetings a year (each half term) 1830 – 2030, with the expectation that trustees will also attend committee meetings.

Board meetings are held at Newlands Spring School, Dickens Place, Chelmsford, CM1 4UU.

Governance structure

Details can be found  here: 

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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.  


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

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: Friday 31st January 2020