The Birmingham Diocesan Academies Trust (BDMAT) was formed in April 2017; its first six schools joined the trust in September 2017. It currently comprises schools from across the West Midlands region, including Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire. An individual with a substantial background in the legal sector is sought to strengthen the board. Board meetings are held at multiple locations in the Birmingham area. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.
About the trust
The Birmingham Diocesan Academies Trust (BDMAT) was formed in April 2017. It welcomed its first six schools in September of the same year. A year later, in September 2018, two further ‘convertor’ academies joined the trust.
At present, the trust covers the West Midlands area and currently includes schools from the city of Birmingham (St Clements CE Primary Academy, Hawkesley CE Methodist Academy, St Michaels CE Primary Academy Handsworth, St George’s CE Primary School, Edgbaston and St Georges CE Primary School Newtown) as well as from Solihull (St Margaret’s CE Primary School Olton) and Warwickshire (The Nethersole CE Primary Academy, Coleshill CE Primary School).
Four further schools are due to join the trust in January 2019; it has also been given approval from the Department for Education (DfE) for four additional schools to join, all of which are situated in North Warwickshire. This will take the trust’s total to sixteen schools.
Additionally, the DfE has approved the building of a new Secondary Free School, to be situated in Yardley Wood, in the south of Birmingham and planned to open in September 2021.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Recruitment - to grow the trust strategically with care without introducing risk. Managing and mitigating any risks through this period of change is a high priority;
- Growth - to carry out the ‘growth with care’ plan over a period of three to five years to ensure economies of scale are embedded and the trust can deliver its own service level agreement model;
- Financial - to establish a sustainable financial model that maintains strong leadership and highly experienced teachers, as well as one-to-one support for children with special educational needs.
Trust ethos & values
The trust’s mission, values and strategic aims can be summarised in its three main goals:
- Life in its fullness for all;
- Success for all;
- Positive well-being for all.
Number of positions advertised:
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.
The successful candidate will be an experienced business leader and strategic planner with the ability to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will be a team player who can work as part of a skilled volunteer board to oversee the trust.
As the trust looks to expand, experience of growth management is essential, as well as the ability assess and identify risk. All trustees will be expected to ensure the trust is commercially sustainable and is meeting its financial targets. The trust seeks individuals who are supportive of educational excellence in both a community and church school setting.
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)
- Corporate Governance
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- Succession Planning
Candidates will be able to assess and advise in areas of legality, risk and compliance and to ensure the organisation complies with its articles; charitable, company and employment law. In this role candidates must apply diplomacy, objectivity, integrity and impartiality when monitoring and evaluating the work and the compliance of the trust.
The trust requires all individuals on the board to challenge and ask challenging questions where applicable and necessary, whilst understanding the need to prioritise outcomes for children as the trust seeks to grow in future.
Five board meetings a year (Thursdays, 09.30 – 12.00) and one training day. Non-executive director’s will also be an active member of one of the Board’s sub-committee (meeting termly).
Location of board meetings and trust website
Location of board meetings: The Church of England, 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BJ
Trust website: www.bdmatschools.com
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 for applications: Friday,29th March, 2019.