- CEO/ General Management
- Corporate Governance
- Human Resources
Blackpool Multi Academy Trust seeks two new Members and three new non-executive directors to join its board. Candidates possessing finance and HR are highly sought by the trust. Blackpool Multi Academy Trust was formed in September 2013 and is made up of four academies: one special school and three mainstream primary schools. Board meetings are held at trust schools, all within the Blackpool area.
About the trust
Blackpool is an area of high deprivation and three of the academies in the trust have higher than average free school meal pupil percentages – a standard measure of levels of disadvantage.
The trust comprises:
Anchorsholme Academy - Mainstream Primary School catering for 4-11 years;
Devonshire Primary Academy - Mainstream Primary School catering for 4-11 years with nursery provision attached;
Revoe Learning Academy - Mainstream Primary School catering for 4-11 years with a Children's Centre and nursery provision attached;
Park Community Academy - Special School catering for 2-19 years (all-through provision).
Park Community Academy was judged as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2018, Anchorsholme Academy is ‘Good’ and both Devonshire Primary and Revoe Learning Academies are judged 'Requires Improvement'. Both of these academies are, however, on an upward trajectory with both securing improved results this year.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
School Improvement - with two schools in 'Requires Improvement' in areas of high deprivation and staff retention issues, this is a high priority;
Staff Retention - the trust aims to address prior issues around the retention of high-quality staff, as well as seeking to attract additional high-quality staff to raise quality standards;
Maintaining the existing structure of the trust and allowing for growth - there are areas of focus within the infrastructure of the trust that need to be addressed.
Over the longer term, the trust seeks to provide a solid infrastructure for growth of the trust whilst retaining the existing outstanding provision and securing excellent outcomes for all children.
Trust ethos & values
The trust believes that education must be tailored to the individual and each of it schools is unique in its character and ethos. It aspires to be an ethical trust that exists to improve the educational opportunities for the children in its schools.
Number of positions advertised:
Up to 5
Roles 1-3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
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.
Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.
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)
CFO/ Finance OR
The trust seeks to recruit a range of skills to its board, with experience and expertise from across a variety of professional backgrounds. Individuals with experience – and, importantly, relevant professional qualifications where applicable – in HR and finance are most highly sought by the trust, as well as complementary skills, included those listed in the ‘desirable’ section, to help develop its board strength and breadth. Willingness to work constructively and effectively in accordance with the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ are essential.
As a non-executive director at this trust you will be expected to attend board meetings with a key focus on school improvement. There is also a requirement to attend one academy local governing body (LGB) meeting over the year to act as critical friend and non-voting observer. Directors will monitor performance, school improvement, finance, business and resources management.
The board currently meets once per month, however the intention is to move, as soon as practically possible, to a model where the board meets once each half-term, with the creation of sub-committees to handle some of the finer detail.
The trust seeks input from new trustees around the programme and schedule of governance meetings going forward. Meetings begin at 5pm and last approximately two hours. It is expected that trustees will need to commit an average of 4-6 hours per month throughout the year. This will include attendance at, and preparation for, meetings as well as any follow-up and occasional training as appropriate.
Roles 4-5 – Member
Members are signatories to the Articles of Association and can pass a special resolution to amend the articles. They are responsible for appointing trustees, according to the trust's articles, and can also remove serving trustees where necessary and appropriate.
Members have oversight of the trust's governance and should keep themselves informed about how the board is performing and have an awareness of when they may need to exercise their powers to ensure effective governance.
The competencies required for this role include:
CFO/ Finance OR
The trust seeks individuals with an extensive and demonstrable background from across the business sphere, but with a specific requirement in finance from at least one candidate, with strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director, to enable them to fully engage with the role. Prior experience of trusteeship / non-executive director roles is essential, as well as a firm and demonstrable grasp of corporate governance.
A good communicator committed to attending Members’ meetings, the ideal candidate will be an individual with good business acumen, as well as experience of working within a charity or non-profit environment, preferably at board level.
The Members currently meet just once per year. This has increased through the prior year due to a focus on trust development and trustee recruitment, however a return to standard operation is anticipated once newly-recruited trustees and Members assume positions.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held variously in the trust’s academies and all are within the Blackpool area.
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 12th July 2019