Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | Bradford
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Change Management
  • Education Leadership
Deadline date: 24th January 2020

Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT) is a large cross-phase Church of England multi-academy trust. The trust seeks to further strengthen its board by recruiting a new non-executive director with a background in education. BDAT was formed in 2012 to sponsor academies in Bradford on behalf of the Diocese.  There have since been some changes to the Diocesan structure in the region but BDAT remains a strong an effective trust meeting the needs of its 17 academies. Board meetings are held in the Greengates area of Bradford. Applicants of all faiths or those without faith are welcome to apply however a commitment to support and uphold the trust ethos is essential.

About the trust

Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust is a Bradford based Church of England multi-academy trust. Like all academy trusts, BDAT is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, governed by a Board of Directors/Trustees who are responsible for, and oversee the management of the company.

The trust currently has 17 open academies – 4 secondary schools and 13 primary academies. It provides education for around 8000 students and employs over 1350 staff with a gross budget in excess of £54m.

BDAT works with schools of all different contexts and backgrounds including good and outstanding schools and schools in special measures. Although BDAT is grew out of an Anglican Diocese, it supports several academies which are not faith-designated and the academies provide high quality education for children and families from a wide range of faith backgrounds including those without faith.  The trust recognises that each of its academies is unique and the trust value their differences and the communities they represent. BDAT seeks to provide a good quality of education to all of its pupils and operates with the belief that every child only gets one chance at education and they have a right to that being a good education.

BDAT has established collaborative structures and processes to enable its schools to work together and share good practice.  As the family of schools within the trust continues to grow, BDAT looks to develop its structures and processes to ensure effective partnership working to provide the best quality support its pupils and staff.

Plans for the future

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

  1. BDAT has grown rapidly over recent years and intends to go through a period of consolidation with the potential of further growth if the opportunity arises.  The challenge will be to refine the structures to further improve the high quality, sustainable support.
  2. Finance – education budgets are under pressure from increasing costs and BDAT strives to maximize the impact of all its funding.
  3. Further refine partnerships working to share the very best practice across the network of academies.


Trust ethos & values

Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust is committed to providing high-quality education for all, within an ethos which encourages academic, vocational, mental, physical, and spiritual opportunities, and development for each member of its academies.

The trust’s mission is “to provide education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice”. 

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2

Roles 1 & 2 – 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.

Person specification

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)
  • General Management
  • Change Management
  • Education Experience
  • Corporate Governance
  • Risk
  • Legal/Compliance
  • CFO/ Finance

Individuals will be asked to contribute to setting the strategic direction of the trust; to ensure and create robust accountability against its business plan and educational vision for its academies; and to ensure the best use of financial resources, ensuring solvency and effective financial management.

The trust seeks individuals with significant experience in these sectors, who can deal confidently with senior individuals on all matters related to strategic planning, management, and change. The trust would be interested in candidates with experience of career coaching or further/higher education in addition to the skills listed above.

Time commitment

The Board meets each half term (i.e. six times a year) and subcommittees meet four times a year.  Successful candidates are likely to be invited to join a subcommittee in addition to attending the main board.  (The trust has four subcommittees: Audit; Resources; Primary; Secondary). Trust Board meetings are held in the afternoon (1:30-4pm) and most subcommittees are held during morning sessions except for the Secondary Subcommittee which meets from 5-7pm.  The days of the week vary to maximise attendance.   Trustees are expected to commit to around 6 hours per month on average which would include preparing for and attending meetings as well as some routine training.

Location of board meetings and trust website

2nd Floor, Jade Building, Albion Mills, Albion Road, Greengates, BD10 9TQ

Governance 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

Key dates

Deadline for applications: Friday 24th January 2020

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.