Castle Phoenix Trust

West Midlands | Coventry
  • Audit
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Human Resources
  • Risk
Deadline date: 6th December 2019

Castle Phoenix Trust seeks two new trustees to join its expanding board, bringing strong HR, audit and risk skills, along with expertise in both change and growth management. Prior experience, or knowledge of, an educational setting is highly desirable, but not a prerequisite. At a time of planned growth and development of the trust, these skillsets will help ensure suitable balance, challenge and accountability on the trust board. Board meetings are held at Caludon Castle School, Axholme Road, Coventry.

About the Trust

The Castle Phoenix Trust is a growing multi-academy trust (MAT) founded in February 2013 on the success of Caludon Castle Teaching School (the original trust member). The trust consists of five schools - Caludon Castle Secondary Teaching School (Coventry), Kingsbury Secondary School (Warwickshire), Hill Farm Primary School (Coventry), Foxford Secondary School (Coventry) and Richard Lee Primary School (Coventry).

The ethos behind the trust is one of sustainable school improvement through shared understanding and collaboration; schools joining the trust do so with the prime aim of improving each other so that they can all become outstanding schools. The trust wants children to be the best they can be both academically and personally, with an emphasis on leadership development.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Managing growth of the trust;
  2. Ensuring systems, including IT, are consistent across the trust;
  3. Ensuring central services across the trust are developed, whilst allowing for school individuality;
  4. Developing communications and marketing strategy.

The trust wants to ensure that schools within the trust remain appropriately challenged with greater focus on higher-level scrutiny and strategic planning. The accountability framework needs to be designed so that it can be scaled up as more schools join the trust, aligned to the scheme of delegation.

Trust Ethos & Values

The trust vision is growing confident learners. The values include respect to all, from all, a positive attitude, passion for learning, innovation, collaboration and resilience and determination for all students to achieve their best.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:
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 during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

Person Specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management
  • HR
  • Risk
  • Legal compliance
  • IT/Technology
  • Education Leadership


Role 1 – Audit & Risk: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong and demonstrable background in audit and risk. This role is especially focused on helping to shape the trust as it seeks to change and grow in future. Experience of shared service models, risk and change management would be an advantage.

Role 2 - HR: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong and demonstrable background in HR, to advise the Executives on the shape of the trust as it seeks to change and grow in future. Experience in growth and change management would be highly sought by the trust. Prior experience in a non-executive or trustee role would be advantageous, but is not a prerequisite.

All non-executive directors must be able to work effectively as part of a team. The trust welcomes applicants with a keen interest in using their valued skills and expertise to develop the multi-academy trust board and improve education for children in the area.

Time Commitment

6 hours per term.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Caludon Castle School, Axholme Road, Coventry, CV2 5BD

Governance Structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 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.

“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

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, 6th December 2019​