Compass Academy Trust

South East England and South London | Beckenham, Bromley
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 17th April 2020

Compass Academy Trust seeks two Members with corporate governance experience to support this trust of over 2,100 pupils within its schools in South East London. Board meetings are held in Beckenham.

About the trust

The Compass Academy Trust consists of four primary schools based in suburban areas within the London Borough of Bromley. The Trust was established in 2014 when four strongly performing primary schools (two 2-form and two 3-form entry) came together to form Compass Academy Trust. Levels of deprivation are low across trust schools (less than 9%) as are the number of pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (less than 4%). Children with English as an Additional Language accounts for around 12% of pupils. Schools benefit from high levels of support and engagement from their parent bodies. Each school has a strongly performing local governing body. All schools are rated as “Good” by Ofsted.

The Trust has a gross income of over £9.5m per annum that is used in its schools and to support a small central team, which includes the Chief Executive Officer; the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Finance Officer.

Plans for the future

Within the next 12 -18 months, Compass Academy Trust plans to grow the Trust in order to be sustainable by developing a clear Core Offer that makes the Trust's brand and market what it can offer at various levels of entry to other schools/academies. The key challenges are:

  1. To achieve financial sustainability - current funding pressures provide challenges to longer-term budgets. Developing strategy and taking action to increase revenue and reduce costs is the key priority for the Trust this year. This challenge includes maintaining high levels of academic achievement in the light of significant economic pressures.
  2. To develop a Central Hub to deliver more cost effective and efficient business services currently located in each academy. This would include finance, human resource management and facilities and estates.
  3. To ensure great governance through reviewing the scheme of delegation, terms of reference and ensuring that there are clear lines of accountability between members, trustees and the local governing bodies.

Trust ethos & values

The Trust has recently identified three Core Values that overarch the values promoted at local academy level: RESPECT, RESILIENCE and RESOURCEFULNESS. These values resonate at all levels: Trust, School, Staff and Pupil. Compass Academy Trust is child-centric with outcomes focused to ensure that pupils are ready for their next steps in education and in life. The Trust values the distinctiveness and creativity that each of the schools bring to deliver great education for pupils.

  • A safe and creative environment for pupils to learn in
  • To have an inspiring curriculum that is clear in its intention, implementation and impact that prepares children for their next steps in education and in life
  • Ensure that there is continued professional development for staff to ensure they are well equipped to deliver high quality provision

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2

Roles 1 & 2 – Member

Members of the Trust provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision-making and strategy. Members collectively are able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They also act as custodians of the trust’s ethos and culture and hold the Board of Directors to account.

At Compass Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend the Annual General Meeting to receive the Annual Accounts, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Person specification

The competencies required for these roles include:


  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance knowledge and experience
  • Experience of financial planning, monitoring, decision making, compliance and control within the school sector.  
  • Risk management


  • CEO/General Management
  • Understanding of public sector
  • Ability and confidence to ask questions and challenge leaders in an appropriate way on matters relating to the educational outcomes, behaviour, welfare and wellbeing

Compass Academy Trust seeks experienced professionals who are passionate about education. Ideally, they will have senior or middle level management experience and have a clear understanding of governance, risk and corporate finance.

Time commitment

Attendance at the Annual General Meeting and one additional Member meeting during the year in person.

The trust will provide a mentoring and training programme to successful candidates.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Marian Vian Primary School, Shirley Crescent, Beckenham, BR3 4AZ. For more information, please see:

Governance structure

Please see

(The Trust is currently reviewing its governance structures and will be producing a revised Scheme of Delegation in due course.)

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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 832 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.