Compass Learning Partnership

North West London and South Central England | Brent
  • CEO/ General Management
  • CFO/Financial
  • Corporate Governance
Deadline date: 13th July 2018

Compass Learning Partnership in Brent seeks two non-executive directors to take on the roles of Chair of Audit & Compliance Committee and Chair of Finance & Resources Committee on the board of this new academy trust. Board meeting rotate between the two schools.

About the Trust

The Compass Learning Partnership developed following partnership working and joint education philosophy between two large special schools in Kingsbury within the London Borough of Brent: The Village School and Woodfield School. The two schools cater for children and young people who have a wide range of complex needs and disabilities across all ages. The Compass Learning Partnership is not yet a formal multi academy trust (MAT) and will go live in September 2018.

Woodfield School caters for 169 pupils between the ages of 11 and 19 years, who have complex learning and communication needs and social and mental health needs, including those on the autistic spectrum. The Village School caters for 277 pupils between the ages of 3 and 19 years who have all aspects of complex needs and disabilities: profound, severe and moderate learning difficulties, autism, sensory impairment, medical and life limiting conditions and physical disabilities. Both schools were judged to be 'outstanding' at their last Ofsted inspection.

The trust has a commitment to providing the very best CPLD for staff in order that pupils' needs are met and that all pupils make excellent progress and achieve the best possible outcomes. The trust is also working hard to influence local and wider communities to be more inclusive when considering young people for opportunities post 19.

Both schools are interested in further expansion; Woodfield on its current site and The Village is in discussion with London Borough of Brent about a potential temporary expansion onto a fourth site to help meet local demand for primary phase places (if this expansion were to become permanent they would need to seek Department for Education approval).

Plans for the Future

The key challenges for the board will be:

  1. Establishing the multi academy trust (MAT) successfully, including managing (and harmonising where appropriate) policies, systems and processes. This particularly includes establishing consistent approaches to business services.
  2. Funding pressures and maintaining quality of provision - costs are rising (especially staff costs) and funding is likely to be cash flat at best. 'No change' is unlikely to be an option for either school.
  3. Continue to secure and increase aspirational destinations/outcomes for young people with severely complex needs and disabilities, with a particular focus upon improving post 19 provision.

Trust Ethos & Values

High quality provision for all young people, with school led collaboration to improve staff practice and opportunities/outcomes for young people. Holistic support for young people and their families.

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.

The Chair of Finance and Resources Committee will understand and challenge the trust budget and finance reports, examine significant procurements and contracts and ensure the Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) discharge their delegated responsibilities effectively.

The Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee will ensure suitable internal and external audit or compliance arrangements and consider findings from those, and investigate any issue it deems relevant. The Chair will liaise with Lead Governors on each Local Governing Body.

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • CFO/ Finance
  • CEO/General Management
  • Corporate Governance
Desirable
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Restructuring
  • Audit Committee Chair
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Risk
Person Specification

Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee: candidates should have professional finance qualifications and senior financial leadership experience, ideally including bringing together organisations, systems, change management and growing an organisation.

Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee: the trust welcomes individuals with the ability to ask searching questions and an eye for detail. They should have an understanding and background in audit, compliance and risk processes.
 
In both cases, experience of being a non-executive director would be advantageous. Commitment to special schools is essential.

Time Commitment

5 hours /month minimum.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Please see www.tvs.brent.sch.uk and www.woodfield.brent.sch.uk (there is not yet a MAT website)

Governance Structure

Please see individual school websites until a MAT website is created.

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. 

Applications

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.

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 13 July 2018