The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT)

East of England and North East London | Norwich
  • Education (Secondary)
  • Education (Primary)
  • Education (SEND)
  • Education Leadership
  • Education Sector
Deadline date: 22nd April 2021

The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), comprising 35 academies (34 primary and 1 secondary) across Norfolk, seeks to recruit one non-executive director to join its trust board to strengthen its expertise in school leadership. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Board meetings take place in Easton, Norwich.

About the trust

DNEAT’s aim is to establish an environment in which schools can flourish as successful Academies and in a supportive network where professional support and challenge is at the heart. The trust was established in 2013, currently serving 5600 pupils with £1,980,937 allocated pupil premium. The trust has always tried to work effectively with other organisations: with Local and National Government, and with each other, to create the very best for the children and young people in its care. The Trust aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality from schools who are committed to working together, within the context of Christian belief and practice. DNEAT is driven by the moral purpose of making a significant difference to the outcomes of young people in order to best prepare them for their next stage of education and adult life. The Trust is focused on transforming young people's lives and by providing the perfect balance between excellent education and uncompromising pastoral care.

The family of academies includes 33 Primary Schools (including one Community primary) and 1 Secondary School (Open Academy – a non-Church school): 1 Outstanding school, 29 Good schools, 4 schools Requiring Improvement and 1 Inadequate school (Ofsted ratings). Common with many rural areas the trust faces the challenge of a number of small isolated schools. The most recent addition to the trust is Brisley, a sponsored academy.

The trust employs 1,000 staff and manages a budget in excess of £35 million. Ofsted’s focused review in 2018 found that the trust’s CEO “sustained a relentless focus on improving the quality of education” and that “governance arrangements [were] effective, well-managed and quality-assured through the central team’s governance manager”. One of the executive principals from within the trust was appointed CEO in September 2019.

All Academies are focused on 'Learning Centred Leadership' so that all feature an excellent curriculum and strong teaching, learning and assessment which results in good progress for all children and overall standards that exceed National Averages by 2020. The trustees believe the key to the success is the recruitment and development of outstanding teachers.

Plans for the future

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

  • For every child to attend an excellent academy, with improving outcomes and where all can flourish. Provide enhanced, tailored, support to DNEAT’s 6 largest academies that face the greatest contextual challenge. Improve writing outcomes across the Trust Implement an inspiring curriculum in each academy, influenced by strong ethos, vision and values, reflecting deeply Christian character and leading to ever improving outcomes.
  •  For leaders and staff at every level to be empowered and supported towards career progression that supports academy and MAT improvement. Develop career pathways in to DNEAT at all level
  • For the organisation of the MAT to develop and grow within the context of financial constraints and ensuring equitable funding for our academies. Develop an effective and equitable funding model for DNEAT academies; Develop and implement a three-strand strategy for growth; Develop and share a clear and concise vision for DNEAT rooted in biblical teaching


Future plans

2 new academies are currently expected to join DNEAT in Autumn 2020; further potential schools have been identified to join the Trust later in the year. The central team are being strengthened to support the expansion with the addition of a Professional Lead - New Schools and a Data Lead.


Trust ethos & values

The trust collectively work to provide the best we can for the children, young people and communities we serve. They make no apologies for having high ambition for all, and they truly value the wider educational experience.

They walk and talk our Christian values. That means they put people at the centre of the organisation and want to see them flourish and grow. The schools are inclusive, welcoming those of all faiths and none.

We believe in the affirmation of individual worth

We believe in nurturing hope and aspiration

We believe in service to others

We believe in a holistic education

We believe in the importance of excellent leadership and role models

We believe in the development of mutual trust

We believe in collaboration

We believe in commitment and endurance

URL to full mission statement

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Role 1 - Trustee/Non-Executive Director

To contribute to the work of the trustee board in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children and young people across the trust, and in making DNEAT an employer of choice for those involved in education.

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.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • Training & Development
  • Senior leadership in secondary or primary schooling
  • Branding / Marketing
  • Remuneration Committee Chair


Role 1 Education expertise - the ideal candidate will have recent experience of senior leadership in secondary or primary education and be able to support and challenge the trusts excellent executive team. They will have a clear understanding of all the data and highly effective school improvement strategies.

All Candidates should be supportive of the ethos of the Trust and its Christian values.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum. Board meetings are up to three hours duration and held at 930am September, December, March, July and committee meetings in October, December, March and June

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Diocesan House, 109 Dereham Road, Easton, Norwich, NR9 5ES. The location is directly off the A47.

The trust website is

Governance structure

Please visit for further information.

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.

“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 (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 –


Deadline for applications: 22 April 2021

Interviews will be conducted at the applicant’s convenience.

1st stage: initial telephone conversation

2nd stage: interview with trust board