Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT)

East of England and North East London | King's Lynn
  • CFO/Financial
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • IT/Technology
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Property/Estate management
  • Risk
Deadline date: 9th March 2018

Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT) is undergoing a transition and seeks three new non-executive directors with finance, IT or property experience to help continue its success and development, engaging with over 5,000 pupils. Board meetings are held at in King's Lynn.

About the trust

Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT) is undergoing an exciting transition. Originally set up in 2010 as CWA Academy Trust, sponsored by the College of West Anglia, the growth opportunities fueled by the trust’s success meant in May 2017 the trust became an independent body with sponsorship status of its own.

EMAT currently has circa 5,000 pupils on roll within its three secondary and six primary academies; approximately 15% of its children are in receipt of Pupil Premium funding. The trust’s first five academies were extremely challenging schools in and all in the Ofsted category of Inadequate and requiring special measures. However, within a single Ofsted cycle, two of the primary academies in special measures had received Ofsted ratings of good and outstanding respectively. Since 2016, EMAT has further grown the trust, incorporating two good academies and two secondary academies with an Ofsted judgement of ‘requires improvement’.

Following the recent withdrawal of its College sponsor, there is a new focus and dynamism about the emergent trust. The new trust recognises its biggest challenge lies in proving itself within the secondary phase. The trust is currently negotiating a mutually-agreed transfer of one of its secondary academies to another multi-academy trust, allowing it to concentrate its school improvement on getting its secondary improvement strategy right in its two remaining secondary academies. The trust intends that the school improvement formula applied so successfully in the primary phase can be equally successfully applied in the secondary phase to bring about improved academic standards. Building on its notable success and reputation in the primary sector, EMAT is poised to expand its geographical spread from its original King’s Lynn & West Norfolk base through to the Breckland district, with the addition of three primary academies, making a total of nine primaries in the trust. 

Trust ethos & values

The trust seeks to engender mutual support, shared learning and understanding and collaboration within a culture of developmental challenge and healthy competition. It acknowledges unique qualities and differences within its academies whilst recognising the common goal of its journey to outstanding. More information on the trust’s vision can be found here

Plans for the Future

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

  1. To improve the trust’s performance within the secondary phase.
  2. To integrate the trust’s new primary academies whilst maintaining its strong outcomes and reputation in this phase.
  3. To deliver an effective and accountable central trust structure to support consolidation and improvement in the secondary phase and expansion and maintenance of standards in the primary phase.
  4. To enhance the breadth and depth of expertise on the board.

The trust will transfer one of its secondary academies to another trust by October 2017. Three new primary academies will join the trust around July 2017 with the possibility of two further primary schools joining later in the year. After this period of growth, the trust aims to consolidate its position.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  3

Roles 1-3: Trustee/Non-Executive Director


  • CFO/ Finance OR
  • IT/Technology OR
  • Real estate/property


  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Risk

Person Specification

Finance: the trust seeks a finance professional with an understanding of financial statements, accounting standards and recommended practice, regulatory frameworks and the role of internal and external auditing and risk management. Previous board experience is desirable.

IT/Technology: EMAT requires a non-executive director/trustee with experience of overseeing technology operations. Knowledge of effective strategies needed to monitor and update IT policies & systems and a good understanding of the IT purchasing environment is critical. Evidence of operating at board level and performance reporting against targets is desirable.

Property/Estates: The ideal candidate for this role will have experience of estates/property management across several sites.  An understanding of issues regarding land, property assets & related physical resources is advantageous as well as the ability to support the strategic & operational development of the property portfolio. Applicants should have strong interpersonal skills and confidence to robustly challenge the executive.

Time commitment

4.5 hours per month minimum.

Trust Website


Governance Structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 70% of secondary schools and 25% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts.  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.

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 don’t need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 


Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit organisation 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: 9th March 2018