Ebor Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Osbaldwick, York
  • Human Resources
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 15th February 2019

Ebor Academy Trust is a teacher-led multi academy trust: a family of schools with a sense of responsibility for each other. The trust seeks to recruit two non-executive directors - one with a strong real estate/ property background and another with HR skills and qualifications - to help support and challenge the board, particularly during this exciting period of growth. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Board meetings are held at Ebor Business and Training Centre, Osbaldwick, York.​

About the trust

Ebor Academy Trust was established in 2013 to support a school in York that had been failing for a decade and less than three years after it joined, the school was rated 'Good' by Ofsted. This rating validated the trust’s approaches and systems and was the foundation for school improvement activity which continues to this day.

The trust comprises a mix of community and church schools with strong links to York St John University. It works closely with the Diocese of York to establish successful and innovative partnerships with organisations that share common values and the same moral purpose.

The schools within Ebor Academy Trust have varied and diverse backgrounds, including small village schools, large urban schools, schools in challenging circumstances and those which have the capacity to support others. The trust’s schools operate in geographic hubs in York, Selby, on the Yorkshire coast and in East Riding and the Humber.

In total, the trust comprises 20 primary schools, one primary special school and an 11-16 secondary school. It is a growing trust - another primary school is set to join next year and the trust is in discussion with a number of additional schools which form part of growing ‘pipeline’.

The trust is well regarded by the Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioners who have encouraged it to work cross-regionally with academies in York, East Riding, Hull, Selby and shortly, North Yorkshire. Ebor is proud of its reputation to support academies to improve: several have improved their Ofsted rating and more positive inspections are due in this academic year. The trust is keen to develop its special school provision and hopes to add to the expertise developed at Hob Moor Oaks special school which caters for children with a range of complex needs including physical disabilities. 

Plans for the future

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

  1. To maintain high standards of financial oversight when budgets are under pressure;

  2. To be employer of choice through a self-improving system and rich CPD offering;

  3. To develop a systems led approach with close connections and working so that individual academies within the trust see themselves as part of a regional network of mutual support and not disparate or isolated schools.

After a period of rapid growth, Ebor Academy Trust’s focus is on developing robust systems and having the capacity to support its academies to achieve further improved outcomes. The long-term objective of the trust’s central team is to harmonise back office functions to allow academies to focus on teaching and learning within prescribed parameters.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s vision is to create an environment where there is a desire to learn. It strives to support its pupils to develop the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with others and think critically and creatively.

Ebor stands for Excellence, Belonging, Opportunity, Respect. Information on the trust’s vision and values is available here: http://www.eboracademytrust.co.uk/our-vision/

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Role 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 and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Real estate/ Property OR

  • HR

  • Change Management

  • Entrepreneur/ Founder

  • Growth Management

  • Restructuring

  • Legal/ Compliance

  • Branding/ Marketing

The trust seeks an individual with extensive and significant management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board. In particular, the trust seeks individuals with a proven track record and, where possible, a relevant professional qualification, in the field of estates management / property OR human resources.

The trust is interested in candidates who are keen to develop (or indeed share) their skills by working closely with the chair and vice-chair in addition to routine induction and training. In addition, the board seeks an array of other, complementary skills in the field of change and growth management – with particular focus on growing organisations – and knowledge and experience of legal matters pertaining to such. Willingness to work constructively and effectively with all accordance to the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ are essential.

Time commitment

The board meets five times a year; once to plan the next 12-24 months, followed by termly board meetings (autumn, spring, and summer) followed by a review and evaluation meeting before the summer break.

In addition, the trust has a range of subcommittees which support the board’s operation. Both the finance and performance sub committees meet termly, with additional meetings when needed for HR and facilities.  The trust also has a due diligence committee which meets when overseeing the adoption of a new school into the trust. New trustees may well be invited to join a relevant subcommittee.

Board meetings tend to run from 6pm for up to 2 hours.

Overall trustees are expected to commit around 6 hours per month (on average)

Location of board meetings and trust website

Ebor Business and Training Centre, The Leyes, Osbaldwick, York, YO10 3PR


Governance structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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 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 15th February 2019 – however early applications are encouraged and the trust may choose to see strong candidates before the deadline.​