Empower Trust

West Midlands | Hadnall, North Shropshire
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Succession Planning
Deadline date: 17th July 2020

Empower Trust, based in North Shropshire, seeks to recruit a new board member, bringing experience in strategy development and, in particular, growth management in a complex organisation. In addition to securing financial stability, the trust aims to expand – potentially up to ten schools in total - within two years. Board meetings are held at Empower Trust, Hadnall, North Shropshire. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcome to apply.

About the trust

Empower Trust is a network of unique and diverse church and community academies dedicated to ensuring the provision of an outstanding education for every child within the trust.

The trust champions a collaborative approach to school improvement and develops and promotes innovative and dynamic approaches to learning, combining levels of expertise across its academies.

The trust aims to support all stakeholders to raise aspirations for all children and nurture their ambitions for future success. Empower Trust celebrates the fact that every school is different.

Each academy within Empower Trust retains its unique ethos and character in order to meet the needs of its local community. Academies within Empower Trust demonstrate the courage to innovate and empower every member of the school community to play their part in developing exciting and imaginative child-centred learning experiences.

The emphasis of Empower Trust is to delegate as much local governance to each academy as possible, particularly where schools are judged to be ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. As a committee of the board, delegation can be removed at any time. However, the aim of Empower Trust is to work in partnership with the academy headteachers and Local Governing Boards (LGBs) to ensure all schools work towards being ‘Outstanding’.

The trust currently comprises eight Primary Schools.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Ensuring the trust and academies therein are financially sustainable and operate within balanced budgets;
  2. Ensuring all academies improve academically so that overall trust performance is at least in line with national averages for 2019;
  3. Ensuring the embedding of the new trust management information and financial systems, ensuring academies operate efficiently and effectively so academy leaders can spend their time supporting and improving the quality of education provided for children.

Over the medium-term, the trust aims to deliver its vision and potentially expand up to ten schools within two years.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s mission is to ensure it gives every child the very best education possible - socially, morally and academically. Its academies demonstrate the courage to innovate and empower everyone to play their part in developing exciting and imaginative child-centred learning experiences.



Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


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

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:


  • Corporate Governance AND
  • Growth Management AND
  • Legal/ Compliance OR
  • Business Development OR
  • Succession Planning


  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Restructuring
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


Empower Trust seeks an individual possessing specific skills, experience and knowledge from the highest level of corporate governance, with a focus on growth – a candidate with a proven track record of leading on growth in a complex organisational structure is highly sought, in order to help deliver the prospective growth of the trust in line with its plans for the medium- to long-term.

While a number of key competency areas are sought, the trust recognises that applicants may possess a combination of some of these areas and welcome expressions of interest from anyone who can offer one or more of the essential criteria.

As a non-executive director, the onus is on board members to provide challenge and scrutiny to the executive team, ensuring accountability for decision-making and, where necessary, asking difficult questions. Experience of board-level working is, therefore, essential.

The ability to see the bigger picture and contribute to strategy development is essential, as well as experience of working at board level. Knowledge of, and willingness to adhere to, the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.

A trustee at Empower Trust should have:

  • Integrity - a commitment to the Trust and its objectives;
  • Understanding and acceptance of legal duties and responsibilities of trusteeship;
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as a trustee;
  • Strategic vision; good independent judgement; financial management.

Time commitment

6 hours /month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Empower Trust, The Stables, Sansaw Business Park, Hadnall, SY4 4AS and also rotate so that trustees can become more familiar with the trust’s individual academies.


Governance structure



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 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, June 19th, 2020