- CEO/ General Management
- Property/Estate management
Esprit Multi Academy Trust, situated in areas of extreme disadvantage within Stoke-on-Trent, seeks to recruit up to three non-executive directors to its trustee board, bringing skills in finance, corporate governance and estates, risk and restructuring. Board meetings are held at Northwood Broom Academy, Keelings Road, Stoke on Trent.
About the trust
A community multi-academy trust (MAT) comprising three schools – two of which are infant schools and third of which is a junior school, Esprit MAT was formed in September 2017.
Initially, the trust’s infant schools were in a ‘hard federation’; the junior school joined together with these schools to form the MAT.
Esprit comprises inner city schools in areas of extreme disadvantage in Stoke-on-Trent. It currently operates a partnership with a Teaching School as well as close networking relationships with other local schools and trusts.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Raising educational outcomes for children leaving the Junior school
- Maintaining a balanced budget in the current climate
- Providing world class education in old and cramped buildings
Over the medium-term, the trust aims to secure improved standards for children by the time they reach the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2). It additionally seeks to continue to work on developing, modernising and improving its antiquated building stock, while securing better links with local community. The trust board is looking to create a more balanced and inclusive group of Members, trustees and local governing board members as a matter of priority and furthermore aims to collaborate with a compatible local trust to improve efficiency and/or take on additional school(s) – the objective is to ensure this happens when all existing schools in Esprit MAT are Ofsted rated as ‘Good’ or better.
Trust ethos & values
The MAT’s vision and values are centered around providing a ‘MAGIC’ learning experience for all children, ensuring standards are in line with national averages and providing a beacon of excellence for the local community.
- Attitude and Ambition to Achieve
- Independence and
Number of positions advertised:
Roles 1&2 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director
Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of their role are: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding executive leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of a charitable company funded by the public purse.
The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, 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.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
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:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- Finance AND/OR
- Real estate/ Property AND/OR
- Restructuring AND/OR
- Risk AND/OR
- Legal/ Compliance
- Succession Planning
Up to two candidates are sought bringing demonstrable skills in financial management, including a relevant qualification / professional accreditation. Experience of Chairing meetings at senior level, holding executive colleagues to account and an ability to adopt a strategic mindset are essential.
C. 1.5hours /month in addition to one school visit per term, and including one board meeting per term. Additionally, trustees are expected to attend one Audit committee meeting per term.
Role 3 – Member
A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Esprit Multi-Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend 3 meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Esprit Multi Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend two meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
The strategic expertise required for this role includes:
- CFO/ Finance
- Corporate Governance
- Legal/ Compliance
- Real estate/Property
An individual with extensive experience in the sphere of corporate governance is highly sought, bringing knowledge and expertise in strategic oversight to ensure there is a high degree of accountability on the trust’s board. Adherence to the Nolan Principles of Public Life are a prerequisite for the role, as well as an ability to operate in an ‘eyes on, hands off’ capacity. Previous experience in a non-executive director role is essential in order to provide suitable knowledge and insight to the role.
Approximately one hour per month, on average.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at Northwood Broom Academy, Keelings Road, Stoke on Trent, ST1 6QA.
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.
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: 15th August