Exceed Academies Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | Bradford
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 26th June 2020

Exceed Academies Trust serves communities with some of the highest levels of social and economic deprivation in the city of Bradford. The trust seeks to recruit a new non-executive director with strong general skills and preferably experience in the field of legal/compliance to join its board.  

Exceed Academies Trust has grown steadily following invitations by the DfE to take additional academies under its care. The trust currently has five primaries, one all-through school that caters for children from the ages of 4-16 and one alternative provision academy catering for children who struggle to cope with a normal mainstream school including those who are permanently excluded from a mainstream school. Board meetings are held at Exceed Academies Trust, Dawnay Road, Bradford.

About the trust

Throughout the growth of the trust, the team has secured and maintained high pupil outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) over several years. This has underpinned the accreditation and development of two teaching schools that jointly lead the alliance of partner schools and academies.

In September 2017, Exceed Academies Trust became responsible for a SCITT (School Centre for Initial Teaching Training). In both years since the SCITT was formed, 100% of trainees have been successful in recommendation for the award of Qualified Teacher Status and in achieving a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.Exceed Academies Trust has potential to grow further in the future, offering further opportunities to incorporate additional schools into the trust.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To build strong governance through effective lines of accountability and compliance at all levels, as the trust restructures its board to implement a clear separation between different levels of governance.
  2. To maintain high standards and build on positive outcomes for pupils, as the trust expands while managing financial challenges.
  3. To grow the trust to increase sustainability whilst maintaining high levels of performance across schools and delivering effective and sustainable improvements to joining schools.

Trust ethos & values

Exceed Academies Trust vision is to provide an outstanding school experience for all. Its schools aim to be inclusive and high achieving, in which learners, staff and the wider community strive to ‘see what’s possible’.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Roles 1 – 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 (candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance


  • CEO/ General Management
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • HR
  • Real estate/ Property

The trust is developing a board with experience and expertise from across a variety of professional backgrounds and seeks to recruit a suitably skilled candidate to complement current skills on the board. The role requires an individual possessing a strong ‘general’ skill-set.

Individuals with experience – and, importantly, relevant professional qualifications where applicable – in law and compliance are most highly sought by the trust, as well as a broad array of complementary skills, as listed in the ‘desirable’ section, to help develop its board strength and breadth. Experience of willingness to work constructively and effectively with all accordance to the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ are essential.

The trust works with and supports a diverse range of communities and would welcome applications from candidates reflecting this diversity.

Time commitment

The Board meets each half term (six times per year). Some trustees are invited to join the Risk & Audit Committee which meets once each term (three times a year). Board meetings are held at 4pm. A programme of induction is organised by the Company Secretary and this could include visits to some individual academies to familiarise new trustees with the range of challenges and training will be facilitated. Trustees are invited to academy functions and are encouraged to attend when possible but the Chair and CEO understand that trustees are not expected to attend every engagement, especially as the trust grows. Overall it is likely that the time demand will be 4-6 hours per month (on average).

Location of board meetings and trust website

Exceed Academies Trust, Dawnay Road, Bradford, BD5 9LQ


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 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.

“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 www.academyambassadors.org.

Key dates

Deadline for applications: this deadline has been extended to Friday 26th June 2020

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.