Forward As One Church of England Multi-Academy Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | Bolton
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Human Resources
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 18th October 2019

Forward As One Church of England Multi-Academy Trust seeks to recruit a trustee and Member. The trust strives to strengthen its governance arrangements in readiness for a period of planned growth and expansion around a hub model. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Trust board meetings are held St Paul’s CofE Primary School, Newnham Street, Bolton.Forward As One Church of England Multi-Academy Trust seeks to recruit a trustee and Member. The trust strives to strengthen its governance arrangements in readiness for a period of planned growth and expansion around a hub model. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed. Trust board meetings are held St Paul’s CofE Primary School, Newnham Street, Bolton.

About the Trust

Forward As One CofE Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is a developing trust, currently consisting of six primary schools in Bolton, Bury and Tameside. Four of our schools are Church of England (CofE) schools and the others are community schools. The trust plans to develop and grow in a diverse community with a mix of church and community schools. The trust was formed on 1st April 2015.

Currently, the trust comprises St Paul’s CofE Primary School, Gorsefield Primary School, St Peter’s Smithill’s Dean CofE Primary School, Beacon Primary School, Canon Johnson CofE Primary School and Parochial CofE Primary School. Two more CofE schools are scheduled to join the trust in the mid part of 2019 and more are in the pipeline.

As a family of schools, the trust is deeply committed to achieving outstanding outcomes for its children and works in close partnership with parents and communities with the aim of developing a joined-up approach, for the benefit of the children.

We have a strong belief in the importance of great teaching and great leadership – the highest standard of training is offered to staff to enable them to learn from, and work with, experts in their fields.

As the trust continues to develop and grow, it seeks to ensure it deepens its commitment to providing each and every child with the very best educational experience possible.

Plans for the future

The main challenges over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Growing the trust by adding between two and four primary schools within three hubs (Bolton, Bury and Tameside) in the next 12 months.
  2. Developing consistency across schools, including IT services and central services, while allowing each school to retain individuality and identity.
  3. Ensuring consolidation and responsibility in conducting due diligence on all new schools joining the trust. Essential to this is a focus on school improvement, to ensure that the children in the trust’s schools are benefiting as a result of the growth and consolidation.

The trust has a commitment to ensuring it is building additional strength, capacity and knowledge into its governance through recruitment to both the trust and Members’ boards, ensuring the right skills and appropriate oversight, support and challenge.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s mission is ‘One Team, One Mission, One Family’. We truly believe in enabling excellence, this translates as ‘doing simple things well’ and ‘putting quality first’. Collaboration is at the heart of what we aim to achieve, maximising talent and affording everyone the freedom to excel.

The trust believes that:

  • All schools should reflect the needs of their community;
  • All schools should determine a curriculum that meets the needs of its community but also adapt what works well already from other schools within the trust;
  • Maintain the focus on securing and retaining high quality staff who are trained and encouraged to develop professionally. 
  • Develop capacity within the trust so that each school is able to determine its local approach based on clear guidance and support from the trust.
 
Role summary
Number of positions advertised: 2

 

Role 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/COO to account.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential
  • Human Resources
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management
Desirable
  • Risk
  • Non-executive/ Trustee

The trust seeks a trustee with a strong and demonstrable background in HR, to advise the executive on the shape of the trust as it seeks to change and grow in future. Experience in growth and change management would be highly sought by the trust, along with relevant qualifications where available. Prior experience in a non-executive or trustee role would be advantageous, but is not a prerequisite.

All non-executive directors must be able to work effectively as part of a team. The trust welcomes applicants with a keen interest in using their valued skills and expertise to develop the multi-academy trust board and improve education for children in the area.

Willingness and ability to work in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.

Time commitment

The Trust Board meets around six times each year – approximately once per half term and meetings tend to start at 5.30pm or 6pm, for a duration of up to two hours. The board has recently introduced an Audit committee to which some trustees are invited. The time commitment is normally an average of 4-6 hours per month.

 

Role 2 – 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 Forward As One, 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.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
Desirable
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Growth Management

Given the challenge ahead with the planned growth and development of the MAT, the trust is seeking to strengthen its Members board with an individual who has experience in growing businesses and developing strategies to support through a period of change. An interest in education in desirable, though not essential. Particular strength and demonstrable experience in prior corporate governance roles – preferably – though not exclusively - through a senior management role, is essential, owing to the need for the Members board to hold the trustees to account and retain the highest level of oversight.

Willingness and ability to work in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.

Time commitment

Two board meetings per year plus additional meeting-preparation time and reading papers, in order to keep updated with progress and strategy. Meetings will be around 90 minutes and overall time commitment is expected to be around 1-2 hours per month (on average).

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board Meetings are held at St Paul's (Astley Bridge) Church of England Primary School, Newnham Street, Astley Bridge Bolton, BL1 8QA. 

Trust website: http://www.forwardasone.uk

Governance structure

Information on the trust’s governance arrangements is available here: http://www.forwardasone.uk/?page_id=2047
 

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. 

Applications

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: Monday 18th October  2019.