- Human Resources
The Greetland Academy Trust is a growing trust in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. The trust currently comprises three schools, it has a growth strategy in place and will shortly expand to four schools with embryonic plans to work with others. Two new non-executive directors are sought, bringing a wealth of skills from HR, and legal or compliance. Board meetings are held at The Greetland Academy, Halifax.
About the trust
The Greetland Academy trust is at an exciting time of growth and development. Currently the schools within the trust are:
- The Greetland Academy
- Raynville Primary School
- West Vale Primary School
The trust will soon be supporting Carlinghow Princess Royal Primary School in Kirklees and, following a request from the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) it is hoped the school will join the trust early in 2020.
Greetland Academy is also the home to a Teaching School which provides training and development for teachers across the region as well as being an English Hub; this is an additional mark of quality in terms of the teaching of English. The Teaching School also supports over 20 new recruits who are training to teach through the School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) offer. In addition, Greetland Academy is designated as a Research School.
The trust currently provides an education to 1000 pupils and operates with a budget of £3.7m. The trust employs 50 members of staff. Clearly, both these figures are set to grow as the trust expands.
The trust has schools in communities of high deprivation; 25% of the pupil cohort are in receipt of free school meals. 7% of the cohort have special educational needs and require tailored provision and 5% of the pupils within the trust speak English as an additional language.
Plans for the future
Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:
- Growth – Managing the expansion of the trust as well as adding a good school to secure more capacity ahead of need.
- Integrating the new school into the trust - Carlinghow Princess Royal Primary School has some financial issues that are compounded by being built under a private finance initiative. This effectively means a large ‘mortgage-type’ payment each month. The trust needs to maintain tight controls over all spending.
- Teaching and leadership development - Carlinghow Princess Royal Primary School is in Special Measures and has a range of leadership and teaching issues. The trust must be seen to rapidly improve this new school as it joins the trust as a showcase of the quality offer in the Teaching School in order to impact more broadly across the region
In the longer term, the trust aims to develop three primary school hubs – in Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds.
Trust ethos & values
The trust’s vision has school improvement at its heart that will benefit all children within its schools.
The trust aims to:
- Develop an effective partnership of schools that share a commitment to raising standards
- Foster relationships based on mutual respect
- Share expertise
- Develop all teachers and leaders
Full mission statement: www.greetlandacademy.org.uk
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 accordance with DfE requirements in relation to safeguarding, all trustee appointments will 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)
- Legal/ Compliance
- Growth Management
Role 1 - HR: An individual with substantial experience and expertise in a range of HR streams is sought. Ideally, the appointee will possess a HR qualification and have a good understanding of staff wellbeing.
Role 2 - Legal/ Compliance: A qualified legal professional would be ideal to help scrutinize the various aspects of compliance and provide broader understanding on the board of information given by advisers.
Non-executive directors will attend 6 Board meetings per year (2 per term) as well as 3 committee meetings per year. Board meetings are scheduled from 7pm and run for up to 2 hours. On the three occasions when each subcommittee runs, these are scheduled to run from 6-7pm on the same day as a Board meeting for convenience. The Board has two subcommittees (Finance and Education Standards); new trustees may be invited to join one of the subcommittees depending on their skills and interests.
Training can be accessed through the local authority governor training package which the trust buys into. Specific induction will be provided for new trustees with the Chair and CEO.
Location of board meetings and trust website
The Greetland Academy Trust, School Street, Greetland, HX4 8JB.
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.
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 21st February 2020