Haygrove Academy Trust

South West England | Bridgwater
  • Corporate Governance
  • Human Resources
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 17th April 2019

Haygrove Academy Trust in Somerset seeks two non-executive directors to join the board as it is set to expand from overseeing one academy to overseeing five academies in late 2019. The trust plans to grow in the West Somerset area by including further primary schools and another secondary school over the next 2 years.  Board meetings are held in Bridgwater, Somerset. 

About the trust

The Haygrove Academy Trust (HAT), is a multi-academy trust (MAT) set to convert four local church primary schools to academies by 1st August 2019, in readiness to join the trust for the start of the new academic year. This will bring the total schools within the trust to five schools. The four primary schools joining the trust are: Spaxton CofE, Stogursey CofE plus Crowcombe and Stogumber CofE.  All four are located in small rural villages. It is part of HAT’s vision and ambition to work in collaboration with small rural primary schools, to focus on issues relating to low aspiration, sparsity, deprivation and restricted opportunities.

The four joining primary schools are all church schools. Two are voluntary controlled schools (VC) meaning a faith foundation or charitable trust has some formal influence in the running of the school. The other two are voluntary aided schools (VA) where 50% of the governing board is comprised of foundation governors. HAT have appointed four trustees to date and now seek a further trustee with strategic HR experience to join the board. Candidates are not required to be practicing Christians but should have sympathy with the Christian ethos of the trust.
 

The founding school, Haygrove, is a successful and oversubscribed secondary academy located on the west side of Bridgwater. It has over 1,000 pupils and was rated Good by Ofsted in 2016. The School is led by a National Leader of Education and has been recently approved as a Teaching School (Quantock Teaching Alliance). It offers pupils a Global Learning Programme (GLP) and extensive enrichment opportunities: in January 2019 some pupils entered the prestigious Oxford Schools’ debating competition and were the only representatives from a state-maintained school.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Increasing leadership capacity: (particularly at primary level) - turnover is providing the opportunity to revisit the primary leadership structure to ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently to impact positively upon pupil outcomes.
  2. Managing growth: overseeing the process of due diligence and communication with key stakeholders to meet the legal deadlines required to welcome four new schools on 1 August 2019.
  3. Financial sustainability: integrating the curriculum and financial planning to increase efficiencies and the economies of scale and building central team capacity to enable Heads of Schools to focus their time on enhancing the quality of education provision.

The trust aspires to be an employer of choice; offering professional development via the Quantock Teaching Alliance and commitment to supporting employees’ wellbeing and teachers’ workload initiatives. Clarifying the trust’s vision, ethos and strategy, and promoting consistency of policy and practice across the MAT will be a central focus for the Trust Board over the next 12-24 months. It is the trust’s ambition to add two further primary schools over the next year and to explore the membership of another secondary school.

Trust ethos & values

HAT’s vision is to create a trust community of exceptional and distinctive schools which deliver outstanding education and learning and commit to a common vision, moral purpose, passion for education and ambition for raising standards of achievement and improving life chances for all young people’. For more information, please see: https://www.haygroveschool.co.uk/about-us/haygrove-academy-trust.htm

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2
 
Roles 1-2 – 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.

Person specification

The appointed individual should be able to commit time to supporting and promoting the vision, Christian ethos and strategic direction of the trust, holding the leadership to account for the educational and financial performance of all academies in the trust. The competencies required for this role include:

Essential
  • HR
  • Employment law / TUPE
  • Organisation design &/or development
    OR
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
Desirable
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management
  • Legal/compliance
     

HR: The trust is interested in hearing from candidates who have senior experience in HR and employment law. This may have been acquired within a small to medium sized enterprise or through a varied HR consulting practice. Experience of managing staff through growth and organisational change is desirable.

Non-executive/Trustee: The successful candidate will have a proven understanding of governance, preferably with prior non-executive/trustee experience. They will have a willingness to support and challenge the executive leadership team as the trust continues to grow. The trust is interested in hearing from candidates with a good understanding of education, although this is not essential. 

Time commitment

8 hours per month minimum. The board currently meets on a monthly basis 6-8pm but additional meetings may need to be convened to manage business/decision making relating to the MAT opening on 1/8/19.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Haygrove School, Durleigh Road, Bridgwater, TA6 7HW. For more details, please visit: https://www.haygroveschool.co.uk/about-us/haygrove-academy-trust.htm and download the trustee information pack (including a trustee role profile).

Governance Structure

 

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: 17th April 2019