- Corporate Governance
- Public Sector
Healing Multi Academy Trust seeks to recruit at least two new non-executive directors with skills in either law or finance, to the board. The trust is currently overseen by a small and skilled board of trustees to ensure it continues to provide effective governance as it grows and expands. Board meetings are currently held in Grimsby, although the trust is open to holding them at any one of its schools, subject to trustees’ availability.
The trust has a strong track record for school improvement and is an accredited academy sponsor for primary and secondary schools.
About the trust
Healing Multi-Academy Trust has grown from two academies to nine – across primary and secondary – over the past five years. The schools are located in and around the outskirts of Grimsby, in North East Lincolnshire and in Lincoln. The trust is supporting the leadership teams in the new academies, including governance and improvements can already be seen.
The trust also includes a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) provision and a teaching school. Humber Teaching School provides a range of training courses for trainee teachers as well as experienced staff, including leadership development programmes. The Teaching School has a strong reputation for high quality training and broader school improvement across the whole of the region. The trust aims to act as a partnership of schools that are genuinely committed to collaborative working, whilst retaining individuality.
Across its nine academies, the trust provides for around 4,400 pupils. It employs over 700 staff and has a budget of £25m. By working together, those within the trust strive to create a genuine partnership of academies of which pupils, parents, staff, governors and the local community can be proud to be a part.
Plans for the future
Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:
- Review the vision, values and ethos of the trust: the current vision and values were set as a trust of two schools. A review is needed to ensure they remain fit for purpose.
- Sustainable MAT Funding Model: as a trust of nine schools, HMAT needs to ensure it can continue to provide effective and efficient central services and school improvement.
- Recruit new CEO: the current CEO has tendered his resignation with effect from 31st December 2020. Appointing a new CEO is a priority for the trust board.
The trust is currently in a period of consolidation. Whilst lots of the trust’s schools are judged good or outstanding by Ofsted at their last inspection, some schools have joined the trust following an unfavourable Ofsted visit or with other challenges. Consequently, driving improvement in those schools whilst maintaining the standards in the others is imperative. Growth in the future may be considered after this period of consolidation.
Trust ethos & values
HMAT is a partnership of schools committed to collaborative working, whilst retaining their individual ethos to secure best possible outcomes for all.
The trust’s vision
- create a distinctive partnership of schools led by local people for local people
- strengthen the partnership by valuing the uniqueness of our schools
- foster a relationship where autonomy and accountability go hand in hand
- share expertise and bring together best practice and the best practitioners
- recruit, retain and develop the best teachers and future leaders locally
- achieve efficiency savings for mutual benefit.
HMAT believes that best results will be achieved when each local governing body (LGB) receives a level of responsibility and autonomy appropriate to its specific circumstances.
Where the school is in an Ofsted category of Requires Improvement or Inadequate, there will be close supervision by the trust senior leadership team, which could be reflected in partial/removal of delegated powers. Where a school is Good or Outstanding, minimal day-to-day supervision by the trust is needed and the LGB will operate with maximum autonomy.
Number of positions advertised: 2
Roles 1 and 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 and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
Every trustee is expected to abide by 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)
- CFO/ Finance
- Audit, or
- Corporate Governance
Desirable skills include
- Qualified Accountant
- Change Management
Role 1: The trust would particularly like to welcome a trustee with a strong background in finance and/or audit. It is desirable that the individual has experience of dealing with operational challenges and managing a significant budget.
Role 2: The trust requires an individual with a legal and/or compliance background able to provide challenge to the trust’s executives and its advisers on key issues, ideally with a legal qualification.
Candidates with experience from both in and outside education are encouraged to apply. Experience of growth management and oversight of large, multi-site organisations would be welcomed and previous experience of governance is desirable. The board of trustees sets the strategic direction the MAT and the role will allow the new trustee to develop professionally, and shape the future of the trust and contribute to the wider communities.
The Trust holds 5 full Board meetings a year which tend to last up to two-and-a-half hours. Previously these have been held at 2:30pm on Wednesday afternoons but can be adjusted to meet trustees’ availability. In addition, the Finance & Audit subcommittee meet five times per year and meetings begin at 5pm and last about 90 minutes. A new Pay & Remuneration subcommittee is being planned and trustees are devising its term of reference. Trustees are invited to join subcommittees.
The trust board has operated effectively using video-call technology during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is likely that this technology will be used for some meetings in the future. However, the trust intends that face-to-face meetings where trustees are physically present at the same room will continue to be the most common approach.
The trust and all its trustees and governors are members of the National Governance Association and their training programme will be open to all. It is expected that trustees will need to devote 6-8 hours per month to trust business. This will include training and preparation (reading papers, etc) for meetings.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are currently held at Healing School - A Science Academy, Low Road, Healing, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN41 7Q
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 'register your interest' and send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for. 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.
Deadline for applications: 17th July 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.