- Corporate Governance
The Heath Family (North West) seeks two new non-executive directors to join its board. Board meetings are held in the Runcorn area.
About the Trust
The trust was originally established from The Heath School in Runcorn and has now grown to operate eight schools in the Merseyside region including Halton, Cheshire East, Sefton and Knowsley. The majority of the schools are operating in areas of high deprivation.
The trust currently operates four primary schools and four secondary schools. One other primary school has an academy order to join the trust.
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Raising standards and outcomes for children and young people. The trust was disappointed by several of its schools’ outcomes in 2017 and there is a need to ensure consistent approaches and quality across the trust.
- Establishing a secure financial base. The Heath Family was issued with a Financial Notice to Improve earlier in the year and plans are in place to resolve issues which the trust now has under greater control. Several schools within the trust are facing significant budgetary issues and the trust will need to be proactive in achieving savings and assisting the schools in managing their budgets.
- Ensuring effective governance. The trust is currently reviewing all its governance arrangements and is expanding the size of the Board to give greater governance capacity.
The trust has recently gone through a period of growth and is currently consolidating its position, reviewing all its systems and approaches and therefore does not expect to expand further in the immediate future once the fifth primary school has joined the trust.
Trust Ethos & Values
The Heath Family is centred on raising standards of achievement and aspirations for all students to the highest standard to help break the cycle of underachievement and low aspirations which is a feature of significant parts of the Merseyside and Cheshire area.
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.
Non-executive directors will be responsible for maintaining stability and creating a solid base on which to build further. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth and holding the CEO/CFO to account.
The competencies required for this role include:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- CFO/ Finance
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- Corporate Governance
Each individual should have an understanding of corporate governance, scrutiny and oversight. A commitment to improving outcomes for children and young people is a requirement although experience of school governance and management is not essential.
4-6 hours per month (on average). The board meets four times per year for up to two hours at a time. In addition, there are two sub-committees (Finance and Standards) which each meet six times per year. Trustees are expected to join one sub-committee.
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
Palace Fields Primary School, Badger Close, Palace Fields, Runcorn, WA7 2QW
Background on Academy Trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 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.
“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.
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 13th July 2018