- Change Management
- Human Resources
Innovate Multi-Academy Trust seeks Members to join its board. iMAT seeks enthusiastic, keen and passionate people with an interest in improving the lives of young people in the Daventry area of Northamptonshire. Board meetings are held at Weedon Bec Primary School, West Street, Northamptonshire, NN7 4QU.
Could you help to improve education in Northamptonshire by volunteering to become a member at a multi-academy trust?
Members provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees to ensure suitable accountability for decision making and strategy. As multi-academy trusts (MATs) grow and develop, they face significant challenges. This role enables professionals to use skills and experience gained throughout their career to help trusts across England and improve the life chances of young people. All roles are pro bono.
The board seeks members with previous experience in:
- Branding/ Marketing
- Corporate Governance, or
- Non-executive/ Trustee roles
Applicants should have an extensive and demonstrable background in senior leadership roles, with strategic vision and knowledge of the non-executive director role. Candidates are expected to demonstrate the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan.
Members have a similar role to the shareholders in a company limited by shares. They are key players in overseeing the work of the trust and are generally deemed ‘eyes on but hands-off’.
Most notably, members:
- are the subscribers to the memorandum of association (where they are founding members)
- amend the articles of association;
- appoint new members or remove existing members
- appoint or remove trustees;
- appoint the trust’s auditors and receive the trust’s annual audited accounts; and, ultimately,
- have power to change the company name and dissolve the academy trust if required.
Members are usually asked to attend between one and three meetings a year to gain an understanding of the trust’s work and the board’s oversight. This translates to a commitment of around ten hours spread across the year. The meetings would include the annual general meeting.
Successful candidates will join a network of Ambassadors: experienced business leaders and professionals who have been appointed to board roles through the Academy Ambassadors Programme. All Ambassadors gain access to resources, guidance, networking events, our annual flagship conference, as well as webinars.
About the trust
The trust was set up in July 2014. It consists of four village primary schools in Northamptonshire, two of which are Church of England schools. Across the four schools, there is a community of over 700 pupils. Three schools were rated Good at their most recent Ofsted inspections and one school was judged as Requires Improvement.
Innovate Multi-Academy Trust’s vision is to establish great primary academies that are centres for innovation and excellence for leadership and teaching, and where pupils are safe and engaged in their learning. The trust believes in staff training and development and wants to be the academy of choice for new and experienced staff. iMAT strives to ensure that the outcomes for all children will be above the national expectations in all core subjects.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:
- To manage change following the restructuring of each of their schools senior management teams.
- To navigate ever changing finances in education
- To market their schools to ensure they are the school of choice in the area.
The trust’s longer-term plans are to expand to add more pupils and classes to their existing schools. They are also looking towards closer collaboration with other schools and trusts in the area both formally and informally.
Trust ethos & values
iMAT’s vision is for our schools to be truly great primary academies that are centres for innovation and excellence for leadership and teaching, and where pupils are safe and engaged in their learning
Role – Member
The trust’s members meet once a year to ratify the company accounts and oversee the decisions made by the board over the year. Our AGM is in December each year where the Company accounts are presented and an overview of the year is shared by the CEO and Chair of Directors
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 iMAT the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend one meeting per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
The competencies required for this role include:
Essential (any of the following)
- Change Management
- Growth Management
10 hours/ year minimum. Number of members meetings per year: 1-3
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held at Weedon Bec Primary School, West Street, Northamptonshire, NN7 4QU.
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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.