Kirkby College

East Midlands and Humber | Kirkby-in-Ashfield | Nottinghamshire
  • Audit
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Property/Estate management
  • Turnaround
Deadline date: 17th July 2020

Kirkby College seeks to recruit up to three new non-executive directors to guide the college on the next stage of its journey. Board meetings are held at the College in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, North Nottinghamshire.

About the trust

Kirkby College converted to academy status in 2012 when it had been judged Good by Ofsted. The college went through a period of change and in January 2018 inspectors deemed the school required special measures as performance had slipped considerably. The trust board and leaders realized that it needed greater capacity to secure lasting improvement and the college now has a formal partnership with a neighbouring trust to provide school improvement support. Evidence suggests this is effective and the new headteacher and his team are now making a difference. 

The College is smaller than most other secondary schools with just over 400 students and around 30 staff. Despite low numbers, the school budget is in surplus with a modest reserve, but more work is needed to secure its future.  It is hoped that the new trustees will add further capacity to the existing board and help steer the College to merge with a neighbouring trust.  The College is working closely with the Regional Schools Commissioner to help secure its future.

Plans for the future

Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. To ensure the quality of educational provision and sustain the trajectory of improvement
  2. To secure the College’s future by joining another trust or securing a long-term strategic partner.
  3. To maintain close scrutiny and oversight of the College’s finances, property and the health and welfare of the students and staff

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s ethos and values are captured in the word REACH

R - Respect     E - Equality     A - Achievement     C - Creativity     H - Hard Work

Central to the success of Kirkby College is the three-way partnership between students, their parents/carers and the College itself. It is the trust’s expectation that its students leave Kirkby College as well-rounded learners, able to deal confidently with the challenges of the world around them. The trust believes that every student should have access to the very best teaching and learning, which includes not just passing examinations, but encompasses a whole range of skills. These skills should equip them for the world of work in the 21st century and to develop a wider understanding of the world around them to become the people they aspire to be.

The College promotes British values and tolerance and diversity.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: up to 3

Roles 1-3 – Member/Trustee/Non-Executive Director

As this trust is a single academy trust, the members are also deemed the trustees/Non-Exec Directors.  They operate as 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 headteacher and business manager 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.

Person specification

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:

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)
  • Non-executive Director/Trustee
  • Audit
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Real Estate/Property
Other desirable skills include
  • Corporate Governance
  • Change Management
  • Turnaround
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Education Leadership
Time commitment

The Board meets three times a year (autumn, spring and summer) and meetings start at 5pm on Wednesdays and last for up to 2 hours.  Successful candidates will also be invited to join ONE of the two subcommittees (Finance & General Purposes and Strategic Development).  The subcommittee meetings tend to be around one month before the full board meeting (so, three meetings each a year).  The subcommittees tend to run one-after-the-other on the same evening with the first starting at 4:30pm and the second at 5:30pm – each meeting lasts about an hour. Each trustee has a ‘link subject’ and will normally find some time in the year to meet the subject leader and see some of the work first-hand. All meetings are planned well in advance but there have been odd occasions when an extra meeting has been necessary. Once again, clear notice is given.  It is likely that trustees will need to devote, on average, up to 5-6 hours per month.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Tennison Street, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham, NG17 7DH

Governance structure

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.

Key dates

Deadline for applications: Friday 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.