L.E.A.D Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Nottingham
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 29th May 2020

Created in 2011, the L.E.A.D. Academy Trust comprises 25 academies, with a mix of both primary and secondary spread across the region from Sheffield in the north to Leicestershire in the south. The trust seeks a new member. The experienced current Board hopes the new Member will help guide the strategic direction as it prepares for the next stage of development. The trust is led by Diana Owen CBE, and it is one of the key sponsors operating in the East Midlands region. Board meetings are held in the Nottingham area.

About the trust

The L.E.A.D Academy Trust was created in 2011, as part of an ‘umbrella’ trust; as the number of academies in that trust grew, a decision was made to convert to multi-academy trust (MAT) status in 2013. Since that time the trust has continued to grow and now comprises 25 academies – 22 of which are primary and three are secondary.

The MAT operates in deprived areas in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire areas, covering Local Authority areas of Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City, Leicestershire, Leicester City, Derby City and Sheffield. The Department for Education sees the trust as one of the key sponsors operating in the region.

The trust has been featured in a number of important publications including the DFE and NCTL’s ‘Freedom to Lead: a study of outstanding primary school leadership in England’ (October 2014), the DFE’s ‘Multi-Academy Trust Case Study’ (November 2014), the NCTL’s ‘Leadership of great pedagogy in teaching school alliances: research case studies‘(February 2015) and the DFE’s ‘Academies Annual Report 2013 to 2014’ (June 2015).

The trust currently employs 1500 staff, educates 10,500 pupils, has a turnover of £56m per year.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Organisational development – to structure the trust in such a way as to consolidate the progress in existing academies and prepare for potential further growth as necessary whilst providing high quality, cost efficient back office services to maximise resources for students.
  2. Standardisation – to ensure its academies operate with a range of relevant standardised procedures to ensure consistency, quality and efficiency.
  3. Governance - the trust recently undertook an independent review of governance and there are a number of recommendations arising from this that the trust will be addressing in the next 12 months.

L.E.A.D Academy Trust has no active plans to grow at this time but is committed to the completion of a programme of work and investment in relation to its local governance arrangements.

Trust ethos & values

The acronym L.E.A.D. embodies the four core principles at the heart of the trust:

  • strong leadership at every level;
  • empowering every child to aim high;
  • giving every child the opportunity to achieve and
  • constantly driving for improvement.


Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

Role – Member

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 L.E.A.D Academy Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend 3 meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic

The trust seeks a highly skilled business professional with board-level experience for this role. This individual must also be comfortable with the 'eyes on, hands off' environment of an academy members' board.

Time commitment

The role of Member is more strategic.  As such, Members are involved less frequently for only three meetings per year. They are likely to need to devote 15-20 hours per year to the role.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

The Ropewalk, Nottingham, NG1 5DU


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 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

Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process.

Deadline for applications: due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline has been extended to Friday 19th May 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.