The Learning for Life Partnership

West Midlands | Crewe
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Property/Estate management
  • Risk
Deadline date: 15th February 2019

The Learning for Life Partnership (LFLP) is a multi-academy trust (MAT) based in Cheshire East. It has ambitions to grow, extending beyond the boundaries of its current locale. The trust seeks to recruit one Member and one new non-executive director (trustee) with estates/property and growth management experience to join its board. Board meetings are held at Wychwood Park Hotel, Weston, Crewe.

About the trust

The Learning for Life Partnership was formed to ensure there is high quality partnerships for school-to-school support in the area. The schools take pupils from different communities. The trust believes that schools are at the heart of the communities that they serve and the leaders in the schools are best placed to devise the correct curriculum and experiences for their children.

The LFLP consists of four primary schools: Shavington Primary School (Ofsted ‘Good’), Wheelock Primary School (Ofsted ‘Outstanding’), Wistaston Church Lane Academy and Leighton Academy (Ofsted ‘Requires Improvement’). Shavington Primary School has recently opened autism provision and undergone a £2.5-million-pound expansion project.

The schools within the LFLP work collaboratively, sharing expertise and developing innovative approaches to curriculum that are stimulating and motivate children to love learning. As an ‘outward-looking’ organisation the trust seeks to learn from others as well as its own good practice and expertise.

The trust plans to grow in a controlled and gradual manner, to a minimum of 10 schools over the next few years. It is already in the process of welcoming another school to the trust partnership. As a sponsor organisation, the trust is also looking to support other schools in the locality.

​Plans for the future

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

  1. To continue improving the two schools rated 'Requires Improvement' – the trust aims to ensure these are both rated as at least 'Good';

  2. To develop a central hub which provides individual and quality services to its schools including HR, Finance and ICT support, whilst increasing opportunities for collaboration and professional development across the trust;

  3. To grow the trust without causing detrimental impact on its current schools.

Over the longer term, the trust is looking to manage the risk factors associated with growth, as well as balancing the targeted improvement of educational outcomes with sustainable financial management.

Trust ethos & values

The LFLP vision is to create a dynamic and inclusive partnership that meets the diverse needs of the children who attend its schools through excellent service, teaching expertise, value for money and emotionally intelligent leadership.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:

2

Role 1 – 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 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.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential
  • Real Estate/ Property

  • Growth Management

  • Risk

Desirable
  • Corporate Governance

  • Change Management

  • Restructuring

The trust seeks an individual with extensive and significant growth and risk management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board. In particular, the trust seeks an individual with a proven track record and, where possible, a relevant professional qualification, in the field of estates management / property. They will be a part of the risk and audit committee.

It will be beneficial if the candidate also possessing additional skills in change management and experience of leading restructuring in a medium or large size organisation, along with knowledge of the governance expectations and requirements of this.

Experience and willingness to work constructively and effectively with accordance to the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ are essential.

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum; two meetings per term.

Role 2 – 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 The Learning for Life Partnership, the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend two meetings per year and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members. They are welcome to be in attendance at any trustee meeting and to take part fully in the life of the schools.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential
  • Corporate Governance

  • Non-executive/ Trustee

Desirable
  • Branding/ Marketing

  • Real Estate/ Property

  • Growth Management

  • Risk

  • CEO/ General Management

A good communicator committed to attending Members’ meetings, the ideal candidate will be an individual with good business acumen, as well as experience of working within a charity or non-profit environment, preferably at board level. Experience in overseeing strategy and adept at scrutinising senior executive performance, this role is principally focused on ensuring accountability at senior level within the trust. Knowledge of the non-executive (trustee) role is essential in order to fully and effectively execute duties.

Time commitment

Two meetings per year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Wychwood Park Hotel, Weston, Crewe, CW2 5GP

Trust website: www.thelearningforlifepartnership.com

Governance structure

https://www.thelearningforlifepartnership.com/members-and-directors

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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. 

Applications

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

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, 15th February 2019.