- Growth Management
Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) seeks two new non-executive directors - with skills in Finance and/or business growth - to join its board. LAAT is a church of England MAT with 15 schools which are based in greater Lincolnshire and it serves Church of England schools within the Diocese of Lincoln. Board meetings are held in Lincoln. Applicants of all faith and of none are welcome.
About the trust
It is largely a primary trust with one very small secondary. Some of its schools are in small rural villages and as they recruit locally, often have a very small admission. This means that some have to merge classes or work collaboratively to gain economies of scale. This can be complicated in areas where the schools are judged to have high levels of deprivation. The first four schools entering the trust were sponsored with historic underperformance but have made good progress. The schools which have most recently joined are both larger and stronger which has helped to create links across the MAT.
All the trust’s current schools are ‘through primaries’ with the exception of one ‘infant only’ school and one secondary school. The trust is in conversation with a number of further primary schools as part of the trust’s ambition to grow further.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To maintain year on year, improvement in terms of attainment and progress across all schools within the MAT.
- According to the trust, providing the current services within the financial context is difficult. Although it has 14 schools they are small so only have 2,500 pupils. This means that managing the expected services to drive improvement is financially challenging.
- Finding suitably skilled directors and school leaders. Recruiting skilled school leaders has also been challenging and although it now has effective leaders in place, the trust needs to develop the workforce from the bottom up to make sure that the trust continues to have a supply of the very best leadership.
- Managing strategic growth with schools that can add further capacity to become self-sustaining.
Trust ethos & values
The trust has a Church of England Foundation. To view the trust’s vision statement, visit: http://thelaat.co.uk/values-ambitions/
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 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 also 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.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and 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 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
- Business Growth
Role 1: Able to support directors and FD in the business side of running a Multi Academy Trust
Role 2: Able to support the directors in the areas of standards and inspection
The trust meets eight times per year and meetings begin at 5.30 pm and last for up to 3 hours. The trust does not have identified sub-committees but agendas are structured in order to oversee finance, strategy and school standards at each meeting. In addition, the trust holds a ‘strategy day’ twice a year which tends to run on a Saturday where the overarching strategy and plan is discussed and revised. Training tends to be built into meetings, through specific agenda items as well as some online training. The Board has developed a ‘closed email circuit’ in order to deal with any key issues between Board meetings which current Directors find effective and uses time more efficiently.
The Board has also introduced a programme of Link Directors so each trustee is linked to specific schools where they can visit from time to time and gain a first-hand understanding of the impact of board decisions and school level. On average, Directors/Trustees spend around six hours per month on trust business which includes training and reading papers ahead of meetings and school visits.
Location of board meetings and trust website
103 Newport, Lincoln, LN1 3EE
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 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.
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 16th September 2019