The Lincolnshire Educational Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Lincoln
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 22nd March 2019

The Lincolnshire Educational Trust seeks to appoint a new non-executive director to the board. All academies within the trust are based in and around Holbeach in southern Lincolnshire, an area of significant socio-economic disadvantage that is a cold spot for participation in higher education. The trust is restructuring its various levels of governance and other new trustees have been brought to the board.  Consequently this is a good time to join the new board as it strategically plans the next phase and takes on new challenges. Board meetings are held in mainly in the University in Lincoln with one meeting a year held at the University’s campus in Holbeach.

About the trust

University of Lincoln has sponsored Lincolnshire Educational Trust (LET) since 2011. The trust comprises: Gosberton House Academy (a primary special school which caters for children with autism spectrum disorder) and is judged outstanding by Ofsted; two mainstream primary schools (Holbeach Primary (judged good by Ofsted) and Holbeach Bank Primary which joined the trust as a sponsored academy: and University Academy Holbeach which is judged ‘good’ by Ofsted and caters for secondary aged children and includes a sixth form.

The University provides significant support for LET schools, including governance support at trust- and school-level; financial, legal, estates, press and PR support (through a shared resources model); access to the University’s specialist facilities and equipment (including science laboratories); and a vibrant partnership between the LET’s special school (Gosberton House Academy) and the University’s autism research centre. Schools in the Trust also have access to activities run by the university to widen participation in higher education.

It is hoped that Peele Community College (a secondary in Long Sutton) will join the trust as a sponsored academy later this year. Gosberton House Academy is due to expand considerably to take children with a wider range of special needs, whilst maintaining its specialism as a centre of excellence for autism. 

Plans for the future

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

  1. To successfully integrate and improve pupil outcomes at Holbeach Bank Academy which joined the trust in June 2018;
  2. To successfully manage the expansion of Gosberton House Academy as it changes from an autism special school to an all-needs special school;
  3. To oversee the expansion of University Academy Holbeach as it increases its Published Admission Number and expands its facilities to meet rising demand;
  4. To successfully integrate Peele Community College into the trust.

Trust ethos & values

The Lincolnshire Educational Trust seeks to develop academies that are schools of first choice through their educational excellence and to develop young people to enhance their life chances through academic, cultural and sporting achievements, personal development and becoming confident lifelong learners.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

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 (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
Desirable
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Real estate/ Property
  • Risk

The trust seeks an individual with significant leadership experience and a proven track-record of strategic planning and/or oversight. They must be able to interpret educational, legal and financial data. The individual will have the ability to question and provide challenge. A genuine interest in the power of education to improve young people’s lives is beneficial as is an awareness and understanding of the Nolan Principles for public life.

Time commitment

The trust board meets four times per year (quarterly) and meetings tend to be during the normal working hours (often spanning lunchtime) and run for up to two hours.  The Board has one sub-committee (Audit) to which some trustees are invited. Successful candidates may wish to express interest in this committee but involvement in this committee is not essential as it is well-covered by other trustees.  An induction programme is available as well as periodic training events. In total the successful candidate will need to earmark an average of 2-4 hours per month for all aspects of the role.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at the university’s main campus in Lincoln with one meeting a year held at the university’s campus in Holbeach.

https://let.lincoln.ac.uk

Governance structure

https://let.lincoln.ac.uk/governance/

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 22nd March 2019

Interviews:    TBC