London South East Academies Trust (LSEAT)

South East England and South London | Bromley/ Orpington
  • Branding/Marketing
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Growth Management
  • Human Resources
  • IT/Technology
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Property/Estate management
  • Restructuring
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • Turnaround
Deadline date: 17th April 2020

London South East Academies Trust (LSEAT) oversees 8 academies, 1200 pupils, 600 staff and a budget of £26m. The trust is committed to social enterprise and has a recognised track record of turning around under-performing schools and delivering excellence for all local young people. The Trust seeks two non-executive directors to join its board to oversee the delivery of an ambitious strategic plan and growth. Board meetings are held in Bromley and Orpington.

About the trust

LSEAT has a total of eight schools, 1200 pupils, 600 staff and a combined annual income of approx. £26m.

The Trust currently operates in Bexley and Bromley and oversees seven open academies: two all-through alternative provision; one KS2-5 SEMH special school; one KS1-5 ASD special school; one secondary SEMH / ASD special school; a primary SEMH / ASD special school and one large mainstream primary school which is known locally, for inclusive practices through its on-site resource provision which caters for complex needs including hearing impaired and physical disability alongside specific learning needs. All academies inspected since joining the Trust have been judged “Good” improving their previous judgement. Those which are yet to be inspected were judged Good in four cases and Outstanding in one. Plus, the Trust also has a free school which has been in pre-opening for four years due to premises and location issues. Trust reviews with the Department for Education indicate that there is confidence in the Trust’s position and capacity for further growth into mainstream education as well as special educational needs and disabilities. This may include supporting schools in other authorities in the South East.

The Trust, like its sponsor London South East Colleges, has a clear vision and strategy which is committed to social enterprise and supporting pupils and their communities through a lifelong learning journey. For example, the Trust has developed collaborative initiatives to support pupils and families served by other providers to help them stay in education and training and find the right career path. More details about the strategy can be found via: http://www.laseeg.co.uk/images/ImportantPolicies/Group_Strategy_Jan_2020.pdf

Plans for the future

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

  1. Growth - the Trust aims to expand from 8 to 15 schools but recognises the associated organisational development demands in terms of its people, structures, systems and procedures, governance,.
  2. Financial sustainability – impacts arising from changes in government or local authorities policies associated with SEND and Alternative Provision funding.
  3. Leadership capacity and succession - attracting and retaining good leaders and board and committee members including representation from the local community, developing talent by providing opportunities for specialist staff to share their expertise across the trust and via outreach work to support other education providers locally.

 

Future plans

The trust have recently submitted two Free School applications and have just become the academy sponsor of another SEMH school in the South East currently working alongside the Regional Schools Commissioner and DfE on the conversion. The ambition is to continue to grow to circa 15 schools.

Trust ethos & values

The trust are dedicated to promoting values which ensure that our students develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility. The Trust Governance Statement can be found at       

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2

Role 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 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.

Person specification

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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

The strategic expertise required for role 1 includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Qualified Accountant

Desirable

  • Growth/Change/Risk Management
  • Restructuring/Turnaround
  • IT/Estates/asset Management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Corporate/Charity Governance

The strategic expertise required for role 2 includes:

Essential

  • Strategic Human Resources
  • Organisation development

Desirable

  • Growth/Change/Risk Management
  • Restructuring/Turnaround
  • Corporate/Charity Governance
  • Marketing/PR/Branding

Time commitment

6-8 hours /month minimum. Six board meetings plus 3 committee meetings per annum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Rookery Lane, Bromley BR2 8HE OR The Walnuts, Orpington High Street, Orpington BR6 0TE. 

Directions by various modes of transport can be found via:

https://lseat.co.uk/contact OR https://www.lsec.ac.uk/locations/orpington

Governance structure

https://lseat.co.uk/images/ImportantPolicies/Governance_Structure_Diagram.pdf

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.

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.