Maiden Erlegh Trust

North West London and South Central England | Reading
  • Education (Secondary)
  • Education (Primary)
  • Education (SEND)
  • Education Leadership
  • Education Sector
  • HR (Employment Law / Industrial Relations)
  • Human Resources
Deadline date: 6th August 2020

Maiden Erlegh Trust seeks Trustees/non-executive directors to join the Board with particular interest and expertise in (a) Primary education or school improvement, (b) Special Education/Alternative Provision and (c) HR. to support the improvement of five schools, impacting over 3,000 pupils in communities across Wokingham, Reading, Oxfordshire and Bracknell Forest. Board meetings are held in Reading.

About the trust

Maiden Erlegh Trust is comprised of five academies serving approx. 3,500 pupils total, including one primary school, three comprehensive secondary schools and one special school.

The trust is looking to grow steadily but ethically over the next few years, in a way in which they can remain true to their values. Their motto is “schools for the community, schools as a community” and their aim is to provide an excellent school for the children of the communities we serve and thus each school will become the school of choice for local families.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. The trust aims to focus on the school improvement of the weakest schools in the trust. The trust is fortunate to have a Teaching School within the trust and a partnership with a strong primary school; therefore, alongside their track record of effective school-to-school support, they are confident in this projection plan.
  2. Maiden Erlegh Trust is keen to focus on recruitment and retention as it is a national problem and a huge risk to bringing about school improvement. The real challenge is to make the trust schools fair and positive places to work so that teachers want to join the trust and stay.
  3. The trust aims for growth at a rate that supports the structures needed financially and operationally but not at such a rate that the integrity of their work is sacrificed.

Maiden Erlegh Trust would like to expand to eight to ten schools over the next five years. Their ambition is for every school to have above average progress with no significant gaps in pupil groups' performance. External validation of the quality of their provision is provided by a range a primary and secondary experts.

Trust Ethos & Values

Maiden Erlegh Trust’s motto for their schools is “schools for the community, schools as a community”. The trust’s schools' priorities are the education, well-being and personal development of every student and they are proud to be a school of opportunity, diversity and success for all. Their school is first and foremost a working community enriched by staff, parents and students from diverse backgrounds and with an array of different interests and talents which they contribute to the school. In this context we actively promote mutual respect, equality, an understanding of other cultures, empathy with the wider world and a strong and collaborative work ethic.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 3

Roles 1-3– 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 during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account. Applicants will serve as non-executive directors of the trust board with the opportunity to fulfil the role as Trust Strategic Lead and/or sit on an Interim Transition Board of a special measures school.

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)
  • Primary expertise or
  • HR or
  • Special/Alternative Provision
  • SEND
Desirable
  • Growth Management
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Restructuring
  • Risk
Person Specification

HR: candidates must have senior experience of HR, professional development and/or change management to support positive trust growth.

Primary education: the ideal candidate will be a practicing headteacher with experience working across schools with a wealth of experience in school improvement.

Special/Alternative Provision: the ideal candidate will be a practicing/recently retired senior leader with experience working across in alternative/special schools with a wealth of experience in school improvement.

Special education: this role will provide the governance support to school leaders and Local Advisory Boards of both our Special and mainstream Schools to ensure our SEND learners have access to high-quality provision. 

Maiden Erlegh Trust is eager that all applicants work with integrity and share the values of the trust to effectively support and challenge the leaders of the trust and the schools.

Time Commitment

6 Board meetings per annum and 3 face-to-face training sessions (with some online courses).

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

For more information about the trust, please visit their website at: http://www.maidenerleghtrust.org/

Board meetings are held at Maiden Erlegh School, Silverdale Road, Reading, RG6 7HS.

Governance Structure

For more information regarding the trust’s governance structure, please see: http://www.maidenerleghtrust.org/page/?title=Governance&pid=10

 

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.