- CEO/ General Management
Mid Essex Anglican Academy Trust is a multi academy trust currently comprising two Anglican Church primary schools within the Chelmsford Diocese and the Brentwood, Essex area. The trust seeks one new trustee with a legal background for the board. This appointee will work with other trustees, local governors and staff to address the key challenges of ensuring a first class educational experience for all children within the trust, the effective spending of resources to maximise outcomes, the readiness for future Ofsted and SIAMS inspections, and the management of trust expansion. Board meetings are held locally. Applicants of all faiths and none are welcome.
About the trust
The trust is based in the Brentwood area and currently comprises two primary schools, one in Shenfield and one in Mountnessing. The trust serves a total of around 520 pupils, employs approximately 90 staff and has an annual budget of over £2 million. In 2008 Ofsted rated Shenfield St Mary’s as “outstanding”, and in 2016 Mountnessing was rated “good”.
This is a Church of England trust and trustees are appointed by the trust members where the Chelmsford Diocese is represented by the Diocesan Director of Education. The trust is qualified as a sponsor and, as a consequence, there is a broad range of expansion opportunities that could include community schools as well as church schools and schools requiring sponsorship.
Plans for the future
In the medium term the trust envisages growth to a group of around five schools within a ten miles radius of the lead school in Shenfield. Whilst ultimate responsibility lies with the trust member schools are expected to maintain and develop their own character whilst working collaboratively with other schools within the trust.
A key challenge for the trust over the next two years is the significant expansion of the Mountnessing school whilst maintaining and improving school performance. The roll of pupils will increase each year to meet the forecast demand for places, ultimately doubling the size of school. This entails major building works being undertaken by the Essex County educational authority commencing in 2020.
Both schools are due Ofsted inspections.
Trust ethos & values
The trust aims to “Unlock every child’s potential as a unique child of God” and provides a safe, secure and caring Christian environment, where every individual is an accepted and respected member of the trust and school community. The children experience a wide ranging, thematic, creative curriculum, learn to the highest standard and have fun too.
Schools within the trust will benefit from membership due to:-
- Economies of scale
- Shared training and development
- Nurturing of potential leaders
- Training opportunities for “home grown” teachers
- Learning from good practice
- Experienced, professional support and accountability.
Number of positions advertised: 1
The trust is seeking to appoint a trustee with legal expertise. This skill and background is missing from the current board. In addition, all other trustees have links to one or other of the two schools and the preferable appointment would be someone independent and without affiliation.
In this context trustees are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust. The core functions of the role include ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction and 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. However, trustees are expected to work together in cooperation with the members of the trust who retain the right of appointment to safeguard the founding objectives of the trust.
In the interests of safeguarding and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will 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.
In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.
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 this role includes:
- Legal/ Compliance
- CEO/ General Management
- Qualified Lawyer
The indicative time commitment is around 6 hours per month and there are 6 trust meetings a year.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Shenfield St Mary's C of E Primary School, Hall Lane, Shenfield, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9AL
Mountnessing C of E Primary School, 279 Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, CM15 0UH
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.