The Midland Academies Trust

West Midlands | Nuneaton
  • CFO/Financial
Deadline date: 17th April 2020

The Midland Academies Trust seeks to recruit one new board member, with a specific skillset in Finance, Audit and/or Accountancy to help strengthen its overall governance arrangements. Board meetings are held on rotation at the trust’s academies and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College in Nuneaton.

About the trust

The Midland Academies Trust is a multi-academy trust (MAT) established in 2010 by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, which sponsors the academies for which the trust is responsible.

The trust operates in areas of significant deprivation and comprises four schools - currently three secondary schools in Nuneaton and one secondary school in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire.

The trust aims to transform the lives of children and young people and to release their potential through excellent education and the opportunity to acquire new skills. The trust is overseen by the College, which is graded by Ofsted as ‘Good’ with Outstanding features; it is uniquely placed to enable young people’s progression throughout their school career and into further or higher education, training and employment.

All schools within the trust are united in their vision to rapidly improve the learning experience of their students and raise the aspirations of the local communities they serve.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To strengthen governance and ensure effective succession planning;
  2. To improve GCSE outcomes at all academies;
  3. To deliver the trust's medium term business plan, which runs from 2019/20 to 2021/22;
  4. To embed a shared knowledge-based curriculum, across all subject areas, in all academies in the trust.

The trust also seeks to implement a growth strategy which maintains a balanced and viable portfolio, in addition to developing an innovative trust-wide post-16 offering. It seeks to work with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and other partners to develop a robust business case to support the re-development of the Hartshill School and to develop a strategic estates strategy.

Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to transform young people’s lives by achieving success through learning. It has a stated aim of ‘creating successful futures’ and has key areas of focus, centred on:

  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Enterprise and growth (including local impact)
  • Finance
  • People
  • Estates
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Digital

The trust’s Strategic Plan is available to view here: http://www.midlandacademiestrust.co.uk/files/corporation/learning-group-strategic-plan-2017-2020/85

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:
1

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 and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will 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 this role includes:

Essential
  • CFO/ Financial 
  • Qualified Accountant
Desirable
  • Audit
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Corporate Governance

The successful candidate will exhibit a strong and demonstrable track record in finance, ideally possessing an accountancy qualification. Experience in a CFO role is essential, along with evidence of working strategically, holding the executive to account and strong interpersonal and relationship-building abilities. The presence and personality to successfully manage myriad stakeholders and demonstrate leadership throughout is vital. Prior experience in a strategic role with knowledge and expertise in corporate governance and non-executive directorship are highly advantageous.

 
Time commitment

Five hours per month, minimum. Meetings are held in the evening and candidates may be required to join sub-committees as part of the role.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Trust board meetings are held at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, Hinckley Road, Nuneaton, CV11 6BH

Trust website: http://www.midlandacademiestrust.co.uk

Governance structure

http://www.midlandacademiestrust.co.uk/Governance
 

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 775 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.

“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, 13th March, 2020