The Midland Academies Trust

West Midlands | Nuneaton
  • Audit
  • CEO/ General Management
  • CFO/Financial
  • Chair
  • Corporate Governance
  • Human Resources
Deadline date: 18th September 2020

The Midland Academies Trust seeks to recruit new board members, bringing a breadth of skills to help strengthen its overall governance arrangements. In particular, candidates interested in becoming Chair of Trustees over time are invited to apply, along with those with skills in Business, Finance and HR. Board meetings are usually held on rotation at the trust’s academies and at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in Nuneaton; currently, however, meetings are held virtually via Microsoft Teams.

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 2020/21 to 2022/23;

  4. To continue 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:

  • Quality of Education
  • People
  • Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Growth
  • Finance
  • Estates
  • Digital and Marketing
     

The trust’s Strategic Plan is available to view here: http://www.midlandacademiestrust.co.uk/strategicplan

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:
3

Role 1 – Chair

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.

 

The trust seeks to appoint a Chair over time in order to set the strategic course and lead the trustees in holding the executive team to account, providing effective board leadership and ensuring each director fulfils their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public Life. The Chair will work closely with, support, and, where appropriate, challenge the Chief Executive, as well as working closely with the Company Secretary. Experience of working at a senior leadership level is essential to this position.

Non-executive directors are responsible for maintaining stability and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth.

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
  • Chair

  • Non-executive/ Trustee

  • Charity/ Corporate Governance

  • CEO/ General Management

Desirable
  • Education leadership

  • CFO/ Finance

  • Growth Management

The successful applicant will have a track record of successful Chair/CEO experience. They will have strong inter-personal skills, with an adaptive approach and strategic mind-set. Additionally, they will be committed to the trust’s ethos and values. This means having the willingness to devote time and effort to create positive change for pupils.

As Chair, they will compliantly budget and monitor expenditure, in line with legal obligations. They will strategise for asset management and risk management, and will develop productive and supportive professional relationships with the board and CEO.

 
Time commitment

At least seven hours per month.

Roles 2 & 3 – Trustee/Non-Executive Director

The trust seeks candidates who are willing, able and ready to contribute to the board’s work, ensuring trust success and performance through developing and monitoring trust strategy and actively holding management to account, for the benefit of academy students.

It is essential that candidates are capable of undertaking charitable trustee responsibilities as set out in charity legislation and comply with the seven key elements of the Nolan Principles.

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/ Finance

  • Audit Committee

  • Chair

  • HR

Desirable
  • Qualified Accountant

  • Change Management

  • Entrepreneur/ Founder

  • Turnaround

  • Corporate Governance

  • Non-executive/ Trustee

 

Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to learning and education and the success of students, as well as the ability to maintain the highest standards of probity and integrity. An ability to put the trust’s interests above any other professional or personal interests and to work as part of a team are vital to any and all trustees. Trustees, or non-executive directors, are required to provide challenge and scrutiny in relation to the executive’s activity, so the ability to exhibit independence of thought and sound judgement are both vital.

The trust seeks individuals with a proven track record from the world of business – as three candidates are sought, these skills may come from a variety of settings, including business, HR and finanace. In particular, the trust is in need of skills, expertise, experience and oversight in relation to finance, accountancy and auditing, along with a key person to sit on the board’s Audit Committee.

In general, the trust requires individuals with a strategic mindset and willingness to ‘ask difficult questions’ where necessary. The trust is, additionally, keen to hear from candidates possessing a background and - if available - a relevant qualification from the finance sector. This may include, but is not limited to, qualified accountants.

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 on rotation at the trust’s academies and the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Hinckley Road, Nuneaton, CV11 6BH. It is anticipated that, in the first instance, some meetings will be held remotely / via virtual means.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, 18th September, 2020