NET Academies Trust

East of England and North East London | Harlow | Essex
  • Audit
  • CFO/Financial
Deadline date: 15th November 2019

NET Academies Trust in Essex seeks one trustee/non-executive director with a strong financial background and commensurate qualifications to enrich the current board. NET Academies Trust has an enthusiastic and committed group of trustees and their board meetings are held in Harlow, Essex.

About the trust

NET Academies Trust consists of five primary schools, located in Essex. The trust aims to create model schools through which it will be leading innovation in improving educational outcomes for all. High quality provision, evidenced based best practice in pedagogy and effective staff development are a common feature in all the schools. NET Academies Trust delivers this high quality teaching with the support of an effective central team. The trust is known for working with under performing schools to provide school improvement support so that all children in the community receive an equal opportunity to succeed.

The trust provides education to more than 1300 pupils and its annual budget is around £20m.

Plans for the future

The trust is in discussion with the DfE regarding expansion in North London and Essex with the aspiration to grow to 10 to 15 academies over time.  They will continue to focus on capacity and ability to deliver high quality education and to support schools in challenging circumstances.

Trust ethos & values

The aim of NET Academies Trust is to promote and lead innovative practice in the nation’s schools and classrooms to help raise educational outcomes for all pupils. The trust is committed to giving every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential and celebrate their uniqueness; equipping them with the necessary skills to embrace the fast-changing world of the 21st century.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Roles  – 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:

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

  • Audit
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Qualified Accountant
  • Education or Public Sector Experience
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Remuneration Committee Chair
  • Risk
  • Living in, or with strong connections to communities in Essex

Role spec: The trust is currently looking to recruit a trustee with a financial background and commensurate qualifications to enrich its current board. Familiarity with public sector finance and preferably education finance is necessary.

Applications are encouraged from candidates living in Essex or North London and the trust is looking to increase diversity on the board to reflect the communities they serve.

Time commitment

6 hours per month (minimum).

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Latton Green Primary Academy, Riddings Lane, Harlow, Essex, CM18 7HT with some rotation in the Harlow schools. Meetings are held quarterly in the afternoon and the selected candidate will also chair the finance committee.

Governance structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 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.


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

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 15th November 2019