New College Durham Academies Trust (NCDAT)

North of England | Durham
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Risk
Deadline date: 14th June 2019

New College Durham Academies Trust is seeking one new non-executive director (trustee) with prior board level experience to assist in the continued improvement of the schools within the trust. Board meetings are held at New College Durham, Framwellgate Moor Campus, Durham.

About the trust

New College Durham Academies Trust currently operates two academies in an area of high deprivation in County Durham: North Durham Academy (in Stanley) and Consett Academy. The trust was set up by lead sponsor New College Durham and co-sponsor Durham County Council in 2011.

North Durham Academy opened in September 2011 and Consett Academy opened in January 2012, both following a merger of two predecessor schools. Both academies have new campus buildings which were developed under the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme. The academies provide secondary 11 - 19 education.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Raising standards of educational performance at North Durham Academy from Ofsted ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’.
  2. Raising standards of educational performance at Consett Academy from Ofsted ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.
  3. Maintaining a stable and sustainable financial position.

Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to provide outstanding learning and training for individuals and be recognised as a leading provider of secondary education. The trust has three core principles: Inclusion, Progression and Excellence.

Further details can be found at:

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Role 1 – 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 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.

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:

  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic

The appointee will possess demonstrable experience working at board level, with experience of developing strategy and leading on areas of change and growth management, as well as risk.

Highly developed interpersonal skills are required in order to be able to both contribute to the development of the trust and challenge the board – holding the senior executive team to account is a key and essential element of this position and likewise a willingness and ability to scrutinise performance. The successful candidate will therefore possess exceptional communication skills and work well within a team. An interest in the education sector and a willingness to devote time to the trust is essential, along with ability to adhere to the seven Nolan Principles of Public Life.

Time commitment

4 hours per month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at New College Durham, Framwellgate Moor Campus, Durham, DH1 5ES.

Governance structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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. 


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, June 14th 2019