Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre

South West England | Newent
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
Deadline date: 12th December 2019

Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre is an inclusive, thriving, vibrant and successful 11 to 18 secondary school, committed to providing the best possible learning experiences and highest quality outcomes for the young people of Gloucestershire. The academy trust board seeks to recruit a non-executive director/charity trustee with strong financial and change management expertise to support the development of its strategies for growth and improvement. As at 1 September 2019, the trust oversees a £4M budget, 120 staff and 930 pupils. Board meetings are held six times annually in Newent, Gloucestershire.

About the trust

The academy trust oversees the performance of Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre, a rural Gloucestershire secondary comprehensive school originally established as The Newent Grammar School in 1925.

Due to a demographic dip over the last few years, the trust had been projecting a deficit for 2018/19. However, since his appointment the Principal has been successful in continuing to raise standards within the school along with raising the reputation and profile of school at local, regional and national levels. This has resulted in a circa 9% increase in admissions for September 2019. The school aimed to secure an increase of 30 students for this academic year, but is expecting an increase of circa 75. This ‘spike’ in numbers has resulted in an application for In Year Funding to be approved by the ESFA for the 2019/20 academic year assuming those student numbers are sustained for the October 2019 and January 2020 censuses.

Plans for the future

The three Key Challenges the trust faces over the Next 12-24 Months:

  1. Continue to drive improvement in all student outcomes, and diminishing the difference between disadvantaged and all other students
  2. Maintain the growth in student numbers through ongoing marketing of the school and further developing external relationships.  
  3. Form an all-through MAT with local primary schools. The trust believes that an all-through MAT would optimize educational opportunities and support for all children and families in our community. This strategic initiative presents an opportunity for local governing boards to shape the MAT as it is set up. 

Trust Ethos and Values

The trust’s aim is to develop mature, confident and thoughtful citizens.

Its core values are mutual respect, equality and opportunity for all.

The trust's success is based on an ethos designed to address individual needs, foster self-esteem and self-belief and meet society’s changing expectations.

More detail about the trust’s ethos and values can be found here in the Principal’s welcome:

https://newent.gloucs.sch.uk/principals-welcome/

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:

1 or 2

Roles 1-2 - 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.

Finance NEDS: 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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

The strategic expertise required for these roles includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Qualified Accountant
  • Change/Growth/Risk Management
Desirable
  • Corporate/Charity Governance
  • Audit

Understanding/experience of change management involving more than one organisation and implemented through a collaborative not authoritative process.

Time commitment

8 hours /month minimum.

Location of board meetings and trust website

https://newent.gloucs.sch.uk/

Board meetings are held six times annually at Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre between 6pm - 8pm, Watery Lane, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1QF.

Governance structure

https://newent.gloucs.sch.uk/governors/

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.

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: Thursday 12th December 2019