Nexus Multi Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Rotherham
  • CEO/ General Management
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
Deadline date: 14th February 2020

Nexus Multi Academy Trust seeks two new non-executive directors to join the board. The trust operates across South Yorkshire, with three special schools in Rotherham and one sponsored special school in Doncaster. It is going through a period of rapid expansion: a further four schools are set to join the trust, including one hospital school in Sheffield. The trust will also open two new free schools in September 2021, bringing total number of schools within the trust to ten. The schools within the trust cater for children of all ages through to 19, including some with profound and multiple learning difficulties. The board of trustees is responsible for maintaining stability and managing a dynamic structure during this exciting period of growth.  Board meetings are held close to the border of Sheffield and Rotherham and very close to the M1 motorway near Meadowhall shopping centre.

About the trust

Of the three schools in Rotherham, two are rated as Good and one as Outstanding. The Doncaster-based, special school joined the trust as a sponsored project and is making good progress but is yet to be inspected. 

As mentioned above, the trust has had approval for additional schools to join, one hospital school in Sheffield and two special schools in Doncaster. A mainstream primary school in Maltby is in the process of joining the trust and this will begin the building of the trust’s provision in mainstream primary education, sharing some of the excellent practice found in its special schools and adapting this for the mainstream sector.

The trust is also in the process of overseeing the building and opening of two new special Free Schools in Sheffield and Doncaster, both to be open by September 2021 at the latest.

The schools within the trust cater for children of all ages through to 19 including some with profound and multiple learning difficulties. The new hospital school and satellite provision will bring fresh challenges to ensure high quality education and support to poorly children, some who need short term support during recovery to others who need longer term care. 

The trust seeks to further strengthen its board by adding skills and capacity to strategically guide the next phase of development and manage the risks associated with such rapid growth whilst maintaining the highest quality educational provision for young people. The trust looks to develop alliances and partnerships in order to drive its work on school improvement forward with purpose and pace.

Nexus MAT has a strong focus to be the best it can be. Learners and their families are at the centre of the trust’s decisions; they are empowered to learn and achieve and to feel valued within the community as visible, resilient, active and responsible citizens.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Continuing high standards of education in its schools.
  2. Developing people throughout the MAT to build even more capacity and expertise.
  3. Maintain financial strength through alliances / partnerships with other MATs.

For Nexus MAT, following the scheduled expansion to ten schools there is likely to be a period of consolidation.  However, trustees will develop and oversee the strategy for the next 5+ years to ensure the best practice is shared and that key opportunities are not missed. Consequently, managing the risks and challenges associated with rapid growth and early success will need careful management to maximise the outcomes for all the pupils.

Trust ethos & values

The trust’s motto is “learning together; to be the best we can be.” For more information visit

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 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.

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:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • CEO/ General Management
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Corporate Governance
  • HR
  • Strategic

Whilst one of the new trustees will have specific skills related to the oversight of finance, both new trustees will have a strong track record of impact within their own careers.  They will add to a skilled board where all are encourage to be curious and inquisitive: to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the trust. With regards to the growth of the trust, experience of managing the risks and challenges associated with the rapid growth in the private or charity sector, is desired.

Time commitment

The trust meets monthly and meetings tend to start at 5pm and run for up to two-and-a-half hours.  Meetings are split so that core business meetings are held every other month (say months 1,3,5…) and strategy meetings are held on the other months (say months 2,4,6…).  The strategy meetings allow more in-depth discussion on key issues for the trust e.g. growth, aspects of the specialisms (autism, alternative provision, etc).  The trust also has two sub-committees (Finance and Education Standards) and trustees will be invited to join one of these committees depending on skills and interests.  The trust has a number of induction and training programmes for all trustees to ensure that they are equipped to bring suitable support and challenge.  With meetings and preparation (reading papers), trustees will be expected to set-aside around six hours per month.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held in Kimberworth (Rotherham) or at Nexus Head Office – both are very close to the M1 junction 34 and close to the Meadowhall shopping centre. 

Governance structure

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 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

Deadline for applications: Friday 14th February 2020

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.