Nova Education Trust - Member role

East Midlands and Humber | Nottingham
  • Education Leadership
  • Education Sector
  • HR (Employment Law / Industrial Relations)
  • Human Resources
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Organisational Development
Deadline date: 30th October 2020

Nova Education Trust seeks to recruit a new Member with a sound understanding of education to provide oversight of the trusts governance arrangements. Nova Education Trust grew out of Toot Hill (secondary) School which was judged as Outstanding at its last inspection.  Since 2011 the organisation has successfully support other schools, both primary and secondary, to help them secure the educational standards their families and staff wanted. The trust has taken several schools with significant challenges and brought about lasting improvements. The trust comprises 15 academies (5 primaries, 9 secondaries and one sixth-form college). Members meetings are held in Nottingham with video conferencing facilities also made available.

About the trust

The schools in the trust’s portfolio work in a range of socio-economic contexts including some which serve very deprived communities.  The trust has a mix of schools which includes infant, junior, through-primary, secondary (some with and some without sixth forms) and a sixth form college, as well as some new free schools which are growing year on year. The trust also runs a successful School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme and a Teaching School Alliance (TSA) that links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.

Across the academies in the trust, Nova Education Trust provides for around 8,900 pupils. It employs over 1,390 staff and has a budget of almost £60m.

Plans for the future

The trust is preparing for its next strategic development and may well seek to expand further.  Trustees are mindful of the risks having taken several schools which may need substantial capital investment.  However, the Board is keen not to ‘stand still’ and fully intends to balance the risks with opportunities to develop further.

Trust ethos & values

The Nova Education Trust is committed to providing the very best educational opportunities for children and young people by striving to further develop outstanding teaching and care in all of its schools.

The trust follows three simple principles that define its ethos and underpin the work it does:

  • Dedication to providing opportunity for all through high quality education provision
  • Focus on delivering the highest levels of attainment for every child in our care
  • Commitment to being a socially responsible employer and community partner


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

Role - Member

A member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy

Members are often described as the ‘guardians of the governance’ of the trust and have responsibility for ensuring that the academy trust’s charitable objective – which for most trusts can be summarised as ‘advancing education for the public benefit’ – is being met.  Essentially, this means focusing on:

Outcomes – are the pupils in the trust making expected progress and reaching the required levels of attainment?

Financial oversight – is the trust spending public money wisely?

Members of Nova Education Trust meet twice a year.  In December the AGM is held where Members receive the Annual Accounts and Report produced by the board of trustees. In the summer term (June/July) Members meet again where they receive verbal reports, updates on progress and future plans from the Chair of the board of trustees and Chairs of its sub-committees (Strategic Finance & Operations, Audit Committee & Education Committee).

It is the role of the board of trustees to manage 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.

In the interests of safeguarding and in accordance with DfE requirements, all member appointments will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

Person specification

Every member is expected to abide by 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)
  • Education Leadership
  • HR/Organisation Development
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Non-executive director/Trustee

The successful candidate is likely to have strong track record of leadership in education having worked across a trust with several schools.  Alternatively, they may have a sound understanding of school improvement through working in an advisory capacity across a broad number of schools or as an inspector.

Time commitment

The Members meet twice a year (once in the autumn, and once in the summer term).  Meetings are planned well in advance and tend to start at 6.00pm and last for 1½.  During the current Covid-19 pandemic, the trust board has been meeting via video-conference.  The option to join via video-conference is likely to remain for the longer term.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Sir Colin Campbell Building, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham  NG7 2TU


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 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.

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 select "Register Now" and send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for. 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 email [email protected].

If the trust is keen to take your application forward, they may ask you to complete a detailed application form to gather more specific information following an initial exploratory phone call.

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.