The Oak Partnership

South West England | Somerset
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 29th March 2019

The Oak Partnership seeks two new Trustees/ Non-Executive Directors to strengthen its board. Board meetings are held at West Monkton CE Primary School, Bridgwater Road, Taunton. The trust welcomes applicants of all faiths or none.

About the trust

The Oak Partnership Multi Academy Trust was formed on 1st January 2019.  Its founder member schools are three primary schools (Blackbrook Community Primary School, Ruishton CofE Primary School and West Monkton CofE Primary School) and one all-through special school (Selworthy Special School).  All four schools were inspected by Ofsted in 2018 and were rated Good.  It is anticipated that Heathfield Community School, which was last rated Outstanding by Ofsted, will join the trust in September 2019. In total the trust accommodates over 2000 pupils.

The region in which The Oak Partnership is located is at the heart of one of the biggest and fastest growing housing developments in the South West, located along the M5 corridor. There are pockets of high deprivation within these catchments and the trust is facing the challenge of encouraging aspiration amongst all within its community. It hopes to be a catalyst for higher standards and improved outcomes for all its pupils, therefore enhancing life chances and social mobility throughout the region.

Plans for the future

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

  1. School Improvement: establishing the The Oak Partnership with a clear School Improvement strategy which ensures that high standards are achieved and maintained in all Academy Schools and settings.
  2. Finance: meeting the financial challenges of ensuring that The Oak Partnership not only remains viable but is also in a position to grow sustainably.
  3. Growth: to establish a growth strategy to increase the number of schools within the trust, looking also to sponsor struggling schools in the region.

Trust ethos & values

The Oak Partnership aims to inspire children to be lifelong learners. All that follows is underpinned by the expectation that all trust schools create a rich and varied curriculum that excites and inspires, giving children a love of learning new things. The Oak Partnership provides support to its school leaders and challenges them to consistently reach the highest standards, ensuring that all children make good progress regardless of their starting point. As a community of schools, the trust believes in developing great teaching, sharing best practice and creating stimulating learning environments for all its pupils.  

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 role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of directors manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The board of directors also ensures 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

The successful applicant must have a commitment to the values of The Oak Partnership. As experienced business leaders and strategic planners, they will have the ability and determination to adapt and transfer their experience to an educational setting. They will have a willingness to devote time, an understanding of the legal duties and liabilities of trusteeship and the ability to challenge, evaluate and interpret information. All trustees are expected to play a strategic role in successfully affecting change. Successful applicants will have an eagerness to reflect and learn and will uphold the seven principles of public life.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Real estate/Property
Desirable
  • CFO/Finance
  • HR
  • Growth Management
  • Risk
  • Change Management
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder

Legal: As a newly formed trust with plans to grow, The Oak Partnership seeks an experienced individual with a strong legal background. The successful individual will bring scrutiny and challenge to the Trust Board, providing strategic oversight of the legal policies and processes of the trust.

Real estate/Property: The trust seeks an experienced individual with a proven track record of managing estates and facilities across multiple sites. An understanding of issues regarding land, property assets is advantageous, as well as the ability to support the strategic and operational development of the property portfolio.

Time commitment

6 hours per month minimum.

Location of board meetings

Board meetings are held at West Monkton CofE Primary School, Bridgwater Road, Taunton, TA2 8FT.

Governance structure

Members

Guardians of the constitution; four Members, including one appointed by the Diocese, with power to appoint or remove directors.

Directors

Twelve Directors, accountable to the Members, Secretary of State, Diocese, parents, pupils and wider community; balance of skills, including financial, legal and HR as well as a passion for education.

Local Governing Committee

Clear delegated responsibility and decision making ability; allowing each school to retain individuality within the partnership.

Executive Team

Appointed by and accountable to the Directors; providing leadership and direction, ensuring viability and accountability, overseeing improvement and growth; building networks beyond The Oak Partnership.

Strategic Leadership Team

Consisting of the Heads of the Academy Schools and the Executive Headteacher; providing the collaborative strategic direction for the Multi Academy Trusts development.        

Network Groups

Consisting of subject leaders from all Academy Schools; ensuring that Multi Academy Trust developments are driven from the ground up.

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. 

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: 29th March 2019