- Human Resources
- Property/Estate management
The Oak Partnership seeks two new Trustees/Non-Executive Directors to strengthen its board. The trust welcomes applicants of all faiths or none. Board meetings are held in Taunton.
About the trust
The Oak Partnership was formed in 2015 between five schools in the Taunton, Somerset area who unanimously agreed to explore the opportunity of creating a multi-academy trust (MAT). In early 2018, the five schools were granted academy status and are now looking as a partnership, to acquire full trust status as of January 2019. From early 2019 onwards, the trust has plans to grow, increasing its number of schools and therefore expanding its outreach to pupils throughout the region.
Among the existing five academies that form The Oak Partnership is one secondary school, Heathfield Community School, which was last rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The trust has one special school, Selworthy Special School and three primary schools, Blackbrook Community Primary School, Ruishton CE Primary School and West Monkton CE Primary School. All four were rated Good in their latest Ofsted inspections. 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. The trust 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. The collective goal of The Oak Partnership is to provide an outstanding education environment in which all flourish; building on a rich history of collaboration, combining expertise and resources to further develop the outreach of its schools. To drive efficiencies and economies of scale, through smarter organisation and joint procurement.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- 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.
- Finance: Meeting the financial challenges of ensuring that The Oak Partnership not only remains viable but is also in a position to grow sustainably.
- 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.
Number of positions advertised:
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 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.
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)
- CFO/ Finance
- Real Estate/Property
- Growth Management
- Change Management
- Entrepreneur/ Founder
HR: As a newly formed trust with plans to grow, The Oak Partnership seeks an experienced HR individual who has worked within either the public or private sectors. The successful individual will bring expert insight into existing HR processes, helping the trust to recruit, retain and develop high-calibre staff.
Finance: The trust seeks an experienced finance professional to support the board in overseeing the annual budget as well as monitoring progress and expenditure. Experience of managing risk, as well as growth and change management are desirable.
6 hours per month minimum.
Location of board meetings
Board meetings are held at West Monkton CE Primary School, Bridgwater Road, Taunton, TA2 8FT.
Guardians of the constitution; four Members, including one appointed by the Diocese, with power to appoint or remove 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 18th January 2019