The Pathway Academy Trust

South East England and South London | Gravesham
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 7th December 2018

Following a recent expansion from two academies to five, The Pathway Academy Trust aims to continue to develop sustainably through improved academic performance and balanced budgets.  The trust seeks three non-executive directors to support its plans – candidates with HR, estate management or branding and marketing experience are encouraged to apply.  Board meetings are held in Meopham, Kent.

About the trust

The Pathway Academy Trust is currently comprised of five primary phase schools in the socially deprived Gravesham area of Kent. The trust was founded in October 2015 by the Governing Bodies of Culverstone Green Primary School and Riverview Infant School to fulfill their morale obligation to improve education and outcomes for children in the area.  Encouraged by the government’s agenda for all schools to become academies and in particular for local primary schools to join together – the governors of both schools pro-actively sought to convert to academy status.  The formation of the multi-academy trust (MAT) allowed the schools to formalise and enhance their existing collaborations, led by the exemplary practice of Culverstone Green Primary School, currently graded a strong Good by Ofsted, and Riverview Infant School, currently graded Good with elements of Outstanding practice.

The trust’s aim is to remain a small local MAT, with schools supporting each other through collaborative working and sharing of best practice in teaching and learning across the trust.  The trust believes that this will enrich the opportunities for all its children, providing a nurturing environment in which they can thrive and reach their full potential.

In October 2017 the trust sponsored Riverview Junior School, which is currently graded Requires Improvement (RI), and welcomed Wrotham Road Primary School, currently graded Good, as an academy converter on 1st June 2018.  Meopham Community Academy transferred into the trust on the 1st  September 2018 and has recently retained its Good Ofsted grade.  

The trust’s schools have a wide and varied cohort mix, including one with very high social mobility, English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Pupil Premium funding and one with a very high percentage of SEND.  All of its schools serve the socially diverse communities surrounding Gravesend.  The recent Ofsted inspections and data outcomes demonstrate the positive impact the Trust is having for its children.

The trust's original board of directors were selected based on their skills in education and business.  With the growth of the trust, the board believes that new directors would enhance and strengthen the current board.  A recent skills audit identified HR, marketing and estate management as areas that would benefit from experienced personnel.

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Financial: the trust aims to maintain a balanced three-year plan for the central fund and each school, during a period of economic pressure and increased salary costs. This may be alleviated slightly by the proposed introduction of the National Funding Formula in September 2020.
  2. Development: it is important that all of the trust’s schools develop and are supported by the Trust’s Executive Leadership and Central Team, particularly Riverview Junior School, which is currently rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted. The trust will need to effectively managing the transition of Wrotham Road Primary School and Meopham Community Academy into the trust.
  3. Sustainability: the trust aims to consolidate after a period of rapid growth to ensure that systems and procedures are in place and the trust’s central team structure is sufficient to meet the needs of their schools.
  4. Growth: The Pathway Academy Trust will consolidate for a period of a year from September 2018.  The aim is to remain a small local MAT; however, the trust believes that it would benefit from collaboration with at least one more two-form-entry primary school.  This would also offer greater financial stability to the central fund.

 
Trust Ethos & Values

The Pathway Academy Trust leading the way in the pursuit of excellence: in the spirit of collaboration and inspiration, through a creative, inclusive and child-centred education.

The Pathway Academy Trust states that learning is at the centre of its pedagogy. They believe that every child is unique and ensure that learning experiences are tailored to meet the needs of individual children. They pride themselves on providing the highest quality learning experiences; learning is fun, practical and engaging.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:

3

Roles 1-3 – 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.

Person Specification

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential (either)
  • HR or
  • Branding/Marketing or
  • Real estate/Property
Desirable
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
     

HR: it is essential that candidates for this role have senior experience in HR, personnel or employment law. This may have been acquired within a small to medium sized enterprise or through a varied HR consulting practice.

Branding/Marketing: the trust seeks a candidate with experience in branding and marketing across any sector however experience of digital branding and marketing is desirable.

Estates and Property: the trust is eager to appoint a candidate with senior level experience in a property/estates management setting. Candidates may have a chartered or quality surveying qualification, a background in property or facilities management or may have experience working for one of the large building contractors focusing on public sectors projects.

Time Commitment

Attendance at six Board meetings per annum, usually held at 6pm until approx. 8.30pm

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

For more information on the trust, please see their website at http://tpat.co.uk/

Board meetings are held at the registered office at Culverstone Green Primary School, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0RF.

Governance Structure

For more information in regard to the trust’s governance structure, please see: http://tpat.co.uk/information/

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: Friday 7th December 2018