Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust

South West England | Royal Wootton Bassett | Swindon
  • Branding/Marketing
  • CFO/Financial
  • Growth Management
  • Human Resources
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 11th October 2019

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust aims to deliver excellence in education for all pupils in its trust currently comprised of three secondary schools and one junior school. The board is seeking three new non-executive directors/charity trustees with expertise to support the delivery of the trust’s vision, ethos and strategy. Board meetings are held at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Lime Kiln, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7HG.

About the trust

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust (RWBAT) was set up as a Multi Academy Trust in May 2017. In establishing RWBAT, the board (including the CEO) committed to facilitating the sharing of leadership principles and management processes which support high levels of attainment and achievement and which ensure staff and pupils are equipped to deliver the highest levels of performance in each Academy.

The trust is comprised of the following academy schools:

  • Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which is one of the largest secondary schools in Wiltshire educating over 1600 pupils, aged 11 – 19. It was rated by Ofsted as Outstanding in 2010 and again in 2013. Its sixth form provision has built up a national reputation for academic success.
  • Lawn Manor Academy opened on 1 September 2017 and is located in the Old Walcot area of Swindon. The school has capacity to educate 1000 pupils and currently has circa 772 pupils on roll aged 11 – 16.
  • Noremarsh Junior School joined the trust on 1 October 2018 and educates up to 240 primary pupils aged 7-11.
  • The John Bentley School in Calne joined the trust on 1 April 2019. The school has capacity to educate 1340 pupils and currently has circa 779 pupils on roll, aged 11 – 18. The school was judged as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted in March 2018.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Integration and improvement – building the Trust’s culture to drive collaboration and continuous improvement while creating a sense of equilibrium for all its schools wherever they are in their school improvement journey. To communicate strengths across the Trust more effectively via a Trust communication strategy and stakeholder engagement policy.
  2. Growth – to oversee the expansion and development of the trust as a charitable company; to achieve further growth via the sponsorship of new build academies/Free Schools and/or conversion of existing open primary and secondary schools; to create improved economies of scale and efficiency across the trust to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
  3. Learning environment – to develop and oversee the implementation of a trust estates and facilities plan, which ensures that money is invested in improving the learning environment for pupils and their local communities.

Trust ethos & values

The values and vision of the trust can be found here: http://www.rwbatrust.org.uk/our-trust/vision-values/

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 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.

Finance NEDS: 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

The trust is looking for trustees who have experience of strategic leadership and oversight in a large commercial organisation who would be able to apply their business acumen, financial credibility and lateral thinking skills to inform the development of strategic plans, board debate and decision making. 

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 sets out the six competency areas, the (Nolan) principles and personal attributes the trust expects all trustees to demonstrate. The latter being: committed, confident, curious, challenging, collaborative, critical and creative. See below: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

The strategic expertise required for role 1 includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Strategic Management
Desirable
  • Change/Growth Management
  • Organisational Development / Restructuring
  • Corporate Governance
  • HRM at strategic level

The strategic expertise required for role 2 includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Marketing/Communications/PR
  • Estates / Property / Facilities
Desirable
  • Corporate Governance
  • Bid Writing

The strategic expertise required for role 3 includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance
Desirable
  • IT/ Technology
  • Legal/ Compliance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Risk
Time commitment

12 hours/month (minimum).

Location of board meetings and trust website

http://www.rwbatrust.org.uk/

Board meetings are held at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Lime Kiln, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7HG.

Governance structure

http://www.rwbatrust.org.uk/our-trust/governance/

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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.

“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 (2019)

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 11th October 2019