- Growth Management
South Bank Academy Trust was formed in 2016 and serves communities within the York district. The trust seeks to recruit two new non-executive directors with senior-level experience in finance and growth management to join its board. Ideally, one of the two new trustees will also have some clear experience in school governance and/or past involvement in non-executive board roles. Board meetings are held in the York area.
About the trust
South Bank Academy Trust was originally formed from two primary schools and one secondary school in the South Bank area of York, which serve a mixed catchment, including areas of deprivation. The schools had a history of partnership working and wanted to create a structure that would allow deeper collaboration, better challenge and professional development for staff, as well as economies of scale to improve the financial efficiency of the larger trust.
South Bank Academy Trust is a growing trust and now comprises two secondary academies (Millthorpe and York High) and three primary academies (Knavesmire, Scarcroft and Woodthorpe) with another in the pipeline to join next year and potentially further additions in due course. The trust aims to grow to 10 schools over the next three years.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
To embed a culture of collaboration at every level within the trust, to improve curriculum and outcomes for pupils;
To create a central service which provides schools with targeted support to meet each academy’s needs;
To continue making improvement to York High School – with a focus on taking it out of ‘Special Measures’.
The trust has a longer-term ambition to grow to around 10 schools over the next 2-3 years, with a targeted focus on the York area.
Trust ethos & values
South Bank Academy Trust’s vision is to serve its community by providing an inclusive education that gives the best life chances to all it learners.
The trust ethos and values are: Equality, Collaboration, Autonomy, Transparency, Excellence, Efficiency and Inclusivity.
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 competencies required for this role include:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
In line with its ambitions for growth over the next three years, the trust seeks to recruit individuals possessing a proven record in managing growth, with experience and expertise from across a variety of professional backgrounds. It would be advantageous to have at least one candidate with experience of education and holding education leaders to account through a governance position.
Additionally, the trust seeks an individual with financial background, including relevant qualification (e.g. ACA, ACCA); experience of working within a charity or non-profit environment is desirable. Experience of working constructively and effectively with accordance to the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ is essential.
The trust meets once each half term (six meetings a year). Meetings are held on Tuesday evenings starting at 6pm and lasting up to three hours. Trustees are also expected to join one of the two sub-committees (Finance & Audit and Education Standards) which meet four times per year. Overall, trustees are likely to commit around 6-8 hours per month.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Meetings are held on a rotation basis in each of the academies, all of which are within the York city region.
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: Friday 15th February 2019