South York Multi Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | York
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Education (Secondary)
  • Education Sector
  • Growth Management
  • Public Sector
  • Risk
Deadline date: 25th September 2020

South York Multi Academy Trust seeks to recruit up to three new trustee directors to join the board, to shape the next phase of the trust’s journey and to inspire its children and young people to achieve and flourish. Board meetings are held in the York area.

About the trust

The South York Multi Academy Trust stems from over twenty years of collaborative working and partnership between the current trust members and the schools set to join the trust. Its work is characterised by a commitment to inclusion and maximising the potential for all children, young people and families in surrounding communities, knowing that the collective strength and effectiveness of the trust will improve the opportunities and standards for all within its schools.

The organisation is rooted in trust and respect where the ethos and distinctive identity of all schools is celebrated, respected and actively promoted. This is reflected in the nature of the trust’s membership where Church of England primary and junior schools work alongside the community provision in Fulford Secondary School. The trust’s current membership and growth plans exemplify its work to develop outstanding provision across the 4-18 age range within York and its surrounding area.

The trust currently has one secondary, one junior and two ‘through primary’ schools all of which are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.  Another primary which serves children from 4-11 is set to join later this year as well as  a school specialising in alternative provision for children that struggle to manage in the mainstream setting.  This facility has been in heavy demand and it is hoped its addition to the trust will allow for greater inclusion and sharing practice across the trust and local community.

Plans for the future

Three key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Growth – there are plans to grow the trust beyond the current two schools set to join.  The Board will need to maintain strategic oversight and manage associated risks.
  2. Maintain high standards through the period of growth.  The trust is proud that all its schools are currently ‘good or better’ and the trust is keen to ensure continued challenge and support to ensure the highest standards are maintained.
  3. Strategic development of central capacity to support the trust’s schools.  The trust currently has a small central team and the decision on when and how that is expanded to ensure maximum support and impact in the schools is crucial.
  4. Maintaining strong financial management. The trust’s finances are currently strong.  Budget management will be crucial as the trust expands taking more responsibility to support its member schools and drive even greater efficiencies to maximise value for money.

Trust ethos & values


The trust is a strong and inclusive partnership of schools working together to support and inspire all children, young people and families in our communities to achieve and flourish.

The trust holds its schools and itself to account to a set of values. Its schools are expected to be:

Inclusive – the schools work tirelessly to meet the needs of every child and young person and overcome disadvantage. They embrace diversity in their communities, and promote distinctiveness in their schools.

Aspirational – the schools have high expectations for every learner and member of staff. They want their children and young people to make the most of every opportunity in life.

Responsible – the schools have a social responsibility to serve the community first and foremost. The trust always strives to use resources responsibly and transparently.

Collaborative – the schools work in equal partnership with one another, and with their school communities. The trust devolve control and responsibility to the appropriate level, encouraging the participation of those they serve and those who work for the trust.

 URL to full mission statement

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: up to 3

Roles 1-3 – Trustee 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.

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 and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Competency Framework for Governance (DfE) 2017 details the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance:

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • Growth Management
  • Risk Management
  • Education Leadership (Secondary)
  • Corporate Governance
  • Strategic

The trust welcomes individuals with diverse skills and experience to share its work to support each and every child and young person in its community to lead a happy and successful life. Suitable candidates will have extensive and significant management experience to bring depth of knowledge, critical challenge and scrutiny to its board.

Role 1: This individual will have a proven track record and relevant professional qualifications in secondary education leadership.

Roles 2/3: The board seeks an array of other, complementary skills particularly in the fields of risk and growth management – with particular focus on growing organisations – and knowledge and experience of legal matters pertaining to such.

Candidates should show a passion for education and for enabling children and young people to shape their future and to contribute positively to wider society.

Time commitment

The trust meets as a full board once each half term (SIX meetings per year) with occasional extras for urgent matters e.g. when a new school is set to join the trust.  The trust also operates committees that oversee Finances & Resources, Education Standards & Curriculum and Church Schools Development.  The committees meet around FOUR times per year, and it is likely that new trustees would be invited to join a committee based on their skills and interests.  Meetings are generally held on midweek evenings (avoiding weekends, Mondays and Friday) and tend to start at 6pm (+/- ½ an hour).  Meetings generally last up to two hours.  The trust has made effective use of video calling technology during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is likely that some use of technology will continue into the future.  It is hoped that once social distancing is relaxed further, all trustees will be able to make most meetings to be physically present, but the trust is currently trying to remain flexible.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Fulford School, York, YO10 4FY

Governance structure

Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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.

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 select "Register Now" and send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for. 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 email [email protected].

If the trust is keen to take your application forward, they may ask you to complete a detailed application form to gather more specific information following an initial exploratory phone call.

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 25th September 2020