St Chad’s Academies Trust

West Midlands | Lichfield
  • CFO/Financial
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 3rd July 2020

St Chad’s Academies Trust is a young multi-academy trust working across seven local authorities: Walsall, Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sandwell, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. The trust seeks to recruit two new non-executive directors with expertise and knowledge in Health and Safety in relation to Property/Estates, and Finance. Board meetings are held at Three Spires, Station Road, Lichfield and once a year visit an Academy. Applicants of all faiths and of none are welcomed.

About the trust

St Chad’s Academies Trust is a young trust which has significantly grown over the last two years. It works closely with the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) and Department for Education (DfE) in the West Midlands as the academies programme grows and develops across the region. The trust supports church schools which are making decisions about converting to academy status, whilst maintaining and promoting its Christian ethos. Its academies cover a range of communities, from areas of high deprivation to more affluent areas of the Diocese.

The trust believes that all schools can improve and together it can support each to achieve this. Its academies retain their own identity and characteristics whilst ensuring their commitment to the trust. The academies themselves are a key part of school improvement within the trust, recognising each other’s strengths and areas of development and helping one another, developing school-to-school support across the trust. The trust has quality learning circles to share good practice.

There are 20 academies within the trust – all Church of England primary academies.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Standards - to raise and maintain standards and outcomes during a period of consolidation;
  2. Development of learning communities - continue developing the learning communities / hubs across the region to ensure academies receive appropriate and quality support from the trust and the central team is organised to support this through an appropriate infrastructure;
  3. Recruitment - to recruit to and strengthen the trust’s central team;
  4. Infrastructure - to develop the infrastructure of the trust across its geographical areas whilst protecting the strength of the trust as a whole.

While the current focus is on consolidation and managing the impact of Covid-19, the future ambition of the trust is to have a pattern of managed growth, to establish effective MAT (Multi Academy Trust)-to-MAT collaboration and to develop a Teaching School Alliance. The trust has recently been awarded a grant which will allow it to connect all schools and families to cloud based learning systems.

Trust ethos & values

St Chad’s Academies Trust thrives from the rich diversity of the communities within -  working together, seeking the common good, raising aspirations and standards, working for equality and hope for all. The trust values are based on Christian principles.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:
2
Roles 1-2 – 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.

Person specification

Every trustee is expected to abide by the trust’s code of conduct and 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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

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)
  • CFO/ Finance OR
  • Health and Safety AND
  • Property/ Estates Management
     
Desirable
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Change Management
  • Risk
  • Legal/ Compliance
     

Role 1: Finance - The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate commitment in time and expertise to add to the current board. In particular, experience in financial management is highly sought, as well as skills to help manage the period of change that is inherent in the expansion and development of a multi-academy trust. Experience of operating at senior strategic level, ideally as a CFO/ Finance Director is essential.

The trust seeks an individual who has a genuine interest in the provision of the best possible educational experiences for children within the schools’ communities and can offer their skills, knowledge and time to help the trust achieve its objectives over the ensuing period.

Role 2: Property management - The trust seeks applicants with experience of estates and property management, with specific reference to health and safety requirements, risk management and legal aspects of this. Candidates will be able to support the strategic development of the trust.

All non-executive directors must be able to work effectively as part of a team. While experience of school governance is not essential, the trust welcomes applicants with a keen interest in using their valued skills and expertise to develop the multi-academy trust board.

Applications are welcome from people of all faiths or none; the trust welcomes diversity. However, all trustees would be expected to support the trust’s ethos and values.

Time commitment

The board meets four times per year (approximately two hours per meeting). There is expected to be a slight increase in this time commitment going forward as the trust develops and an expectation that applicants would support a sub-committee.

Location of board meetings and trust website

1 Three Spires House, Station Road, Lichfield, WS13 6HX

www.stchadsacademiestrust.co.uk

Governance structure

http://www.stchadsacademiestrust.co.uk/about-us/leadership/

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 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 date: Friday, 3rd July, 2020