Steel City Schools Partnership

East Midlands and Humber | Sheffield
  • Human Resources
  • IT/Technology
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Property/Estate management
  • Succession Planning
Deadline date: 21st February 2020

Steel City Schools Partnership (SCSP) seeks to recruit three new non-executive directors to its board. The trust is entering an exciting phase of development and growth and has an agreed growth plan with the Regional Schools Commissioner to expand to 15 – 18 schools over the next few years.  Board meetings are held in the Sheffield area.

About the trust

SCSP is a multi-academy trust based in Sheffield. The trust was formed in 2013 and now caters for approximately 2,550 primary age pupils across five primary schools, including a highly successful ‘integrated resource’ for pupils with complex and multiple special needs at Fox Hill Primary. It employs more than 280 staff and 17 languages are spoken across the trust’s diverse and rich community. The trust has built a track record of supporting schools to improve. Many of its children live in areas of social disadvantage and the team have been successful in helping children overcome various barriers to leaning.

The trust expects to grow within its immediate locality; one primary school, in the process of converting to an academy, is set to join the trust in September 2019 and another is currently in consultation to join. The trust has also held discussions with six additional schools on the subject of joining the MAT, four of which are in the south of Sheffield. Other primary schools in Sheffield have engaged with the trust and form part of its plans for growth over the coming 12 - 18 months. Whilst the trust plans for all schools to be within the city and surrounding areas there is a strategic plan to develop clusters of schools (or hubs) to provide even closer working and support.

Steel City Schools Partnership works closely with other schools, academies and multi-academy trusts and is a strategic partner with highly regarded local Teaching School Alliances including Learners First (based close to the Sheffield/Rotherham border) and Tykes (based close to the Sheffield/Barnsley border). The CEO is a National Leader of Education and is also an Ofsted Lead Inspector.


Plans for the future

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

  1. Achieving and maintaining outstanding teaching and learning outcomes across all schools of the trust.
  2. Ensuring compliance with current and future legislation.
  3. Ensuring the trust’s estate portfolio is well managed and enhanced to meet current and future requirements, in order to provide the very best learning environment for all children.
  4. Creating and managing organisational capacity in order to maximise growth and realise the aspirations of SCSP.


Trust ethos & values

Steel City Schools Partnership is grounded in strong moral purpose and school improvement - to provide a first class, innovative education for all. The trust’s motto is: Achieving Excellence, Sustaining Excellence, Sharing Excellence.

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.

In the interests of safeguarding, all trustee appointments would be subject to an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.

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:

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)

Succession planning
Real estate/Property


Change Management
Corporate Governance
Growth Management

Role 1: The trust seeks an individual with extensive and demonstrable Human Resources experience, preferably within the public sector or within a medium to large commercial setting, in order to provide robust challenge and support to the executive team, and to complement the existing skill set of the board.

Role 2: The suitable candidate for this position will have experience of asset management within a property portfolio or estate / facilities management expertise. Where possible, a relevant professional qualification, in the field of estates management/property would be of benefit but is not essential.

Role 3 spec: The trust seeks an individual with a high degree of business acumen with a focus on IT and data. This trustee will provide guidance and challenge to the executives on the strategy to ensure the trust can use the latest technology to support learning and management and bring an experienced view to strategic planning across the trust.

Time commitment

The Board meets monthly (except in August) and this includes the annual AGM and a meeting to sign-off the accounts.  The 11 meetings are normally held at 5 pm on Tuesdays (for up to 2 hours) at the Trust’s office base at Monteney Primary School but as the trust develops a hub in the south of the city, meetings may eventually alternate between the locations. The board also holds an annual strategy meeting where all the members, trustees, governors from local governing bodies meet for 2-3 hours on one Saturday morning; this is usually in mid-autumn.  Trustees are able to access a package of training depending on skills and need and the trust will provide suitable induction to allow people new to academy governance the opportunity to develop essential knowledge of the trust and academy programme.  Trustees are normally required to set aside 5-6 hours per month, on average, to include all meetings training and reading papers ahead of meetings.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at SCSP, Monteney Primary, Sheffield, S5 9DN.

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 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

Key dates

Deadline for applications: Friday 21st February 2020

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.