Success Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Harborough, Leicestershire
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 10th January 2020

Success Academy Trust seeks to recruit two skilled business professionals to join the trust board as non-executive directors. The trust seeks applications from individuals with either a strong background in finance or growth management (including mergers and acquisitions); applications are also welcomed from trustees with a public service/charity background. This is a cross phase trust of primary and secondary schools, based in Leicestershire, with collaboration and smooth transition for pupils at the heart of its work. The trust operates across areas of lower deprivation in Broughton Astley and Cosby, and higher deprivation in the Hinckley schools: its values and ethos, however, are constant - it aims to challenge every barrier to success, to understand, value and respect everyone and secure high achievement for all pupils.  The trust has secured ‘improved achievement’ in its first year for all four of its schools. Board meetings are held in the Broughton Astley area.   

About the trust

The trust has grown from existing close collaboration and extensive school improvement work, which began in 2013, within TELA (Thomas Estley Learning Alliance), a teaching school alliance of over 40 Leicestershire primary and secondary schools. The trust is closely linked to the teaching school alliance, sharing its collaborative partnership ethos.

The trust currently consists of one secondary school and three primary schools and has an intention to grow: three primary schools have expressed an interest in joining the trust in the next year.

Plans for the Future

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

  • Preparing for sustainable and impactful growth, including both non-sponsored and sponsored academies. Getting the groundwork right, ensuring financial and school improvement sustainability, attracting the right schools.
  • Ensuring the right balance of skills on the trust board.
  • Continuing to improve outcomes for all schools and learners. 

In the long-term, the trust would like to grow to include more schools, including sponsored primary and secondary schools. It is looking to expand its current board of seven, to nine or ten this year, to improve skills coverage and effectiveness and reducing overlap with committees.

Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to secure high achievement, challenge barriers to success and excel in all areas. It has a collaborative approach to operations and works within a supportive community of learning and partnerships.

The trust’s values and ethos grew from those of TELA ( and can be found on the trust website:

Role Summary

Number of positions advertised:2

Roles 1&2: Non-executive director/Trustee

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.

Person specification

The competencies required for these roles include:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
  • CFO/ Finance
  • Growth Management
  • Change Management
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Non-executive director/Trustee

Role 1: The trust seeks an individual with a strong background in finance, to support it through a period of change and financial pressure, as it seeks to grow. It is desirable that the individual has experience of dealing with operational challenges and managing a sizeable budget. 

Role2: This individual should have a strong background in the area of growth management, including experience of mergers and acquisitions, to help guide the trust as it seeks to achieve its objective of sustained and impactful growth. 

Experience in a leadership capacity, preferably of a medium or large organisation, is highly sought, bringing skills in strategy development. Prior knowledge and/or experience of school improvement is desirable, but not a prerequisite for applying for either role.

Time commitment

Up to 6 hours per month (on average)

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Thomas Estley Community College, Broughton Astley, LE9 6PT.    

Governance Structure

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

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 10th January 2020