The Tapscott Learning Trust

East of England and North East London | Newham | Plaistow | Stratford | Manor Park | Beckton
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Growth Management
  • Restructuring
Deadline date: 21st February 2020

The Tapscott Learning Trust is a high performing multi academy trust based in a vibrant and culturally diverse area in the London Borough of Newham. The trust seeks to recruit a non-executive director to its trust board, who will be able to support the trust in its continued provision of high quality primary education. Board meetings are held in Curwen Primary, Plaistow E13 0AG.

About the trust

The Tapscott Learning Trust was established in September 2017 when three local, Newham primary schools who had already worked very successfully in partnership, joined together. In April 2019 the trust was joined by North Beckton Primary, a school they had been supporting for two years with evidenced rapid improvements in performance. The trust has a budget of £21m, over 2500 pupils and 474 staff.

The trust has pupil premium budget of over £1m, which is spent for the maximum benefit of the pupils it is intended to support. Curwen and Kensington Primaries are rated Ofsted Outstanding and Ranelagh has a Good rating.  The trusts’ schools are rated in the top 5% of schools in the country for performance and its  core values are to embed diversity, respect and citizenship across its schools with a strong emphasis on “pupil voice”.  The Chair is a National Leader of Governance and the CEO is a former TES Head Teacher of the year in 2017.

The trust works in partnership with Rebecca Cheetham Nursery and Children's Centre, an Ofsted Outstanding Early Years unit dedicated to supporting young children to become “reception ready”.  The trust has a moral purpose to support other schools and intends to establish future partnerships outside the borough.

Plans for the future

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

  1. To continue to build capacity in the trust’s existing schools and to consider new education models to support sustained growth.
  2. To further increase the value and output of the trust’s sub committees, finance, standards and audit & risk.
  3. To consolidate growth plans with a focus on numbers on roll and to build upon the excellent school performance with a view to planned expansion and additional partnerships.

Trust ethos & values

The Tapscott Learning Trust’s ethos is that outstanding education is the right of every child irrespective of social, economic or demographic factors. The trust’s schools are committed to challenging themselves to ensure the best outcomes for all pupils and to provide a rich, broad and balanced curriculum supported by a wealth of extracurricular activities. The trust also believes strongly in working in partnership with parents and children to ensure that pupils develop effective knowledge and skills for the next stages in their education and lives.

Role summary
Number of positions advertised: 1

Role 1– 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.

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

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:

  • Senior Corporate Experience
  • Growth Management
  • Organisational and Structural Change
  • Corporate Governance
  • Acquisitions and Mergers

The chosen candidate will be joining a collegiate and skilled board and will bring a fresh perspective on growing an organisation based on direct experience. Trustees provide critical strategic challenge and support to the executive team and drive the trust ethos and core values to embrace high attaining education, supporting other schools in the community and reflecting the needs of a vibrant and diverse community.

Time commitment

3-4 hours per month with an expectation to join one of the Trustee Sub Committees. Board meetings are held 5 times per year and the committees meet 3 times per year – please state time of day. 

Location of board meetings and trust website 

Curwen Primary School Atlas Road, Plaistow, London E13 0AG with some rotation at other schools – all schools are within 5 minutes of transport links.

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

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 21st February 2020