The Three Saints Academy Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | St. Helens
  • Audit
  • CFO/Financial
  • Risk
Deadline date: 10th January 2020

The Three Saints Academy Trust, created in August 2015, seeks a new non-executive director with finance experience to join its board: to provide challenge and support, particularly during this exciting period of growth. There is an ambition for both Church of England and community schools within the trust. The trust currently comprises three schools with third in process of joining since September 2018. It is in the process of working with several other primary schools that wish to join in the next 18 months and there has already been an agreement for the trust to grow steadily. Board meetings are held in the St. Helens area. 

About the trust

The schools within the trust are a mixture of high, medium and low percentage of disadvantaged pupils and there is an ambition for community school (i.e. not schools belonging to the Diocese) to join the trust. Furthermore, the trust has submitted a free school application to set up a brand new school in the area; the decision on whether the application has been successful is imminent.

Within The Three Saints Academy Trust there is a successful teaching school and maths hub which provides a range of training and development for teachers and other schools from across the region. It also has sponsor status and may well take on schools that have experienced some significant challenges.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Growth: managing all projects in pipeline to ensure successful growth including the new free school if approved into pre-opening.
  2. Building central team in line with growth.
  3. Governance: Finalise the restructuring of the various tiers of governance to create a more robust arrangement for growing the trust.

Trust ethos & values

The Three Saints Academy Trust believes that the most effective school is one where individuality is celebrated and everyone is valued.

To achieve the trust’s mission, its schools follow a set of unique principles: The Five Fingerprints.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

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.

The role of a trustee involves contributing to financial planning for sustainability and potential growth, and holding the CEO/CFO to account. Experience of corporate governance and leadership is therefore beneficial as well as an awareness and understanding of the Nolan Principles for public life.

Role 1 – Finance / Audit specialist
Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Audit
  • Risk
  • Entrepreneur/ Founder
  • Growth Management

The trust seeks an individual with a background in finance and audit from business perspective; good understanding of how businesses run; and ability to process information quickly and confident to hold people to account.  The successful candidate would be expected to join the Finance & Audit subcommittee and also attend these meetings which occur just prior to the board meetings. The trust is keen to hear from people who have had experience of chairing meetings or who might be willing to work alongside the current sub-committee chair with a view to taking on the chair role in time.

Time commitment

There are four board meetings per year (two in the autumn, one in spring and one in summer) and Finance & Audit subcommittee meetings are held shortly before the main board meetings.  Meetings are always held at 6pm on Thursday evenings.  The trust is in the process of creating School Link Directors and most directors will be expected to visit one of the schools periodically (perhaps once or twice a year) to see the impact of trust decisions in the school.  The board also holds a one-day board strategy meeting in July.  Overall, trustees are expected to give around four hours per month (on average).

Location of board meetings and trust website

St Mary & St Thomas' C.E. Primary School, Barton Close, St Helens, WA10 2HS

Governance structure

Governance information can be found on the trust’s website at

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