Trust in Learning (Academies)

South West England | Bristol
  • CFO/Financial
  • Corporate Governance
  • Education Leadership
Deadline date: 28th February 2020

Trust in Learning (Academies) (TiLA) is based in Bristol and oversees the performance of two primary schools, a secondary school and an all-through learning campus. The trust seeks one new Member, ideally with previous executive or board level experience in a commercial or public body, to act as guardian of the Trust’s constitution and hold the board of trustees to account. Members meetings are usually held at the Bridge Learning Campus, Bristol BS13 0RL.

About the Trust

Trust in Learning (Academies) (TiLA) in Bristol was created in order to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for pupils and students in areas of disadvantage. The multi-academy trust (MAT) is sponsored by University of the West of England and the City of Bristol College. It currently has two primary schools, a secondary school and an all-through learning campus in the Trust.

  • Orchard School Bristol – secondary school, 11-16 (Ofsted Good)
  • Filton Avenue Primary School – primary school, 5-11 (Ofsted Requires Improvement)
  • Parson Street Primary School – primary school, 3-11 (Ofsted Requires Improvement)
  • Bridge Learning Campus – all through, 3-16 (Ofsted Serious Weaknesses)

The trust is also an active partner in the support of the New Fosseway Special School which is co-located with the Bridge Learning Campus.

As a Multi Academy Trust (MAT), TiLA is committed to delivering an inclusive approach to education. It is important that TiLA is able to support all schools and communities, but will always seek to ensure the gaps that exist in learning between disadvantaged children and others are overcome. Its goal is to support exceptional, distinctive and inclusive community schools that deliver outstanding education and learning. They undertake to support and challenge each schools’ leadership in equal measure and deliver a balance between school autonomy and collective responsibility. The trust is committed to the principle of collaboration between schools and that outcomes and opportunities for all will improve when staff and governors work effectively together both within and across their schools or academies.

The trust wishes to expand to a medium size MAT of between 10-15 schools over the next five years.  However, our immediate agenda is improvement outcomes.  The future aim is to continue attracting schools from all difference sectors and continue promoting its all-age all-through vision.

Plans for the Future

The priority focus for the Trust is on the improvement of outcomes which will facilitate growth.  The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Continue to improve outcomes: Across its schools, the trust has made a significant improvement in outcomes over the last two years. There is still some variability, which it needs to address, and also needs to ensure that this positive trend is sustained and embedded in every school.
  2. Growth: With improved outcomes the trust will move to a position when it will be able to continue its growth. A further challenge will be ensuring that systems and capabilities are in place to enable such growth.
  3. Leadership: some of the schools have new leaders at senior level or are likely to have in the near future. Sustaining and developing high quality leaders at this level will be a key challenge.
  4. Governance: the trust has benefited from new and external focus at trust board level, which it is looking to continue to enhance. Additionally, the trust seeks to continue strengthening governance at the local level, embedding the improvement culture and securing a better balance between board governance and local involvement.

Trust Ethos & Values

TiLA’s vision is to improve the quality of schooling and the outcomes for children and young people by promoting communities that trust in learning and the endeavour of education to transform lives. They support and challenge this improvement through fostering the autonomy and empowerment of effective leadership and governance.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised: 1

Role - Member

The role of the Members at Trust in Learning is to ensure that the non-executive directors/trustees are suitable, that they are running the trust appropriately and in keeping with the trust’s core objects and that the trust remains solvent. 

Members act as guardians of the constitution and their main functions are to: 

  • Appoint or remove directors/trustees;
  • Appoint the external auditors and receive the audited accounts;
  • Amend the Articles of Association (subject to any restrictions created by the Trust’s Funding Agreement of Charity Law);
  • Change the name of the charitable company and ultimately, wind up the academy trust; and
  • Issue direction to Trustees to take specific action.

P45 - 47 of the Governance Handbook provides more detail:

Person Specification

Trust in Learning seeks a business executive with board level experience from a commercial and/or public body background to complement the existing Members’ areas of expertise in education and finance. The time commitment required for the role is low but we are seeking individuals that would wish to contribute to the direction and oversight of this interesting and unique trust.

Time Commitment

The Trust in Learning Members meet four times a year to consider the work of the Trust’s Board of Directors and to look at the direction of the Trust (usually in September, December, March and June with each meeting lasting for two hours).   The Members may elect to call/hold further meetings during the year as appropriate and can attend the Trust Board Meetings.

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Please see Members’ Meetings are held at the Trust’s Head Office in South Bristol and at one of the Trust’s schools in North Bristol.

Governance Structure

Please see Our Directors

Background on Academy Trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 69% of secondary schools and 33% 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 900 multi academy trusts of 3+ 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.

“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 (2019)

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 –