Two Counties Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Nottinghamshire
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Property/Estate management
Deadline date: 23rd August 2019

The Two Counties Trust seeks a new non-executive director to join its board. The trust was created in April 2016; it has expanded since then and now consists of seven secondary academies across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. All academies within the trust are located in ex-mining areas with relatively high levels of deprivation. All schools share a similar context, in that they have previously experienced below average levels of attainment and their students are from predominantly white working class backgrounds. The trust has a shared collective vision: to raise educational standards and better the life chances of students. Board meetings are held in the Ashfield area.​

About the trust

The Two Counties Trust was established in April 2016, comprising three secondary schools (Ashfield, Selston and Swanwick Hall). Since then, the MAT has attracted more converter schools and also added two sponsored schools. Currently five of the academies are judged by Ofsted to be ‘Good’ and the other two are ‘Requires Improvement’. All the academies cater for the secondary age range with four also having have sixth forms. Another ‘Good’ secondary (with sixth form) is scheduled to join the trust which will make the trust eight secondary academies. 

The trust anticipates that it will continue to grow in the future and it expects to incorporate up to 10 secondary schools, at a later date.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Developing the capacity within the MAT to provide high quality support for its schools, in order to effect positive change and improve outcomes and progress for its pupils.

  2. Develop a strong central services infrastructure which supports the drive for every school to become an outstanding school.

The Trust expects to continue to expand, in terms of secondary schools. It also intends to introduce primary schools into the MAT, and has an ambition to open a free school which caters for alternative provision.

Trust ethos & values

There is a commitment from schools in the trust to support each other in providing the very best quality of education for students. The trust’s representatives work in partnership for the benefit of the young people. The values are: Respect for individuals, Integrity, Collaboration, Continual improvement, and Accountability.

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 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 are 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 this role include:

  • Branding/Marketing/Comms/PR  OR
  • Real Estate/Property
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee
  • Risk

The Trust seeks an individual who is able to join its board and offer challenge and scrutiny as well as support and guidance to the executive. There are skills gaps within the board for someone with either PR and marketing experience OR experience of leading premises and estates. The ideal candidate will possess demonstrable and extensive leadership experience in either of these fields.

Time commitment

The time commitment will be around 4-6 hours per month (on average). The Trust board meets 5-6 per year with meetings normally on a Monday evening starting at 6pm for up to 2 hours. The Trust is going through a process of linking trustees to individual academies and all trustees are expected to attend one of their linked academy governing body meetings per year. The Trust has a risk and audit committee that meets three times per year (some (not all) trustees are invited to join this group). The trust also has a remuneration sub-committee which some trustees attend.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are currently held at Sutton Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 8HP.

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 775 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.

“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 23rd August 2019