University of Chichester (Multi) Academy Trust

South East England and South London | Chichester/ Hampshire/ Portsmouth/ West Sussex
  • Audit
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Growth Management
  • Human Resources
  • Risk
Deadline date: 17th April 2020

The University of Chichester (Multi) Academy Trust works closely with its university sponsor to improve the life chances of pupils, especially for the disadvantaged, and by improving standards in under-performing schools.  The trust seeks one additional non-executive director with financial and change management expertise to help steer it through the next phase of growth. Board meetings are held mainly at the trust’s main office in Chichester but sometimes rotates to various locations in Hampshire, Portsmouth and West Sussex.  

About the trust

The University of Chichester Academy Trust shares the University's mission of being a community that inspires and enables individuals to exceed their expectations regardless of family background, ethnicity or disability. Overall, the Trust educates 5115 pupils, employs 865 staff and manages a combined annual income of £32m and oversees the performance of fourteen schools (13 primary schools and 1 secondary school) which operate in three local authorities across the South East: Hampshire, Portsmouth and West Sussex. 50% of the schools are above average in size, most of these are located in Portsmouth.  Nearly a quarter of the children are in two schools in urban settings.  The Trust has 8% more disadvantaged children than national average, with almost half of them in three of the schools in Portsmouth.  The Trust also educates a large number of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.  

The University of Chichester Academy Trust is uniquely placed to make a difference to the local education landscape.  With access to the University’s extensive resources, the trust provides expertise both educational from the University’s Institute of Education and from professionals within HR, Finance, ICT, Estates and Communications.

The Trust is currently in phase 4 of its Strategic Plan which has been focused on consolidation and innovation. It is the board’s strategic intention to grow in a thoughtful, measured way over the next 2-3 years and to eventually grow a family of circa 30 academies which are geographically situated in clusters to enable the sharing of best practice across the trust.

Plans for the future

  • To continue with improvements in all academies with a trust-wide focus on disadvantaged and more able pupils. To develop increased shared delivery and innovation through collaborative endeavour
  • To secure financial sustainability and to enable investment in key development projects
  • To continue to improve the quality of learning environments
  • To continue with strategic growth where the trust can make a difference to schools and communities in the target areas

 

Trust ethos & values

The Vision of the University of Chichester Academy Trust  is for all young people to be inspired by an excellent education that raises their aspirations and enriches their lives.
Our Mission is to create a vibrant inclusive and aspirational family of academies, transforming life chances for pupils through excellent teaching and learning. Details about the Trust’s values can be found via: http://www.unicat.org.uk/our-vision-mission-aims-ethos

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.

The board of trustees manages the business of the Academy Trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust in compliance with its charitable objects, 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.

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

Person specification

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: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583733/Competency_framework_for_governance_.pdf

The strategic expertise required for this role includes:

Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)

  • CFO/ Finance
  • Qualified accountant
  • Change Management

Desirable

  • Audit
  • Growth/ Risk Management
  • Corporate/Charity Governance
  • Human Resources

Time commitment

1 day per month minimum. Six board and committee meetings per academic year

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are usually held from 2 – 4pm mainly at the University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester, PO19 6PE but sometimes rotate to various locations in Hampshire, Portsmouth and West Sussex to enable trustees to visit the Trust’s schools. More information can be found via:  http://unicat.org.uk/

Governance structure

Governance structure   http://unicat.org.uk/

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 832 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.

Applications

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 www.academyambassadors.org.

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. 

Deadline for applications: Friday 3 April