Waterton Academy Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | Wakefield
  • Branding/Marketing
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 16th August 2019

Waterton Academy Trust seeks a new non-executive director with experience in the corporate/commercial sector to join its board. The trust has now entered its fifth year and continues to grow. The trust is now made up of twelve academies: two infant schools, two junior schools, eight (5-11) primary schools. Board meetings are held in the Wakefield area.

About the trust

Waterton Academy Trust has maintained the rationale of building a strong base for school improvement and not overreaching its capacity. Ten of the twelve schools within the trust judged by Ofsted as Good or better. There are currently two sponsored academies within the trust; both are being well supported and making good progress.

Growth has brought with it the requirement for the trust to evaluate its organisational model and governance arrangements and consequently the trust is going through a period of change. Trustees will form part of a new strategy which will provide greater strategic oversight and independence.  Early plans are in place to develop and grow the trust further.  The trust has also recently developed more centralised business functions and a restructured the local governance model. This is intended to secure greater efficiencies and capacity for the future.  

The trust’s vision is to create a family of outstanding schools with strong purpose, direction and shared objectives; a collective that builds and fosters a culture of high aspiration amongst all students, regardless of their social, economic or cultural background. The trust will lead and support in striving for excellence in teaching and learning; aiming for a strong engagement in learning, one that fosters a lifelong learning ethos for all learners.

Plans for the future

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

  1. Continue to improve outcomes for all children.
  2. Continue to be financially compliant and viable.
  3. Continue to grow the organisation appropriately.


Trust ethos & values

"Where success is a shared experience"


Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

Role – 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 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.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • CEO/General Management
  • Non-executive Director/Trustee
  • Branding/ Marketing
  • Legal/ Compliance

The trust seeks an individual with a strong background in the corporate/commercial sector. A commitment to the trust’s vision and values, and willingness to work constructively and effectively with all accordance to the ‘Nolan Principles: Standard of Public Life’ is essential.

Time commitment

The trust meets half-termly (six times a year) and meetings are generally held mid-week starting at around 6 pm and last for up to 2 hours.  There would be a requirement to undertake some routine training as part of the induction programme.  Trustees are likely to need to spend 4-6 hours per month (on average) on trust business.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Walton Primary Academy, The Grove, Walton, Wakefield, WF2 6LD


Governance structure


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 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. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process.

Deadline for applications: Friday 16th August 2019

Interviews:    TBC