Waterton Academy Trust

Lancashire and West Yorkshire | Wakefield
  • CEO/ General Management
  • Corporate Governance
Deadline date: 12th June 2020

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 sixth year and continues to grow. The trust is now made up of thirteen academies: two infant schools, two junior schools, nine (5-11 years) primary schools. Board meetings are held Walton Primary Academy, Wakefield.

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 thirteen schools within the trust are judged by Ofsted as being ‘Good’ or better and one as a borderline ‘Requires Improvement’. 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 new governance arrangements are now embedded within the trust which include Hub-level governance reporting to the Trust Board. Trustees play a key strategic role in the oversight and accountability of the trust. The trust has also fully implemented centralised business functions which secures 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. Educational outcomes – the continued improvement of educational outcomes for all children that attend the trust’s schools;
  2. Financial viability and sustainability – ensuring long-term viability of the trust by maintaining a close control on the finances, delivering compliance and sustainability;
  3. Organisational growth - a continued expansion of the trust, appropriately and in line with overall objectives for efficiency, while maintaining high educational standards and financial probity.


Trust ethos & values

‘Where success is a shared experience’.

Link to trust vision and value: http://www.watertonacademytrust.org/community_ourschools.php

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 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.

In the interests of safeguarding and in accordance with DfE requirements, all trustee appointments will 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:

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

The trust seeks an individual with a strong ‘general management’ background in the corporate/commercial sector. This includes experience, experience and acumen in leading a large multi-site organisation, devising and delivering strategy and a strong and clear grasp of the principles of corporate governance. 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 Board hold approximately four meetings per year (meetings are generally held mid-week starting at 6pm and last for up to two hours). There is also the AGM and annual conference. There would be a requirement to undertake induction training.

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 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.


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

Deadline for applications: due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline has been extended to Friday 12th June 2020

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.