- Property/Estate management
Wickersley Partnership Trust (WPT) seeks two new non-executive directors, with experience in either real estate or IT/technology, to join the board. The trust is about to renew its medium and long term strategy and seeks new board members to advise, develop and oversee the plans. Along with the Executive team, the board will play a key role in mapping out the future of the trust. Board meetings are held in the Rotherham area.
About the trust
The trust initially grew out of Wickersley School and Sports College: an OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ school for many years and one of the original 100 Teaching Schools. The trust currently consists of four secondary schools and seven primaries, predominantly within Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Several joined the trust as sponsored academies having faced challenges and through working with experienced professionals in the stronger academies, the weaker schools have grown much stronger. The trust has built a strong reputation for high quality school improvement.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- Establishing effective governance and leadership structures
- Raising standards to good across all WPT academies
- Dealing with the financial challenges the new funding formula brings
- Devise a coherent, strategic strategy for the trust’s development and potential further growth.
As mentioned above, the trust is about to renew its medium and long term strategy and seeks new board members to advise, develop and oversee the plans. Along with the Executive team, the board will play a key role in mapping out the future of the trust.
Trust ethos & values
Wickersley Partnership Trust aims to develop a network of bespoke support to ensure school improvement is sustained and create a bright future for its pupils and families. The trust aims to send all young people into an ever-changing world able and qualified to play their full part in it.
Number of positions advertised: 2
Roles 1 and 2 – 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.
The competencies required for this role include:
Essential (due to multiple roles, candidates may be accepted who possess one or more of the skills below)
- Real estate/Property
- Change Management
- Corporate Governance
- Growth Management
- Legal/ Compliance
Role 1: Someone with premises and/or facilities management experience at a senior level, ideally with a proven remit in a strategic operation and development.
Role 2 spec: Someone with senior leadership /executive experience in a strategic role involving information management and/or IT.
The board meets six times per year and has recently changed its structure and approach to create more strategic board meetings by creating sub-committees to deal with some of the necessary detail. New trustees would be expected to attend board meetings and, depending on skills and interests, may be invited, after a period, to join either the Risk, Audit & Finance Sub Committee or the People Sub Committee. Board meetings begin at 5pm and last for up to 2 hours. Owing to increasing diary pressures, the chair is seeking to introduce the opportunity for some directors to join meetings remotely via video-conference when unable to attend in person.
The trust is supported by a Compliance Officer who will support new trustees during their induction and this could include facilitating the opportunity to visit some of the academies to see the work of the trust at first hand. There will also be the opportunity to access routine training as well as some statutory training required of all academy trustees.
It is expected that trustee will need to devote on average 6 hours per month to trust business which would include meeting preparation, follow-up and training.
Location of board meetings and trust website
Clifton Community School, Cranworth Road Campus, Cranworth Road, S65 1LN.
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.
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.