Venn Academy Trust

East Midlands and Humber | Hull
  • CFO/Financial
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Entrepreneur/Founder
  • Human Resources
  • Legal/Compliance
  • Non-executive/Trustee
  • Property/Estate management
  • Restructuring
  • Risk
  • Succession Planning
  • Turnaround
Deadline date: 19th January 2018

Venn Academy Trust is seeking three new non-executive directors and two new members to join their expanding board. The trust was established in September 2015, comprising of mainstream primary, special and Pupil Referral Unit settings for young people aged five to 16 years. Venn is geographically based in the Humber region but it is looking to grow up to 15 schools with clusters in neighbouring areas such as North Yorkshire, East Riding and North Lincolnshire. Board meetings are held at Pickering Road, Hull, HU4 7AD.

About the trust

 

The trust consists of a group of inspirational and aspirational mainstream and specialist schools in Hull. Its main objective is to ensure that all pupils make exceptional progress through the development of outstanding teachers.

The trust’s approach promotes and celebrates individuality, whilst encouraging the pursuit of excellence. It offers the children a safe learning environment and place trust and mutual respect at the core of all relationships.  The trust fosters a caring and nurturing approach to ensure that each child can develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Since 2015 Venn has grown from 4 schools to 7 and now covers the age range of 2 - 18 years.

The schools are:

  • Thorpepark Academy (Mainstream Primary)
  • Mountbatten Primary School (Mainstream Primary)
  • Griffin Primary School (Mainstream Primary)
  • Boulevard Centre (14-18 year old school-girl mums)
  • Bridgeview Special School (Special, Primary for children with social, emotional and mental health needs)
  • Sullivan Centre (Pupil Referral Unit for children with medical needs for 7-16 years)
  • Whitehouse (Primary Pupil Referral Unit)

 

Venn also has a new free school (Euler Academy) in the pre-opening phase and is due to open this 56 place pupil referral unit for 5-11 year olds in September 2019 (or sooner if possible).

The Trust also has 4 nurseries which have facilities at Boulevard, Griffin, Mountbatten and Thorpepark.

Venn have 2 Ofsted Outstanding academies, 3 Good and 2 Requires Improvement (which are both schools that joined the Trust in the summer of 2017).

 

Plans for the Future

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

  1. Consolidating recent growth - The Trust has doubled in size in two years and now needs to consolidate its working practices and further develop and strengthen its business and school improvement offer across the organisation ensuring all schools continue to make significant progress, that outcomes improve and they remain financially sustainable.
  2. Ofsted - Ensure successful outcomes at 4 of our settings during 2017/18 sustaining our Good and Outstanding judgements and where possible moving them all to outstanding.
  3. Leadership & Management - Succession planning across the Trust and ensuring leaders (including middle leaders have access to appropriate CPD to enable them to lead successful schools and improve outcomes for learners. Recruitment of two new Trustees and Two new members as well as recruiting and training new governors for our academies.

Venn does have aspirations to grow to up to 15 academies by 2020. They are developing an associate partnership model where schools in and outside of Hull will work with the Trust to develop our offer. We are also in discussions with two RSC's about the possibility of further growth.

Trust ethos & values

Venn is a unique partnership that places inclusion at its core. Our trust seeks to explore the qualities that make our pupils unique. We aim to provide the best educational support and provision for young people. We deliver the greatest beneficial approaches of education for the pupils in our care.

Role Summary

Number of Positions Advertised:  5

Roles 1 to 3 - 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.

Role 1

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

Change Management
HR

Desirable

Restructuring
Succession Planning

Person specification

The trust is looking to recruit a Trustee with a strong HR background to complement its board. The role would work closely with the trust’s finance and resources, and its pay committees. No professional educational experience needed but HR, change management, and succession planning knowledge is key to the role.

Time commitment

Up to six hours per month

 

Role 2

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

Real Estate/Property

Desirable

Health & Safety
Entrepreneur/Founder

Person specification

The trust is looking to recruit a Trustee with a strong background in aspects of property and real estate including aspects of health and safety. This individual will be named as Trustee for Health & Safety and working closely with the Risk and Audit Committee.

Time commitment

Up to six hours per month.

 

Role 3

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

Legal/Compliance

Desirable

CEO/General Management
Change Management

Person specification

The trust is looking to recruit a trustee with a strong background in senior legal practice. Demonstrable experience of operating at partner level is particularly desirable, along with knowledge or expertise in some of the following areas: sponsorship of new schools, employment law, real estate/ property/ land acquisition.

Time commitment

Up to six hours per month.

 

Roles 4&5 – Member

The trust is seeking two members – one with a financial background, and one with a risk and audit background - to join its board and provide additional scrutiny of our Board of Trustees.

The competencies required for this role include:

Essential

CFO/ Finance OR
Risk
Turnaround

Desirable

Non-executive director/Trustee
Corporate Governance
Strategic

Person specification

To become a member, it is desirable for an individual to have had previous experience in a NED (non-executive director) or trustee role. Potential candidates should be able to demonstrate experience at a senior manager or director level in the private, charity or public sector. It is important that members of this trust can be relied upon to act honestly, diligently and in good faith.  

Time commitment

1.5hrs hours per month (minimum).

You will be asked to attend a minimum of one meeting per year and engage in school and Trust activity a minimum of 3 times per year. 

 

Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website

Board meetings are held at Pickering Road, Hull, HU4 7AD.

www.vennacademytrust.org

Governance Structure

http://vennacademytrust.org/About-Board.html

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. 

Applications

Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit organisation 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]twork.org. 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: 19th January 2018.

Interviews:    TBC