Academy Trust CEO Mentoring: Mentor Opportunities

We are proud to announce the launch of Academy Trust CEO mentoring as part of the Academy Ambassadors programme. The programme is funded by the Department of Education and will initially run from August 2019 – March 2020.

CEOs in multi-academy trusts (MATs) are experts in educational leadership and pedagogy, yet face new and unfamiliar challenges as CEO: operating complex budgets, moving into corporate governance, managing multi-site structures and integration. Business mentors, seasoned in these areas, are well-placed to mentor new MAT CEOs. 

“The dynamic conversations improved my thinking and produced a commitment to action”

Nick Cross, CEO, Kings Academy Trust

Why get involved? 

The role of a business mentor is a deeply rewarding opportunity to give back and improve schools for the next generation. The mentors are a senior, influential network of accomplished business and trust leaders, invested in improving education in England. Mentoring is an opportunity to test and practice leadership skills, including objective setting, communications, lateral and strategic thinking. It provides exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking and can illuminate the mentor’s own business challenges. Mentoring also offers the satisfaction of helping the mentee tackle complicated issues that initially seemed irresolvable.  

What is a multi-academy trust?

Multi-academy trusts (MATs) range in size from two to around 70 schools and are located across England. Most are focused on geographical clusters of schools. They are run by a Chief Executive Officer and controlled by a board of trustees, operating under company and charity law. The MAT model has allowed schools to share best practice, achieve economies of scale such as centralised services, focus funds where they are most needed and deploy staff more effectively. Over 50% of pupils are now educated in academies, a type of state-funded school that allows schools the freedom to innovate and control their resources, to improve the life chances of young people. Academies come under the control of an independent trust which run a number of schools known as multi-academy trusts.  

What is the role of the MAT CEO?

  • CEOs provide leadership for a number of schools in the MAT. Some trusts will require improvement and/or have significant problems to address. They have four key areas of responsibility:
  • Delivering the strategic vision and values of the trust
  • Responsible for the quality and standards of educational outcomes of the trust academies
  • Leadership and management 
  • Trust development and operations as the Chief Accounting Officer

How will this process work? 

  1. Mentee and mentors register their interest with Academy Ambassadors and are asked to highlight their areas of interest and skills to be improved (mentees) areas of expertise (mentors).
  2. Academy Ambassadors match mentor to mentee, based on their location and the mentee’s needs. This process can take a few weeks or months.
  3. Once a match has been agreed, parties will be asked to sign basic terms and conditions, follow by introductions via email.
  4. The mentor and mentee arrange their own first meeting at a mutually convenient time and place.
  5. Academy Ambassadors makes contact after the initial meeting for feedback to provide support or reference further contacts as required.
  6. The mentor and mentee choose the date, time and place of the next meeting (this may be by skype or phone) and may decide to arrange a board observation or other activity.
  7. Academy Ambassadors makes contact to check the status of the relationship after three months and again after six months to gain feedback and to understand the impact mentoring has had.
  8. The mentee-mentor agree between themselves whether to meet again and how often after the six-month duration concludes.


“A key benefit from having a business mentor is exposure to new ideas and ways of working that challenge your own thinking. The MAT sector is still very young; as such, it is important that we learn from how organisations in the business sector have developed sustainably and ensured that process adherence does not stifle innovation and drive your best talent out”

Luke Sparkes, Executive Head, Dixons Trinity Academy

How to sign-up?

Please register your interest here and a member of our team can get in touch about available mentor opportunities.

For more information on the CEO mentoring programme please refer to the guide below or contact [email protected]

PDF iconCEO Mentor guide.pdf