EdNEDs (Educators on Boards)

We have joined forces with the National Governance Association, Confederation of School Trusts and a range of education bodies to encourage educators to join governing boards at schools and academy trusts. EdNEDs are executive educators who have specific executive experience working across multiple schools and take up a trustee, or non-executive director, role at a multi-academy trust.

Joining the board of trustees at a multi-academy trust is an excellent way to gain strategic leadership experience in a different capacity and context, to see governance from a different point of view and give back to the education system. The EdNED role provides valuable development experience for aspiring and existing Chief Executives, and the opportunity to share and enhance knowledge for executive trust leaders. Board roles have long been seen as a catalyst in the professional development of senior corporate leaders and now more educators are being encouraged to take board roles to support learning across the education sector.

The Academy Ambassadors EdNEDs programme is now open for interested senior executive leaders in education. To register your interest in a board role please contact [email protected].

“The role of governance in our school system cannot be underestimated – it underpins our efforts to continue raising standards in our schools. This offers a fantastic opportunity for school leaders to gain more experience and develop their own careers.”
Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System

Why get involved?

Board roles provide a way for senior executive leaders to gain exposure and experience across the broad areas of leadership identified under the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership, comprising:

  • Strategy and improvement
  • Teaching and curriculum excellence
  • Leading with impact
  • Working in partnership
  • Managing resources and risks
  • Increasing capability

Who is eligible?

Senior executive leaders from across education are welcome to apply. Applicants must:

  • Be a current or recently retired (within last 3 years) senior executive leader in education: CEO,
  • Deputy CEO, Executive Principal, cluster or Regional Director or a senior executive trust leader
  • who has had has a cross-cutting role in an academy trust, normally a multi-academy trust
  • (MAT); or
  • Senior leader from the independent or college sector who has multi-site experience or Director
  • of Education within a local authority/school improvement consultancy; and
  • Have executive experience leading across multiple schools; and
  • Have demonstrable experience sustaining strong educational performance or or taking an institution to Good, normally to Outstanding.

Participants should be ready to make the commitment to join a board and take on the accountabilities required. Applicants will be good at listening and ready to take an objective view of different ways of delivering a great education. All candidates are expected to provide ethical leadership and demonstrate the Nolan Principles of Standards in Public Life.

Eligibility criteria for the broader Academy Ambassadors programme can be found on our website, together with our Terms and Conditions for candidates. Other educators who do not yet have the required level of executive experience are invited to apply for a school governor role through Inspiring Governance to start their governance career.

How will this process work?

  1. Senior leaders interested in a NED role register their interest with Academy Ambassadors by sending a CV to [email protected]. A reference is not required at this stage.
  2. The Academy Ambassadors programme team screens applicants at CV stage and those that do not meet the specific criteria for the EdNEDs programme are referred to Inspiring Governance. This process takes up to around 10 to 14 days.
  3. Applicants meeting the criteria are asked to sign up to Terms and Conditions and invited to a one-to-one call with an adviser. You should let your employer know you are interested in exploring a NED role and check that they are comfortable with you expressing your interest.
  4. Applicants go forward to a telephone conversation with a Regional Adviser at this stage. The Regional Advisers are all former senior leaders in education and will discuss your specific needs, skills, experiences, expectations and time/commitment available. You must declare potential conflicts of interest at this stage.
  5. The team will then look at multi-academy trusts that are registered, and any suggestions from you, and approach that trust to ask if they are interested in an EdNED. Academy Ambassadors also holds a small list of trusts actively seeking EdNEDs. Some free schools may also express an interest, particularly where they are planning to grow into a MAT.
  6. The Academy Ambassadors team does not lead the formal sifting or face-to-face interview process – that is led by the trust and formal appointments are made by the trust Members. It is also the trust’s responsibility to perform full vetting, including DBS and reference checks, of all candidates.
  7. Once in role support is available, whatever your governance career stage.

PDF iconDownload the EdNED Prospectus here.