Many outstanding business leaders are choosing to become trust board non-executives. They gain huge satisfaction from building thriving new trusts and turning round failing schools.
Academy trust non-executive directors say that their trust role provides intellectual challenge and develops their leadership capability. High-calibre leaders are attracted to the role and nine in ten would recommend it to others. Organisations already involved include BT, PwC, Slaughter & May, Lloyds Banking Group and Rolls Royce. The programme is endorsed by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Giving back: helping the next generation on their way up
The main reason business leaders choose to join academy trusts is to ‘give back’ – by giving to education you are helping to shape a better future for the next generation. Raising school standards ensures young children are better prepared for secondary school, more school leavers have the essential 5 good GCSEs they need for a successful career and vulnerable children are given the opportunity of a better life.
"Education is the great transformer of life chances."
Nicky Morgan MP, Former Secretary of State for Education
A role that fits your career and aspirations
A role with an academy trust can offer a variety of challenge to leaders at varying stages of their career. If you are moving on from full-time work into a portfolio career, there are roles that will offer significant challenge and reward and require maturity and depth of leadership experience. If you are seeking continuing professional development opportunities, there are roles that are more suitable for those new to a non-executive career.
Gaining company and charity non-executive experience
As academies are covered by both company and charity law, the role offers a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills relevant to both the private and third sectors. In the academy trust board role you will, therefore, gain experience both as a ‘non-executive director’ and a ‘trustee’.
The number of academies has grown from 200 to over 6,500 in four years. That rate of change brings significant challenges for the trust non-executives – but also provides those non-executives with the opportunity to develop board-level skills and experience at pace.
"The only thing you can really leave a child that is of value is their education."
Isabelle Dennigen, STEP Trust non-executive director