Bronte Academy Trust
Bronte Academy Trust seeks two new trustees, with finance or HR experience, and two members to add experience and independence to the board. The trust is keen to grow further and is in early conversation with some other schools to explore whether expanding the trust will benefit the existing schools as well as the new ones. Structured and measured growth will be important as will maintaining the current high standards. Board meetings are held in the Haworth area on the outskirts of Bradford.
About the Trust
Bronte Academy Trust is a small trust and currently consists of three primary schools in Bronte Country: Lees Primary School, Oakworth Primary School and Haworth Primary School, two are rated as outstanding and one as good by Ofsted. The schools have a long history of working together and although they are in a tight geographic location, their reach has extended beyond the area and the team have supported other schools in the region. Oakworth Primary School is currently an aspiring teaching school and it is working with other schools and trusts with their Specialist Leaders and Local Leaders of Education.
Haworth Primary School has a ‘designated special provision’ resource for students with autism. Such is the success of this provision the local authority has asked for this to expand in September and take a few more children on the autism spectrum.
The trust focus is on collaboration, sharing expertise and ensuring it get the best for the children on their area. The area does not have high deprivation, but the trust has challenges with poor white British families.
Plans for the Future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
Trust Ethos & Values
Bronte Academy Trust is committed to ensuring that the children in its community have equal access to an excellent curriculum, resources and teacher expertise through a strongly developed collaboration. Collaboration and learning are at the heart of their work both within and beyond the trust.
Role Summary Number of Positions Advertised:
Role 1 to 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 during a period of rapid growth and the management of a dynamic structure. The role also includes contributing to financial planning for sustainability and 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)
Role 1: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong background in finance, to support it through a period of change and financial pressure, as it seeks to grow. It is desirable that the individual has experience of dealing with operational challenges and managing a budget of over £5 million.
Role 2: The trust seeks a trustee with a strong and demonstrable background in HR, with specific emphasis on change management and succession planning, to ensure value for money and help shape the trust in the development of their HR policy and practice.
6 hours per month (on average).
There are 6 trust Board meetings each year which begin with refreshments at 6 p.m. with the business starting at 6:30p.m. Meetings last up to 2 hours.
Some trustees may be asked to join the Audit and Risk Committee which meets 3 times a year.
Role 3 to 4 – Members
Members are signatories to the articles of association and can pass a special resolution to amend the articles of association. They are responsible for appointing trustees, according to the trust's articles of association, and can also remove serving trustees where necessary and appropriate.
Members have oversight of the trust's governance and should keep themselves informed about how the board is performing and have an awareness of when they may need to exercise their powers to ensure effective governance.
The competencies required for this role include:
Both of the roles require individuals possessing a strong ‘general’ skillset from across the business sphere, a good communicator and a ‘team player.’ While not a prerequisite, a prior understanding of the education landscape is beneficial; additionally, the ideal candidate will possess a strong background in business, with evidence of previous non-executive/trustee roles.
There are 2-3 Members meetings per year including the Annual General Meeting. Meetings will be planned well in advance to give suitable notice and will be up to 2 hours in length and take place in the early evening (start around 6 pm). Members may be copied into some key strategic papers throughout the year to keep them updated and they may be invited to occasional events; this will allow them to remain familiar with progress, culture and ethos of the trust.
Members may be asked to help appoint other Directors/trustees as required and in accordance with the rust’s Articles of Association; this is not expected to be frequent or onerous.
Overall it is expected that Members will be required for around 8-15 hours per year spread in short blocks across the year.
Location of Board Meetings and Trust Website
Treetops, Haworth Primary School, Rawdon Road, BD22 8DW.
Background on Academy Trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 73% of secondary schools and 29% 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 760 multi academy trusts of 3+ 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@example.com. 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 –
Deadline for applications: Friday 12th October 2018