Non-executive director X 1
Forward Education Trust (FET)
Forward Education Trust currently comprises three schools in Birmingham and surrounding areas. With aspirations to expand the trust - and its ability to support other schools in the area - FET seeks a Member, in order to drive the trusts vision of 'moving forward together'. Meetings are held in the Birmingham area.
About the trust
Forward Education Trust is currently a three school multi-academy trust consisting of two primary day special schools - Brays School and The Bridge School - and a 4-18 special school, Hallmoor School. The trust has been received approval to open a special secondary free school in Sandwell and is relocating an additional school, which it is sponsoring, and which will join the trust shortly in a new build site in Birmingham. Other schools may additionally join the trust over the short- to medium-term.
The trust provides specialist education to pupils with wide ranging complex special educational needs who cannot receive the education and additional 'wrap around' support they need in mainstream settings. Pupil needs include autism, complex medical, including life limiting, conditions, profound and multiple learning difficulties, social emotional mental health, complex physical, severe learning difficulties, sensory difficulties and moderate learning difficulties.
The trust places emphasis on the collaboration of its schools, aiming to operate and perform as a united team. Ensuring consistency across educational approaches within the trust allows it to support all of its schools and maintain a focus on the challenges ahead.
The trust also provides improvement support beyond its schools; Forward Education Services consists of advisers with substantial experience and qualifications, such as serving Ofsted inspectors and National Leaders of Education. Through school improvement contracts the trust supports non-trust schools locally, regionally and nationally to improve educational performance. The trust works with Local Authorities on quality assurance projects for special provision and alternative education. The trust can be contracted to offer other services, including school and pupil premium reviews.
Plans for the future
The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:
- To secure business functions through successful recruitment of key personnel to the trust;
- To secure the appointment and development of a strong senior team with clear succession planning for trust leadership and for the Board;
- To secure successful expansion/integration of other schools into the trust;
- To ensure financial stability to provide a solid long-term foundation for anticipated growth and expansion.
Over the longer term, the trust seeks to improve upon the quality of education offered to vulnerable children with special education needs (SEN) across a wider geographical area.
Trust ethos & values
The trust works to educate, nurture and empower through dynamic and robust leadership and governance. The trust ethos is focused on 'moving forward together', striving for opportunities to improve outcomes and providing stability and success for all. Improving both the personal and academic achievements of children drives the trust's work.
Further information on ethos and values can be found on the trust website:
Role summary Number of positions advertised:
A Member is able to alter the trust's Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. They provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Forward Education Trust the members are expected to attend two meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.
The competencies required for these roles include:
- Corporate Governance
- Non-executive/ Trustee
- CEO/ General Management
- CFO/ Finance
- Legal/ Compliance
Members are required to hold the trustees to account and as such, experience of trustee/non-executive directorship is essential. Additionally, strong grasp of corporate governance is required to allow the successful candidate to execute duties fully, ideally with a record of accomplishment in governance in a large and/or complex charity setting.
An individual with some legal or financial experience is desirable - ideally, a candidate with experience of the corporate world, with a demonstrable track record of effective leadership in business will be appointed. An individual with a background in senior management and an understanding of the complexities of leadership in a medium or large organisation is sought. Numerous other key skills from the corporate sphere, as detailed in the 'Desirable' section are beneficial to the execution of this role.
Awareness of, and willingness to adhere to, the Nolan Principles of Public Life is essential.
Two days per year
Location of board meetings and trust website
Board meetings are held within the Birmingham area.
Background on academy trusts
Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% 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 832 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 (2019)
Membership or 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 . 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 or visit .
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, 31st May 2019