Mar 022020

Non-Executive Director / Member - Chorus Education Trust

CEO/ General Management | Corporate Governance
Deadline date: 13th March 2020

Chorus Education Trust seeks to recruit a new Member to the board, which currently oversees three secondary academies and has plans to expand further in the future. In December last year Westfield School in Sheffield joined the trust and in September this year Hope Valley College joined the trust: both schools were deemed inadequate by Ofsted when they joined. The trust team are currently working with both schools, sharing skills and experience to build capacity and quality. Early evidence is encouraging, but clearly there is much more to do. The trust seeks professionals who are keen to work with its team to make a strong contribution to its position, developing Chorus into its next phase. Board meetings are held in the Sheffield area.

About the trust

Chorus Education Trust started as Silverdale Multi-Academy Trust, with Silverdale School at its centre. Silverdale School is based in state-of-the-art buildings in south-west Sheffield. It is considerably oversubscribed and includes a highly successful sixth form; over 30 languages are spoken across the diverse and rich community.

Chorus Education Trust now serves almost 3,500 students (some of whom come of areas of disadvantage) and employs over 300 staff. The annual budget is approximately £20 million.

The trust’s Teaching School - one of the biggest in the country - was designated as one of the first Teaching Schools in 2012 and sits at the heart of the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance (STSA). It has a large, cross-phase, nationally-recognised School Direct Teacher Training Programme in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University, providing Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and a fully developed programme of professional development for existing teachers. The Teaching School was also approached by the government to help tackle the national shortage of modern language teachers and now runs the National Modern Languages SCITT - a national teacher training course dedicated to modern languages, which is a unique partnership between state and independent schools across the country.

Plans for the future

Four key challenges for the trust over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Consolidating the trust’s position, now that it has three secondary schools. Ensuring each school is stable and growing in line with the trust’s strategic plans.
  2. Building additional capacity and skill in the new board as several new trustees join at the same time.
  3. Further improving the performance of Westfield School and Hope Valley College.
  4. Management of finance and funding.

Trust ethos & values

The trust aims to be highly inclusive and aspirational for its students - with a strong emphasis on outstanding teaching and learning.

URL to full mission statement

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 1

Role - Member

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 Chorus Education Trust the members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend around 3 meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Personal specification

The competencies required for this role include:

  • Essential
    • CEO/General Management
    • Corporate Governance
  • Desirable
    • CFO/Finance
    • Strategic

The trust seeks individuals with an extensive and demonstrable background in a senior leadership role, with strategic vision and knowledge of the role of a non-executive director.

A good communicator and a ‘team player’, committed to attending Members’ meetings is essential. An individual with good business acumen is advantageous, as well as experience of working within a commercial environment, preferably at board level.

Time commitment

The demands on a Member are relatively light and is likely to be around 12 hours over the year.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Silverdale School, Bents Crescent, Sheffield, S11 9QH

Governance structure

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.

“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)

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 0207 952 8556 or visit

Key dates

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 Dates: Friday 13th March 2020

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