Jan 012019

Non-executive director - Endeavour Learning Trust

CFO/Financial Corporate Governance Non-executive/Trustee
Deadline date: 8th February 2019

Endeavour Learning Trust is a new multi academy trust which will shortly involve two secondary academies and one primary. The trust also working closely with Lancashire County Council to run one of its school which has several challenges; there are no firm plans for that school to join the trust at this point but ELT commitment to the school remains unequivocal. The trust seeks to recruit two new Members; one will have a strong financial background and the other will have experience of overseeing a growing business. Board meetings are held at Tarleton Academy, Preston.

About the trust

Endeavour Learning Trust grew out of Tarleton Academy which was inspected in early 2018 and retained its ‘Good’ judgement from Ofsted. The academy is accredited as a teaching school.

Burscough Priory Science College joined the trust in September 2018 and a primary school in Sefton is expected to join the trust in the spring 2019; both are sponsored projects and thus have a range of challenges.

The trust is coping under current financial pressures but is keen to add more to the available skillset to plan for further growth in the future.

Plans for the future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. To successfully incorporate new schools while continuing to provide excellent education and care for the students at ELT;
  2. To successfully address some inherited financial challenges and ensure systems are robust for the future;
  3. To unify budgets across the trust, to ensure delivery of quality services;
  4. To build a succession plan for senior staff and trustees.

The trust intends to grow and has set a target of 10-15 academies to join over the next five years.

Trust ethos & values

Endeavour Learning Trust’s vision is to create a family of schools in a system based on school improvement.

The trust aims to provide:

  • A world class education for all its students, regardless of ability or background, which builds resilience, confidence and drive, in an ever-changing world;
  • A workforce of the highest calibre, with a combination of teamwork, skill, experience, passion and an unwavering commitment to excellence;
  • A relentless focus on individual and collective improvement and personal and professional development, in an ethos of high expectation and personal ambition;
  • The moral imperative to ensure that no child is left behind and no individual is overlooked in their uniqueness and distinctive potential;
  • A nurturing environment, where everyone feels safe and valued and where the trust strikes the right balance between encouragement and support, stretch and challenge, so that all stakeholders can aim high and work together to make aspirations a reality;
  • A genuine commitment to foster partnerships, across the family of schools, with parents, other strategic partners and wider communities;
  • The expertise to efficiently and effectively deploy and maximise resources across the trust and wider networks and partnerships.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised: 2

Roles 1&2 – Member

A Member is able to alter the trust’s Articles of Association and appoint (or remove) trustees/directors where necessary. The Members provide independent oversight to the work of the board of trustees in order to ensure suitable accountability for its decision making and strategy. At Endeavour Learning Trust the Members are expected to be signatories for the academy trust, to attend two to four meetings per year, and to add to the already broad skillset within the existing team of members.

Person specification

The competencies required for this role include:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Non-executive/ Trustee


  • Growth Management
  • Change Management
  • Legal/Compliance

The trust seeks individuals with proven backgrounds in developing strategy and vision with a knowledge of the role of a non-executive director to enable them to fully engage with the role. At least one of the new appointees will have substantial experience in the financial sector. Prior experience of trusteeship / non-executive director roles is essential, as well as a firm and demonstrable grasp of corporate governance. An interest in education and an awareness of current educational priorities would also be advantageous.

A good communicator committed to attending Members’ meetings, ideal candidates will be individuals with good business acumen, as well as experience of working within a charity or non-profit environment, preferably at board level.

Time commitment

Members roles are to oversee the trust board and thus meet twice per year (November and May). In instances where the intention is to add a school to the trust, Members are also invited to an additional meeting to consider the strategy and review the due diligence. Consequently, new candidates may be expected to attend around two additional meetings per year. Meetings begin at 5pm and last up to two hours. Members will be invited occasionally to additional events and would be expected to visit an academy occasionally to see the trust’s work in action.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Tarleton Academy, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, Preston, PR4 6AQ.


Governance structure


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 71% of secondary schools and 26% 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 980 multi academy trusts of 2+ 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 academyambassadors@newschoolsnetwork.org. 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.

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 for applications: Friday, 8th February 2019 – however, early applications are welcomed and this advert may be withdrawn early if suitable candidates are found before the deadline.

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